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5 things you need to know about hybrid cloud environments

Companies planning cloud implementations have some important decisions to make before launching any service. One of the first choices involves the technology model - public, private, or hybrid environments. Public clouds are affordable because businesses share these solutions with multiple tenants to keep costs low. Private suites are only used by one organization for improved security.

Hybrid clouds are a combination of the two systems in which businesses host some resources in the cloud and others on-site. It's the best of both worlds by offering greater flexibility without forcing companies to migrate everything to off-site environments.


Here are five things you should know about hybrid clouds:

Hybrid solutions make up majority of cloud investments

Dana Gardner, principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions and contributor, interviewed industry professionals to gain insight into the expanding world of cloud computing.

Tim Minahan, chief marketing officer at SAP, said three-quarters of all new cloud expenditures are for hybrid clouds. "Increasingly, businesses are viewing the cloud as a platform for innovation and entirely new engagement models with their customers, their employees, their suppliers and partners and, in some cases, to create entirely new business models," Minihan told Gardner.


Separate data and applications
Companies planning a hybrid cloud implementation should categorize applications and data based on sensitivity. Computerworld encouraged businesses to determine how sensitive content is before migrating it to a cloud-based environment. In some cases, information and apps may need to be kept on-site.


Research is required
There are plenty of hybrid cloud solutions available on the market. Adopters can make informed decisions by asking other users for advice.

"You want to learn from other's experiences as much as possible rather than from your own mistakes," explained Rob Enderle, an analyst at Enderle Group, as quoted by Computerworld.

Finding the right vendor is also important for achieving the best hybrid technologies. Computerworld indicated customers should ask service providers how many clients they have worked with and statistics on uptime, security and system reliability.


Make sure hybrid clouds are encrypted
Security is critical for every cloud environment, regardless of model. Organizations must make sure their sensitive data is safeguarded when it's moving between public and private suites. TechTarget contributor Mark Mitchell encouraged firms to implement hybrid clouds backed by encryption services.

This functionality is essential for avoiding breaches or allowing unauthorized users to access this content.


Hybrid clouds need strong connection
Mitchell also explained hybrid clouds require isolated connectivity to achieve confidential data flows. Direct WAN links or VPNs are suitable in this regard.

"Either the VPN connection or the direct WAN link must be able to connect to a virtually or physically segmented section of the multi-tenant public cloud," Mitchell wrote.


Ready to start your hybrid cloud project?
Now that your company has a better understanding of hybrid clouds and what's required to achieve a successful deployment, you are ready to answer some important questions pertaining to your cloud journey. Your business must have a firm grasp on which workloads are the lowest risk to migrate to cloud environments, as well as recognize the requirements of on-site systems compared to cloud-based ones and determine what your firm wants to accomplish with the technology - costs or operational agility?

There are other important questions that must be answered before even beginning the cloud migration process. Your company must identify how moving content to hybrid clouds will influence the DevOps team, which acts as a bridge between software developers and IT professionals. Will the cloud act as a barrier between these groups or enable them to communicate more effectively?

This is undoubtedly a lot to take in, especially for first-time cloud users. Luckily, your business does not have to migrate to the cloud alone. Summit 7 Systems assists customers through every phase of the adoption process by working closely with clients to create product roadmaps that align IT solutions with their operational goals. We will communicate with your organization on how new technologies influence you over the long term.

And we don't sugarcoat things. The IT industry can be challenging for organizations if they are unprepared for unforeseen complications. This is why we offer continued support to make the transition, during any step of the adoption phase, as smooth as possible. This approach also means we can help customers manage even the most complex cloud environments. Learn about our services here.

About Dane Moorefield