Avoiding the pitfalls when architecting your hybrid cloud strategy.

    Avoiding the pitfalls when architecting your hybrid cloud strategy.

    Over the last 3 years, the hybrid cloud market has rapidly grown and continues to, forecasting to be over US$90bn in 2021. As many organisations look to optimise their IT environment through hybrid cloud computing, it’s important to be aware of challenges when it comes to managing data.

    Corey Adolphus, Hybrid Cloud Architect, helps to explore some of these pitfalls.

    As a Hybrid Cloud Architect, I am in the fortunate position of observing firsthand the experiences that a lot of organisations have in their move to a hybrid IT environment which involves a mesh of on-premises and cloud-based infrastructure and services.

    So, I wanted to share some of the more common pitfalls being experienced in the hope we can all learn to avoid them in future.

    The below five pitfalls are offered in no particular order or level of criticality. Some may seem like common sense, others may be new, and you may not necessarily have experienced these yourself. There are bound to be many more I haven’t included here but regardless, nobody wants to fall victim to any of these pitfalls!

    Bill shock: This is an especially acute pitfall that has been experienced by many organisations that haven’t adequately planned or forecast what their application workloads needed from a compute, network and storage perspective. Lifting and shifting traditional applications from an on-premise environment to cloud, without truly understanding the infrastructure resource requirements, quickly blows out costs. Understand and plan carefully for your application resource needs and the likely bursts in demand.

    Software licensing compliance headaches: Software compliance audit firms are doing a roaring trade in Australia because many organisations don’t understand their obligations once they chance platforms or try to get mobility with their data and apps. It’s never fun, so get your legal teams involved early and do your research on compliance.

    Not right-sizing what’s left over: It’s very likely that as you’ve consolidated your data centre facilities and infrastructure you’ve also adopted a variety of cloud computing services. Things are looking up and you are focused on an agile future. But have you properly dealt with the data centre or server room facilities and/or IT infrastructure left behind and ensured they aren’t being run in sub-optimal ways, or suffering from on-going security risks, or simply left unutilised?

    Not planning orchestration and automation right: When you have a hybrid environment you don’t want to be lugged with one or several tools or management solutions for each individual service. It’s not efficient, and it is likely to create a world of pain. Ensure you have a strategy for optimising orchestration and automation. Similarly, beware of your employees – in all departments – using their own tools to get things done without ensuring that there is a process for skills and knowledge transfer should that person depart.

    Focusing on cost: Moving to cloud computing and a hybrid IT environment may not actually save you all that much money in the long term. In any case, your strategy should be based on the value you can create such as with greater agility, resiliency, and speed to market.

    These are just some of the examples I have encountered when helping organisations to architect their hybrid cloud data management strategy.

    So where does NetApp fit into all of this? For those familiar with us, they are aware of our focus to help customers realise their Data Fabric strategy. I’m excited about how we continue to help innovate and introduce new cloud data management solutions so customers can continue to benefit from being able to manage and control their data seamlessly (and avoid those pitfalls!):

    • Cloud Sync service is a complete SaaS offering available via the Amazon Marketplace that helps move data between on-premises to cloud storage with AWS S3, and continuously synchronises it. It’s a great way to leverage the on-demand analytics tools in AWS such as Elastic Map Reduce (EMR), RedShift, or RDS, for data that you generate and store on-premise.

    • Cloud Control for Microsoft Office 365 offers the ability to back up Office 365 data to on-premises storage or other clouds. This can help reduce the risk of data loss and improve recoverability in the event of accidental deletion, corruption, or even malicious intent.

    You can also check out the demos of Cloud Sync service and Cloud Control for Microsoft Office 365 as shown recently at NetApp Insight 2016. You can even test drive Cloud Sync through a 30-day free trial.

    There are many resources available to ensure best practice in cloud data management. If you are unsure of where to start or need to accelerate your hybrid cloud strategy, contact us to start a discussion.

    About Corey:

    Corey Adolphus is the Hybrid Cloud Architect for NetApp Australia and New Zealand. He is responsible for helping organisations of all sizes build their data fabric strategy with the right cloud data management solutions. In his role, Corey provides consultation on architecting best of breed cloud solutions including backup, disaster recovery, as well as hyperscale cloud integration.