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Plotting the perfect hybrid cloud strategy in 2022

Google cloud services
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Not a single industry was spared by the resetting effects of Covid-19. Although enterprises built on sophisticated digital capabilities were able to quickly recover their positions - they clearly stumbled on the challenges of scalability, massive CAPEX/OPEX, and disrupted supply chains. The rest began acquiring digital competencies only after the pandemic took over. And, for these enterprises, digital transformation is no longer enough. What they rather need is business transformation coupled with a competitive edge - collaboratively enabling them to seize every opportunity thereon.

The path to addressing these needs is modernizing the enterprise infrastructure and applications by extending them to the cloud, while improving the process every step of the way - emphasizing on cloud security without any glitch. This is followed by optimizing, cost-controlling, securing, and more, upon a successful deployment via dependable cloud-managed services. We are emphasizing the word 'extend' because this article is not aimed at abandoning your existing IT investments, however, securely extending them to achieve the wonders of limitless scalability, elasticity, development pipelines, serverless functions, containerization, microservices, infrastructure as a code, APIs, and more. This configuration is called the hybrid cloud.

What is a hybrid cloud? 

First things first, the hybrid cloud is an amalgamation of on-prem, private, and public clouds - seamlessly and simultaneously powering an enterprise. From legacy application compatibility to optimal resource usage, the configuration is all about balancing the possible variables and generating optimal results spearheaded by performance and return on investment. 

In many cases, hybrid cloud offers the perfect shuffle between the advantages of modern cloud technology and the compliance/security of the private, on-prem environments. Equally important is the ability to choose a phased approach to cloud migration - setting the pace and volume of the transformation process revolving around the modernization of enterprises' legacy hardware and applications. 

Modernizing application

Data is the brain, and application is the body. In order for the brain to drive growth, it needs the body to accordingly function. Similarly, with the explosion of data, use cases, and users everywhere - applications need to continuously match up and offer compatibility. Rearchitecting the enterprise applications and moving them to a hybrid cloud environment unlocks new possibilities for improvement precisely aligned with business goals. Containerization, for example, affords lightweight, portable application packaging. Whereas DevSecOps featuring streamlined, secured, integrated, and automatized development are among the numerous benefits of moving to the cloud.

Optimizing infrastructure

The other segment of business transformation is the advanced infrastructure bolstering the above discussed, modern applications. And for most organizations, this means adopting the hybrid cloud infrastructure. However, it is not only for the limitless scalability, performance, or cost-savings. It is also the flexibility, productivity, and extension of their existing investments; staying current with innovation; zero upfront costs for infrastructure upgrade; and more.  

Hybrid cloud migration plan

According to Gartner, the global cloud market will hit a whopping $482 billion by 2022. And, for the most obvious reasons, hybrid cloud will continue to attribute the largest share. However, for your business to jump on the bandwagon, appropriate measures must be taken such as creating a migration strategy that supports your new IT environment goals, and business objectives – all at a convenient pace. Check out the whitepaper 'Infolob Cloud Migration Strategy and Methodology' in case you are looking for a blueprint to successful cloud migration.

However, building a cloud strategy is also a meticulous undertaking. Let us dig into these details to understand what hybrid cloud migration encapsulates before choosing it – and not because it is the most popular choice.

Application delivery and visibility

As we have already adopted a chronological order, let us begin with the fact that a modern application is about user/developer friendliness. This means enterprises must have the option to quickly enforce a long array of modifications to their application operations, including:

  • Re-platform – Containerize the legacy workloads for boosting agility while standardizing orchestration in development and deployment 
  • Rehost – Extend workload to the cloud minus any change in the code or architecture
  • Refactor – Leverage cloud-native architectures, such as the microservices, by simply rewriting the code

Elasticity of consumption

Under the next layer is the ability to optimize infrastructure by harnessing the out-of-the-box agility and scalability of the public cloud. This also means:

