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Cloud adoption is a huge part of digital transformation, however some organisations that we’ve spoken to have made the bold leap to cloud without really understanding if that is the right solution for their requirements.
Of course the cloud can offer speed, security and scalability but this shiny tech can be really distracting. Some of these organisations have faced challenges around financial losses due to unexpected data costs and others have faced setbacks due to vendor lock-in contracts. Thorough planning is needed to fully understand the requirements, consider what volumes of data are included in migration and day to day operations, and build a strategy that works for the business.
An IDC survey reported that 93.2% of survey respondents are using more than one type of cloud infrastructure, and are moving to adopt a hybrid cloud approach in order to address their business needs. The survey found that these infrastructures were generally made up of one or two public clouds plus one or two private cloud environments. The survey highlights what we’re seeing day to day – that hybrid cloud strategies are becoming the enterprise ‘norm’.
Hybrid cloud strategies help to keep businesses competitive by reducing or controlling costs, maintaining performance and security to regulation and make sure that the organisation is protected against cyber threats.
So what steps do you need to take to be able to adopt a hybrid cloud strategy while keeping full visibility and control of your network?
Step 1: Identify appropriate data
Understand why you want to move the data and whether it would be better suited to cloud or on-premise
Implement the right levels of encryption and compliance as needed
Deploy a proof of concept to avoid nasty surprises
Step 2: Understand the application stack when disaggregating/abstracting
Understand whether some applications are better suited to be in different locations – partly in the cloud and partly on-premise
Monitor performance to ensure that latency doesn’t affect user experience negatively
Make sure that you’re testing in parallel to spot application slow down or failures
Step 3: Transfer your data
This is the most important!
Get a full understanding of your network architecture, sizing, limitations and latency before transferring data
Be mindful of how long the data will take to transfer, whether services will be unavailable and if you will need to perform a stop and restart
Step 4: Architect redundancy and scalability
It’s paramount to have full redundancy and scalability so that and miscalculated bandwidth requirements have the flexibility to scale and don’t stop any migration in its tracks
Set up multiple ingresses and egresses to the cloud that data is being transferred to
overprovision from your committed information rate to avoid needing to reprovision circuits at high costs
Step 5: Automate your configurations
By doing this your reliability will improve and you can vastly reduce or even eliminate errors from performing tasks over and over again – not to mention the time that this gives back to the IT team
Implement common policies and workflows to reduce errors across the different environments
Don’t automate for the sake of it – even though it’s a cool technical challenge
Step 6: Monitor performance and availability
Aggregate your logs and alerts across the underlying cloud fabric, the virtual appliances and the servers themselves
Don’t end up saturated with alerts and too much noise to know what to do with
Ensure that you have full visibility of your network from a security, consumption and utilisation perspective to get an accurate system health reading
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