5 Tips on Optimizing Your Hybrid Cloud

optimizing cloud

According to Microsoft, benefits of private cloud are widely recognized by senior executives, since 41% of them are already drawing up plans to shift to private cloud in 2015. The Synergy Research Group further substantiates this point through a survey they recently conducted, which revealed a private cloud growth rate of 45%.

Although the private cloud is a strong favorite, most organizations hang on to selected public cloud resources even after shifting to the private cloud. The least sensitive data is maintained and distributed through the public cloud while sensitive company resources are limited to private organizational virtual machines. This set up, popularly referred to as hybrid cloud, is exceedingly growing and is expected to record a growth rate of 50% by the end of 2015, consequently surpassing both the public and private cloud growth rate. This rate is largely due to increased awareness of private cloud benefits among public cloud users.

With the hybrid cloud growing to become the next big thing, it’s critically important for organizations to comprehend strategies of how best to leverage it. Here are 5 major tips on optimizing it to efficaciously boost your operations and subsequently give you the best results:

Comprehend Your Needs

This is the fundamental and most critical step in building an effective hybrid cloud system. It may sound like a relatively simple process, but a comprehensive needs assessment process requires diligence and attention to detail. Begin by analyzing the most basic elements regarding your hybrid cloud- what do you need from it? Which framework do you intend to use between your public and private cloud? Which resources (data, application etc.) will you run on each of the cloud’s servers? Answering these questions will assist you in comprehending your needs and subsequently drawing up relevant strategies to build a stable and efficient hybrid cloud.

Another vital element you should evaluate is whether you are building your own cloud, or leasing it from managed service providers. Of course the latter option is more preferable, especially to small and medium businesses, because it’s significantly cheaper and convenient.

Carefully Assess Vendors

The public and private cloud vendors you choose will largely determine the ultimate performance and success of your hybrid cloud. You should therefore keenly assess them individually to pick the best fit.

Of course, just like regular contractor recruitment, you should choose an extensively experienced vendor, who’s worked with similar companies in the past. To determine individual vendors’ experiences, evaluate their statistics on past and current customers. Additionally, consult other similar organizations to get referrals from them on vendors they’ve worked with.

After narrowing in on the vendors based on their experience, assess their respective services according to their suitability to your needs. Pay keen attention to their infrastructure, reliability, security and availability. A good hybrid cloud system is built on stable and secure servers, supported by readily available resources provided by reliable vendors. As you evaluate the security strategies, ensure your chosen vendor not only relies on a stable threat detection and prevention framework, but also provides response services in case of an attack.

Engage Other Users

Even the most experienced and extensively trained professionals learn a couple of things from newbies. That’s why analysts consistently encourage cloud architects and IT administrators to engage other IT professionals from similar companies. Although this could be a little bit complicated especially if you approach your competitors, talking to them will help you understand different hybrid cloud strategies and their resultant effect in the companies’ IT frameworks.

As you engage your counterparts, pay close attention to their cloud features and corresponding pricing (Click here for FileCloud Pricing) plans. In addition to that, inquire and learn about the reliability of their cloud architecture and security challenges they have faced. It’s also important to get reviews of different vendors and their corresponding resources.

Expand Gradually

Although you may be very ambitious regarding your projected cloud architecture and performance, it’s advisable to advance slowly but carefully. Jumping in swiftly with both feet could make you overlook critical elements and bugs which could ultimately cost you your entire business. Every cloud component should be carefully considered and slowly assimilated to the rest of the cloud without negatively affecting the cloud’s performance.

If you are introducing new endpoint devices for instance, attach them individually after carefully screening for malware and security vulnerabilities. This will help you in sealing all the endpoint security loopholes which are widely capitalized on by hackers.

To ease the burden, small and medium businesses are encouraged to rely on their managed service providers in guiding them through the process. They advise cloud users on their respective expansion strategies, and further provide services like employee training when setting up new cloud resources.

Categorize Your Cloud Resources

Having access to both public and private cloud resources doesn’t necessarily mean that they can be randomly interchanged. Your applications should be categorized accordingly before being distributed to the cloud servers they are optimized for. Sensitive, confidential data and resources should be hosted by private cloud servers and the rest distributed to the public cloud. Employee and credit card information for instance, should be managed by the private cloud while product information could be hosted by the public cloud, from where it’s dispensed to consumers.

In addition to managing risks, this strategy boosts efficient resource handling to improve overall organizational operations.

Finally, remember to occasionally review your entire hybrid network to spot and correct bugs, security vulnerabilities and system lags. This, coupled with a diligent team of IT administrators and reliable service providers, will effectively optimize your hybrid cloud system, and consequently boost your company’s performance and service delivery.

 Author: Davis Porter
Image courtesy: hywards, freedigitalphotos.net

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