Back in the early days of hosting it was quite common to see organizations struggle with trying to use a one-size-fits all computing or storage service for a range of applications. We’ve definitely come a long way since then, but I’m still surprised how often this generalist approach is repeated today.
IT and business units have access to a broad range of hosting technology – including on-premises equipment, public cloud VPSs, private clouds and “bare metal” or dedicated servers – however, not enough thought is given to the fit between the application and the platform.
A “cloud-first” policy seems to be resonating well among many IT and business leaders, who initially take this approach because it is viewed as best practice within a modern IT architecture. However this can quickly result in cost overruns and poorly performing applications. In fact, many companies leaning towards cloud-first can actually benefit more from a hybrid cloud strategy.
The beauty of a hybrid cloud strategy and architecture is that it forces you to think about how to optimize your applications on different infrastructure options. Hybrid also provides the opportunity to take advantage of other cloud services like content delivery networks (CDN) and managed security services.
Satisfy stakeholder requirements
Applications are one thing and stakeholders are another. On your journey to hybrid cloud you’ll come across every imaginable stakeholder interest – from the physical box huggers to the early SaaS adopters.
Stakeholders care about data location (and access), application performance, development platforms, and time-to-market. All of these are almost impossible to satisfy with a single sourcing strategy.
With hybrid cloud at your disposal, stakeholder interests can be met in an easy and cohesive way. With a hybrid architecture in place, when you need to offload an on-premises application processing requirement to the cloud due to high demand, the data management profile can be kept consistent and not siloed by the change in infrastrucutre.
The idea that distributed computing resources can be switched on and off when needed is only achievable in a hybrid model, not inside someone’s data centre.
Talk to your business application stakeholders about how hybrid can offer you the best mix of performance and control.
Don’t get caught up in a migration mess
Another area we’ve worked hard on here at Leaseweb is helping customers move applications and data from legacy infrastructure to the cloud.
Migrating to the cloud is often viewed as something quick and easy when in fact it can be quite complex. In addition to the stakeholder requirements, the data must be moved over and the application infrastructure setup correctly.
Add to this the possibility of entering into a contract for cloud services (and paying for it) without being able to use the service due to migration delays, and you can end up with quite a headache.
Start with something workable, not a mission-critical app, and test and test again. Once you’ve moved one application to the cloud start testing how this can work with what you already have. Before you know it you will have the makings of a hybrid cloud architecture.
Want to learn more about choosing the right hybrid cloud solution? Check out our latest white paper.