Hybrid Cloud and Painful Decision Paralysis: How Do You Choose?

“…most enterprises will continue to have an on-premises (or hosted) data center capability. But with most compute power moving to IaaS providers, enterprises and vendors need to focus on managing and leveraging the hybrid combination of on-premises, off-premises, cloud and noncloud architectures…”

— Thomas J. Bittman, Vice President, Gartner

Last time, we talked you through the basics of hybrid cloud storage, the foundation of its function, and the flexibility that such a platform offers.  Fundamentally, hybrid cloud exists to increase computation time through public cloud resources while using private cloud to store and protect privileged data on-premises.  Fret not; when correctly configured, any communication between the two environments happens through encrypted channels for security while still allowing you to move data simply and to remotely access your applications.

Sounds simple enough, right?

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Hybrid cloud (when compared to public cloud) should increase efficiency and offer maximum customization. But bear in mind that plenty of work still needs to be done to prepare for such a change. You should not make the decision to transition to hybrid cloud lightly. There are many factors that you need to consider, so prepare to conduct extensive research as well as do an in-depth analysis of your company’s needs and projections for the future. Or at least be willing to run some experiments.

It’s a lot of work, but we’ll give you a little head start. Consider us your tour guides to the hybrid cloud galaxy.

Back to the basics. Is Cloud the right fit for your company?

As with most projects, you must start by analyzing your company’s current state of affairs. Let’s begin with your data storage and security status in order to diagnose whether hybrid cloud would benefit your company.

How secure is your Data?

  • What kind of data storage infrastructure do you currently have, and is it due for an upgrade?
  • Do you already use offsite storage that forces you through public internet in order to access your private data?
  • Do you have on-site storage that makes the sharing of information and resources with external partners cumbersome?

Understanding the vulnerabilities of your different systems may help to put hybrid cloud capabilities into perspective. We all want to keep your data exposure to a minimum while still making it convenient for you to access your files and apps from wherever you—or your out-of-country partners—are. We can help you with your current security assessments as well as talk you through what security will look like in the cloud.

What are your Computational needs?

  • Do you ever have periods where your computational demand exceeds your in-house supply?
  • Is the demand for computation consistent or does it have seasonal peaks and valleys?

If you find that your computation demands are consistently exceeding the capabilities of your original infrastructure, you may be content with purchasing the additional hardware you need for use in-house. If your seasonal peaks exceed your supply, you must over-buy equipment to match. Since that extra computation power isn’t needed at all times, you end up paying for hardware that sits unutilized a large percentage of the time. It may be time to consider the on-demand flexibility of a hybrid cloud setup—you don’t pay for these seasonal resources unless you use them.

Unnecessary expenditures or prudent Investments?

While hybrid cloud—under the right circumstances—can increase productivity and bring in more revenue in the long run, it is important to first assess your financial standings and calculate the cost-to-benefit ratio of hybrid technologies. Just as you have to lay groundwork before you can migrate to cloud environments, you may also need to make a considerable capital investment in the new tech — the necessary private server hardware.

In light of these variables, you should consider whether your company should build on to what you already have or buy in to hybrid cloud:

  • Is it more cost effective to add on to your existing infrastructure by creating a niche function?
  • Or is it more prudent to commit a larger portion of your data center to a cloud-centric architecture?
  • Which option is the most sustainable and realistic for your business model?

The last question is critical to the overall decision, especially if your intend to expand as a company. You want room to grow, but you want your platform to match your rate of growth. Cookie cutter environments require less forethought, but hybrid cloud may be worth the extra work for the added flexibility.

Ask away.

That was a good bit of information to give to you in a short amount of time, and this isn’t anywhere close to an exhaustive checklist. It’s ok if you’re still feeling a bit lost or overwhelmed with the prospect of starting this process: it is certainly not for the faint of heart, and a hybrid cloud migration was never meant to be made alone. That’s why we’re here to help guide you through it.

Wait, hold that thought…

Despite the daunting nature of this change, you may have already decided to pursue hybrid cloud as the solution to your storage, sharing, and accessibility woes. And you’re willing to work hard to attain it. But perhaps you’re still on the fence about cost effectiveness and sustainability for the long haul. Hang in there. In the next installment, we’ll discuss your business’ financial future as well as hybrid cloud’s role in bolstering your business.

Need help with the groundwork? It’s time to decide.

We’re looking forward to working alongside you to tackle this.

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