Posted by: TheTechster
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There was an article on Search Cloud Computing the other day with a headline stating that hybrid cloud deployment is the future of the enterprise. The article quotes Forrester Research analyst Dave Bartoletti as stating that more than 50% of enterprises will be prioritizing private clouds in 2013 and 2014, with almost all of these deployments having a public—therefore hybrid—component. In fact, Bartoletti says that “everyone” has plans to extend the private cloud to include public resources, which leads to a cloud that offers infrastructure both on and off premises. “The future is systems-of-record linked to new cloud-style systems-of-record, and that is hybrid cloud,” Bartoletti says.
To a large degree this major platform shift to the cloud is being driven by the need for IT to be more agile, while also keeping costs under control. As we’ve noted in our last two blog posts, hybrid cloud can deliver significant TCO benefits as well as improved agility through elastic scalability and accelerated speed in developing and deploying new applications and services (among other benefits).
As enterprises start the process of moving mission-critical applications to hybrid cloud deployments, however, IT leaders will be asking additional questions beyond those centered on agility and costs. Among the issues that are core to the success of any enterprise IT deployment are performance, high availability, resiliency, reliability, simplified manageability and security.
Here are five questions related to these key areas that you may or may not have thought about asking your potential hybrid cloud service provider:
- Is the solution built on a state-of-the-art storage infrastructure that employs flash storage as part of an architecture that supports automated tiering? The storage platform is critical because many of today’s highly virtualized applications will perform better and faster with the improved IOPS enabled by flash technology for Tier One storage.
- Does the platform support live migration and other features that eliminate downtime and maximize high availability? As virtualization has taken hold in the data center, IT organizations have come to expect that they can keep applications running without interruption due to planned server maintenance or non-planned events. IT is accustomed to automated failover as well as auto-start for virtual machines in the event of failure. IT will demand no less resiliency and availability from applications delivered via their hybrid cloud environments.
- Can you easily migrate workloads between your private cloud and your public cloud services, utilizing a single management interface that goes across all of your cloud environments, public, private and hybrid? If you choose a hybrid cloud provider that also enables you to migrate your existing applications and run them seamlessly across all of your environments without rewriting them, you will be way ahead of the game.
- Does your solution support a policy-driven approach to provisioning, and what other security features are integrated into the platform? For example, certain solutions embed software-defined security and resource consumption controls so that pre-configured IT policies are enforced automatically, accelerating provisioning without impacting security, compliance or control. Security features should include identity management and role-based access that provide authorized and accountable control over the consumption of cloud resources.
- Does the underlying network infrastructure support the demanding bandwidth requirements of a cloud environment? Can the network forward packets at wire speed, causing little or no impact on network performance or bandwidth? Can you configure the network as if it were in your own data center, extending the corporate network to the cloud without creating new IP domains or adding network management?
As IT leaders begin thinking about moving mission-critical applications to hybrid cloud environments, the issues around resiliency, reliability, performance, high availability and security have to be assessed and addressed. The questions presented here can give you a start. What are some of the other critical questions you should be asking? Please feel free to post your comments.