Achieving Real Business Value with Hybrid Cloud
As organizations move to the cloud in search of a flexible, efficient information technology (IT) infrastructure, they’re discovering that hybrid cloud is their best option for transforming the enterprise while also meeting business objectives. Hybrid cloud is a solution that combines a private cloud with one or more public cloud services, with proprietary software enabling communication between each distinct service. A hybrid cloud strategy provides businesses with greater flexibility by moving workloads between cloud solutions as needs and costs fluctuate.
Accelerated Digital Transformation
In an accelerated digital business environment, even a minor improvement in speed and efficiency can create competitive advantage. Businesses want to innovate faster, bring more products and services to market sooner, and increase sales with less friction—all at lower cost. This puts pressure on IT to move faster and adapt to changing demands with minimal lead time. Yet IT remains responsible for protecting security and complying with relevant regulatory requirements. Hybrid cloud helps to balance these two conflicting demands: a company’s desire for greater agility, and IT’s need to ensure both that security and data governance are maintained and that the IT infrastructure is under control.
The Benefits of Hybrid Cloud
Many organizations have begun to test the benefits of hybrid cloud with a simple implementation: one application suite, hosted on the vendor’s cloud and connected to the public cloud, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or in a private cloud that is on premises or in a colocation facility. As their cloud migration progresses, though, they may find themselves with 10 or more applications crossing multiple public and private cloud environments. This can be complex to set up. However, if done right, multi-cloud orchestration can deliver exponentially on the promise of hybrid cloud including:
Automation helps to handle individual (and often mundane) IT tasks. Cloud orchestration makes those tasks even faster and more efficient by bundling them into larger optimized workflows across applications.
Cloud orchestration centralizes all automated processes across hybrid cloud, making it easier for in-house IT to reconfigure, upgrade, and expand automated services in less time. It also lowers costs while keeping those services interoperating smoothly.
Improved Visibility and Control
With all cloud services under a single umbrella, a company has more—and ultimately better—tools to monitor, modify, and manage virtual machine (VM) instances, individually and as a whole. This lets IT add and subtract cloud services faster while spotting minor problems before they turn into major business interruptions. All of this requires significantly less time than it would take to manage individual clouds, never mind a traditional IT infrastructure.
A self-service web portal like the Syntax Customer Experience Hub (CxHub) that crosses multiple clouds lets developers choose the cloud services they need and get straight to work. The services are preconfigured and ready to launch so application developers don’t have to wait hours or weeks for an IT infrastructure administrator to help with deployment.
Improved Usage Controls
CxHub enables employees to log in directly to multiple cloud services, enabling the company to automatically calculate the precise amount of cloud resources usage to charge back to each project or department. This is invaluable for budgeting and for building up audit trails for compliance purposes.
In addition to making cloud service use more efficient and therefore less expensive, cloud optimization tools reduce IT infrastructure staffing needs by increasing automation and self-service.
The Security Solution in Hybrid Cloud
Many companies face significant challenges around integrating cloud systems into their business environment, specifically around security and compliance. It is important to ensure that systems in the public cloud have at least the same level of security and compliance as private cloud solutions. To avoid these common security pitfalls in the hybrid cloud, you need to understand how to assess and manage the security of each individual cloud service and hosted application it uses. In addition, you should know how to identify and close the security gaps between applications and clouds. This is best done in these ways:
- Ensure endpoint security and system integrity is enforced regardless of cloud location. It doesn’t matter if your cloud is public or private. Your critical system files and system behavior should be correlated, monitored, and validated in an automatic and efficient way.
- Make sure all your security requirements are fully implemented in the cloud. Mistakes made in the cloud have greater exposure—and opportunity for exploitation by hackers.
- Enhance ongoing monitoring and configuration validations for all cloud assets.
- Control administrative access to your public cloud accounts.
- Tie identity and access management (IAM) services to logins from different devices with different access privileges for different employees. It’s also important to create detailed records for compliance and security audits, especially around who, how, where, and when information is accessed.
Ready to Get Started?
Hybrid cloud is a powerful enabler of digital transformation and business growth, especially for enterprises relying on a managed service partner that really understands them and can integrate multiple cloud services and applications together. Selecting the right partner, asking the right questions, and developing a healthy working relationship is key to a successful hybrid cloud strategy and deployment. Ready to get started?