If, as many enterprises do, you choose a hybrid cloud strategy for your organisation, there are some key issues of which you should be aware, to ensure your public cloud services are secure, simple and effective.
These are important because a potential downside to temporarily shifting workloads to third party clouds can sometimes mean significantly limited performance (latency) and weaker security due to reliance on any simple, untested internet connection.
The beauty of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings and their typical pay-as-you-go arrangements, such as those offered through international IT solutions and managed services providers, is extra agility and cost effectiveness but you should not have to decide between the security and performance of on-premise IT and the agility of a third-party cloud.
Popular in the cloud
Logicalis research has found that “Storage, Disaster Recovery and non-core business applications (e.g. email) are the main functions already migrated to the cloud, while core business applications (e.g. ERP) and communications (voice & unified comms) and testing & development, are the least likely to be moved externally in the future.” The research found that 46% of enterprises surveyed use software-as-a-service, 26% use infrastructure-as-a-service, closely followed by platform-as-a-service (25%). Data sovereignty remains a key concern for 70% of respondents.
The Logicalis research revealed that “most people host relatively few applications in the cloud, indeed two-thirds host less than 10% in a public cloud. At the other end of the spectrum, just 12% of respondents currently host more than half of their applications in a public cloud, however, it's a more positive look at the future with the number planning to host more than half of their applications rising to 30%”.
Gartner defines Iaas as: “… a standardised, highly automated offering, where compute resources, complemented by storage and networking capabilities are owned and hosted by a service provider and offered to customers on-demand. Customers are able to self-provision this infrastructure, using a web-based graphical user interface that serves as an IT operations management console for the overall environment. API access to the infrastructure may also be offered as an option.”
Key hybrid cloud networking elements
IT giant Citrix says the following key elements are worth bearing in mind to ensure your hybrid cloud strategy is appropriately robust.
End to End Security: There is security risk attached to simply relying on the basic VPNs offered by traditional cloud protection because it can open new, vulnerable entry points to your network. Enterprises should go a step further and apply advanced encryption to ‘data in motion’ content to keep it safe as it moves between the enterprise and the cloud. This should also prevent any threats from entering your network and will also assist with your compliance requirements.
Optimised Application Delivery: Having a hybrid cloud set-up relies on increased agility, but if performance is compromised, your enterprise’s ability to meet service level agreements, and to keep your users productive, this can be negated. Enterprises need to consider appropriate techniques such as TCP optimisation, compression and data de-duplication as methods to help maintain acceptable performance across WAN links.
Deep Application Visibility: An Achilles heel of some hybrid cloud deployments is complicating the effective management, maintenance and control of enterprise applications. No matter how complex and dynamic your applications become, it’s important to maintain deep visibility into how they are being used. There are added benefits to application-level visibility and monitoring which can help you isolate problems more quickly and also to capture greater business intelligence to help tweak your strategy.
On-Demand Provisioning: To be most effective, hybrid cloud arrangements need to provide a simple way for your people to tap into the cloud services they need, when they want them. One of the strengths of third-party clouds is providing valuable, on-demand resources for your users to ensure they can deal with time-sensitive or temporary needs. One successful strategy is to use L2 bridging to ensure the cloud network becomes a natural extension of your enterprise’s L2 network, making it simple to shift workloads to the cloud without re-architecting applications.
Increasingly, it is being shown that to achieve success in cloud deployment, whether it be public, private or hybrid, enterprises are well advised to partner with appropriate external, experienced and best qualified IaaS external providers, to guide them on the journey.
Logicalis is such a provider, to find out more about how Logicalis can support you, head to the solutions and services page.