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4 Ways to Plan and Implement a Hybrid Cloud Deployment

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If you’re planning a migration of your applications and infrastructure to a hybrid cloud environment, I recommend four ways to get underway and make it happen.

1) Use a top to bottom approach with your planning – that is, your cloud migration plan should start at the leadership level and then devolve to your full staff. If individual departments, for example, deploy cloud services without overall top-level coordination, it  becomes more of a challenge to coordinate and propagate across-the-board cloud utilization. Otherwise, without enterprise-wide cloud coordination and buy-in, you run the risk of compromising some of your mission-critical security policies.

2) Organizations should create task forces within their architecture or infrastructure teams to plan their cloud migration paths.  With a task force team in place, start small and pick applications and workloads that you deem to be good fits for the cloud. Consider low-hanging fruit such as moving your dev and test environments into the cloud. In true hybrid fashion, you can move the compute power, the processing power and web servers to the cloud and keep your data stores and Active Directory authentication on-premise.

3) Companies tend to maintain a lot of application servers and backend processing servers.  While these servers hold significant computing requirements, they’re typically utilized only at certain times of the day, week or month, and then they’re not utilized much at all. Companies should consider moving these kinds of servers into the cloud. For example, you can keep your file storage and data storage on-premise  (so you’re not storing any secure data on the cloud) and then use the computing power and elasticity of the cloud for select applications – all the while paying only for what you use.

4) Another challenge that comes up frequently in my conversations with company leaders is that their teams lack specific skill sets needed for cloud migrations. This problem, they say, is exacerbated by a lack of in-house training and education programs on cloud and cloud deployments. The good news, however, is companies can overcome these challenges and get their teams on track to work productively and effectively in the hybrid world of on-premise and cloud. Two things to consider doing: a) bring in an outside expert to advise you and your teams on planning and evaluating how best to conduct a cloud migration and b) set up comprehensive training programs to get your teams up to speed on cloud.

The bottom line is that as you get your teams trained and capable of managing cloud-based and integrated cloud-based environments, you’ll reduce learning curves and begin to overcome organizational resistance to considering hybrid cloud deployments. It’s important to help undo organizational inertia when it comes to considering a new paradigm such as cloud adoption for your applications and infrastructure.

The benefits of utilizing the cloud and hybrid cloud are clear. Overall, cloud computing is cost-effective because it reduces your overhead in maintaining on-premise servers. The cloud improves your agility because you can scale your usage needs up and down quickly. The cloud also enables you to stay real-time current with software and infrastructure upgrades and maintenance needs, improving the reliability of your systems. Now, factor in the capability to deploy select workloads on the hybrid cloud, and you’re able to leverage the twin strengths of your on-premise and cloud-based environments.

To learn more about this topic, please join me and Microsoft’s Shane Koenig in a live webinar, Wednesday, October 16, 1:00 pm EDT. We’ll take an in-depth look at how to deliver your applications and infrastructure smoothly to a hybrid cloud environment and will feature a presentation of a BI application within SharePoint running on a hybrid cloud environment. Register here and join us on October 16.

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