“There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds” — G.K. Chesterton
The cloud is no longer on the horizon. What was once a “wait and see” technology has now become the norm. Yet, as common as the cloud has become and how quickly it has come upon us, its lexicon is expansive. Cloud, multi-cloud, hybrid cloud, community cloud, public and private cloud, and all the “as-a-Service offerings” — it’s hard to make sense of them all, let alone keep track of their enterprise-wide utilization, security, and optimization.
Advantages of Hybrid Cloud Deployment
For the purpose of clarity, we’ll define the three most common cloud deployment models used in the enterprise:
- Public Cloud: externally managed ie: AWS and Microsoft Azure
- Private Cloud: either internally managed or by a third party
- Hybrid Cloud: a combination of private and public cloud services
In most cases, the hybrid cloud offers the best of both worlds for your data management and network infrastructure. By utilizing both public and private cloud platforms, organizations can benefit from increased scalability and security.
Hybrid cloud ease of scalability allows you to expand your IT capacity and functionality without having to buy, deploy or maintain additional hardware or office space. According to CIO.com, “Managed consumption for hybrid cloud is an operating model that lets businesses consume the exact cloud resources they need, wherever their workloads live.”
Some of these models also eliminate the need for staff to manage the hybrid environment day-to-day, which helps reduce human error and enables staff to focus on innovation.” The results of which are often a more strategically focused security stance.
Cost-Effectiveness vs Wasting Money vs Optimization
Where the rubber meets the road is often cost. Is a hybrid cloud deployment cost effective? That depends on who you ask and what they’re selling. Honestly, it depends on which services you use, how many, and why. Some offer cost savings and others don’t.
If you’re going into this strictly as a cost savings measure, you may be surprised at the results. Consider that the top three reasons businesses move to the hybrid cloud are disaster recovery, avoiding hardware costs, and budget concerns with on-premises solutions. Two of these are directly related to budget and cost.
While cost can be a driving factor, once in the cloud, optimization demands major consideration. According to one survey, users estimate they’re total wasted spend in the cloud is approximately 30%. In fact, 58% of cloud users rate cloud optimization efforts as their top initiative. Yet optimization efforts should be implemented within your overall cloud strategy from the beginning, not as an afterthought.
Managed Services and the SME
In trying to define a cloud strategy, many companies struggle with questions around which cloud platform to use, which applications and data to move (and where), and how it will affect their security, compliance, functionality, and resources. Managing costs, expectations, and optimization of your hybrid cloud deployment requires in-depth analysis, clarity of corporate vision, and focus on overall business goals.
This is where it helps immensely to have a subject matter expert (SME) on your team capable of guiding your IT team on the most effective and efficient use of the features available with each specific public cloud platform. A dedicated SME per public cloud can help you throughout your implementation, especially when dealing with multiple public cloud providers, because not all solutions, services, and public cloud providers offer the same features and services.
Partnering with CompuCom, for example, can help you better understand the pros and cons of each. We know how different public cloud services like AWS and Azure work in the enterprise environment, and how their features compare. We can properly assess your existing infrastructure and analyze your available options based upon your goals.