September 13, 2018
Hybrid Cloud: Building the Best of All Worlds
Successful hybrid cloud implementations are all about putting the right applications in the right environments and then orchestrating that mix.
— Written by Troy Brick-Margelofsky, Brandon Jackson and Stephan Stelter
Public cloud, just like private cloud, has advantages and disadvantages, depending on the circumstances in which it is used. That’s why almost every organization will gravitate toward some combination of cloud solutions that best achieves its business goals, performance expectations and requirements for security and legal compliance.
The trick is finding the right mix and then orchestrating those disparate platforms so they work together harmoniously. When customers turn to CDW for help in developing a hybrid cloud strategy, we start by identifying the ideal environment for each application and workload. These are some of the considerations that may come into play:
- Homegrown databases and web applications probably should stay on-premises if re-engineering them for the public cloud requires a lot of time and money. CDW works with partners such as NetApp to help clients understand the costs, risks and benefits of moving those types of apps. This approach avoids surprises, such as finding out that a legacy app provides a poor user experience from the cloud.
- In some cases, it makes sense to move on-premises applications to a private cloud to prepare them for migration to the public domain. This interim step is also an excellent opportunity to identify everything you need, such as service-level agreement requirements, to ensure success in the public cloud. A containerized architecture makes it easier to migrate a workload to the public cloud.
- If a workload requires instant access to big volumes of data, it might make sense to have that application in a private cloud, which permits closer control of performance and availability. That strategy can save bandwidth (and money) because the organization isn’t constantly shuttling data to and from a public cloud.
- Private clouds are a good fit for applications that are affected by laws such as HIPAA, which requires tight control over customer data.
Optimize Hybrid Cloud Environments with Strategic Orchestration
Orchestration is a key aspect of hybrid cloud environments, yet it’s one that organizations frequently overlook or underestimate, especially if they’re used to doing everything on-premises. For example, it’s worth the effort to code up repeatable processes to enable automation, so that systems can take care of themselves. Orchestration coordinates those now-automated tasks and, in turn, helps to maximize the ROI of a hybrid cloud by freeing staff to focus on projects that contribute to the organization’s bottom line.
Orchestration also can line up public cloud resources when a workload, such as a major product launch, is more than the private cloud or on-premises infrastructure can handle. That strategy also saves money, making it easier to pull in resources on demand rather than paying for surplus resources that sit idle much of the time and are only occasionally used.
Finally, remember that successful hybrid cloud implementations don’t happen overnight. The right partner can help with provisioning, developing service-level agreements and making a business case for capital expenses versus operational expenses. For organizations that don’t want to put certain applications entirely in a public cloud, CDW offers shared managed storage, as well as management of public cloud services to free up IT staff from that task. In a sense, that’s another type of orchestration: putting together the right mix of resources — both solutions and services — to meet your unique business goals.