2013 will be the year of the hybrid cloud

Hybrid clouds are a mixture combining the benefits of both a private and public cloud. As most of you know, a private cloud is a exactly what you think it is, your private cloud where you are in control. A public cloud is like a temperature controlled storage unit, you rent it, but someone else watches out for the temperature. Just like storage units, there are a ton of “providers” of these public spaces, but unlike storage, the cloud is growing.

The number of cloud service providers is growing, and each offers a very different tool or public cloud you can use. This mix has brought about a new term, hyper-hybrid cloud, where businesses want to deploy the different applications and services on different platforms.

This means a mixture of vendors and their differing technologies. Each vendor has a different infrastructure. This is one of the largest challenges with deploying a hybrid cloud method.

In order to effectively meet the challenge of managing a hybrid cloud approach, you must ensure you are doing a few things…

With your vendors

There are a ton of cloud vendors ranging from small to large sized businesses. Some specialize while others just provide, but you need to make sure you do your research when building your cloud product portfolio.

Ask key questions like:

  • What’s their track record?
  • What does their security look like?
  • Do the license and contract terms work for your business needs?

272508_l_srgb_s_glSince you’ll be outsourcing your control over the performance, security, and compliance take the time to create a solid service level agreement with escalation processes built into place.

Be sure to include a “what happens if” there is downtime, to a natural disaster, to human error. Be imaginative with any could be escalations and don’t leave any potential problem unaddressed.

Also, set up a communication cadence. Say every two weeks with each vendor you meet to talk about what’s going on. This will ensure you have not only the discussions around potential issues, but also build that relationship with your supplier. Friendship can go a long way in an emergency.

With your IT team

You will also have to work with your internal IT department. Many will hear “third party service provider” and start to panic about their job. This doesn’t have to happen. Before you begin with your hybrid cloud, start planning opportunities for your employees to learn new skills related to what they’ll be able to do in the cloud.

Analytics TeamEducating your team on the cloud will help as the technology is a rapidly changing one. By
keeping your employees on the front line educated with the newest infrastructure technology, your hybrid cloud will operate at its peak.

To keep your company operating at its peak though, start by moving only your lowest priority applications to the external cloud. Use this as a sandbox period, where if you are breached sensitive data will still be secure.

Hybrid cloud computing truly does provide the best of both worlds to many. However, those who are the most successful took the time to do the very things I just mentioned. Let me know if you find another way to manage the infrastructure! Best of luck!