  • Customer-operated – Developers and production application admins must have access to resources at both ends, i.e., on-premises and public cloud environments coupled with customer-operated delivery capabilities, APIs, etc. 
  • Robust governance – Hybrid cloud allows for linking policies to every application enabling steady adoption across workload deployment and management sites
  • Cost savings – Enterprises can enhance their on-premises and cloud capabilities by moving out of siloed infrastructure-driven operations to a unified IT interaction, driving more efficiency of scale and reduced expenses

Steady operations and infrastructure

Enterprises must deploy a universal cloud operation model for protecting, managing, and operating the complete hybrid cloud for attracting the advantages of:

  • Standardization – One model for cloud security, governance, and operation of the hybrid environment
  • Orchestrated service delivery – Traditional infrastructure known for producing operational bottlenecks against agility and data/developer productivity standing removed
  • Tailored infrastructure and tools/services consumption – The ability to optimize the performance, security, and costs, all while extracting more from the existing investments in resources, teams, policies, etc., is what hybrid cloud exclusively bundles

Besides, re-tooling/re-training is no longer necessary as the hybrid cloud also stands for:

  • Software-defined infrastructure – Summon all the siloed resources collectively into an integrated, software-defined system affording steady operations via a single monitoring interface
  • AI and ML-enabled – Automation leans service delivery, making IT significantly agile and effective

Enterprise strategic IT initiatives powered by hybrid cloud

A unified hybrid cloud operation model instituted on the existing infrastructure offers time-tested capability of the setup to handle the most intensive and mission-critical workloads. It also empowers enterprises to tap into ground-breaking IT innovations. Following are examples of hybrid cloud advancing enterprises’ strategic initiatives:

De-complexed, modern data center 

By integrating virtualization, storage, networking, and the management of resources, enterprises can build a comprehensive, software-defined data center de-complicating IT. By implementing hybrid cloud, enterprises can swiftly transform legacy IT offerings into subscriptions via service blueprinting, APIs, and self-service for developers boosting IT agility.

The public cloud advantages

A cloud migration strategy at the beginning meant moving a segment of on-prem workloads to the cloud, however, in current times, it embodies much more. Yet, a hybrid cloud that further relays cloud service model to enterprises’ existing IT environments, also originally delivers:

  • Pay-as-you-go pricing model, and the conversion of CAPEX into OPEX
  • Elasticity at scale for provisional yet resource-intensive workloads
  • Modern application development 
  • State-of-the-art disaster recovery capabilities

Orchestrating enterprise service delivery

Orchestrated service delivery is the exclusive attribute of the cloud, for minimizing IT obligations and catalyzing operations. With hybrid cloud, it is a step forward with enterprise transforming the way IT services are leveraged since automation leans and standardizes the service delivery while a robustly integrated IT environment performs the rest of the tasks.

For instance, a hybrid cloud enables the developer-ready infrastructure to be seamlessly harnessed via continuous integration, continuous delivery, continuous deployment (CI/CD). Moreover, enterprises can activate APIs, and abstraction for programmatic usage of the cloud infrastructure uniquely promoting swifter and more frequent delivery of new application features.

Hybrid cloud security

Even though the convenience of scaling applications across enterprise’s existing and new data centers is widely acknowledged, securing them—bypassing all the complexities—is equally less talked of. Besides, a future-proof hybrid cloud innately constitutes the security element that empowers organizations to enforce policies outlined by workloads and not by infrastructure limitations. 

Conclusion

Building the perfect hybrid cloud migration strategy is not a pipe dream because it ideally means extending your on-premises data center to the cloud without involving a massive upfront investment, decommissioning, or disruption. It is the result of diligently accommodating all the critical elements, including:

  • The alignment with business objectives, and IT initiatives
  • Budget, and return on investment
  • Security, and compliance
  • App/infrastructure modernization
  • Automation, and innovation
  • Cost-savings, and more through standardized, time-tested migration methodology, experience, and expertise

Every cloud migration strategy is unique depending on the business requirements. However, in every successful cloud adoption and business transformation story, these are the characteristics that are ubiquitous. 

Infolob Solutions