How Early Adopters Are Using Hybrid Clouds Effectively
The Hybrid Cloud is still a relatively new concept, and in many cases companies are going through growing pains as they understand how to best take advantage of the opportunities that Hybrid clouds offer.
“What do we put in hosted cloud and what do we keep internal?” is a common question, followed quickly by “how do we get all environments to work effectively together?” and “how can we be sure of security and compliance?”
The best answers to these are simply to look at how others are making innovative use of the Hybrid Cloud. Below are three examples that we think make compelling use cases for the technology, as it begins to move past that early adopter stage:
1) Hybrid Clouds to manage application performance
Organisations are faced with ever-increasing numbers of applications and services to manage. Requirements for additional applications to fulfil new business processes stretch the ability of on premise equipment to provide existing services whilst adding capacity can be problematic.
Hybrid Cloud solutions allow organisations to deploy applications easily in either their on premise or cloud environments through a single control panel. This gives IT the flexibility to immediately meet business needs without lengthy projects to increase capacity. Applications can be deployed through standardized templates in the cloud and migrated to on premise equipment.
If capacity is an issue in on premise equipment, non-critical workloads can be migrated to the cloud service and the additional capacity freed up can be allocated to critical workloads such as ERP, CRM or Mail services. This allows organisations to balance the costs associated with deploying new infrastructure versus deploying in a cloud environment.
Most organisations have disaster recovery plans in place to address failure of their on premise equipment. This can vary from restoring from backup tapes to duplicating infrastructure in a separate datacenter owned by that organization. Often these are difficult to test due to insufficient hardware, storage space, or time constraints.
Hybrid Cloud mobility through replication allows organisations to address the on-going requirements of keep systems working through a disaster whilst still leveraging their investment in on-premise equipment. Utilising systems that are copied continuously into a Hybrid Cloud allows point in time recovery of applications and servers whilst providing capacity to test these services at any time.
3) Hybrid Clouds assist with deploying applications
Deploying new applications into an organisation can be a time-consuming process. Investigating the best practice deployment, integration points and other tasks can take weeks or months to complete. Building a test environment that has some application value also takes more effort on top of this.
Hybrid Cloud brings standardization of these sort of deployments and allows organisations to rapidly deploy best-practice environments for line of business applications. Once deployed and tested, they can be migrated to organisations on-premise equipment or scaled out to production levels within the cloud environment.
This gives the organization all the benefits of the application in a much more rapid fashion than researching, building, deploying and testing application workloads themselves.
4) Hybrid Clouds assist with managing peak loads
Many organisations are utilising the cloud resource to scale up during temporary periods of peak loading, rather than spending big on new equipment that then becomes under utilisied or switched off once the peak load eases.
For a good example of this at work, consider the retail industry around Christmas. Websites become clogged with traffic (and even the country’s largest retailers such as Myer were overloaded in the 2013 Christmas period – Australia’s desire to spend big was strong this year! http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-01-02/myer-website-back-up-a-week-after-crash/5182200), the stores themselves become incredibly busy, and an excess of staff is operating more registers, computers, and mobile devices concurrently than usual.
The successful retailers over Christmas were using hybrid clouds to increase capacity without an excess of CapEx spending. The other side of the coin is that now they’re able to also scale back the investment as the retailer enters what is traditionally a quiet period of sales, and is able to run a lean and mean IT machine that doesn’t have wasted or redundant technology chewing up IT budgets.