3 Ways to Navigate the Complex Maze of Hybrid Cloud Configurations

By: Josh Rhine

October 10, 2017

Hybrid cloud solutions offer a great deal of promise by blending various cloud infrastructure models, colocation, and on premise into a best-of-everything approach. However, hybrid clouds also create added complexity within the IT configuration, generating management overhead that undermines many of the benefits associated with cloud solutions. Businesses that want to get more out of their hybrid cloud solutions must develop strategies to manage their infrastructure and technologies as effectively as possible.

Three ways organizations can deal with hybrid cloud complexity are:

1. Organize, Coordinate Operations Across Locations

Hybrid cloud configurations often introduce what operates as a data center without walls. In this situation, multiple data center configurations must be integrated and coordinated to ensure data can move freely between apps and services in the various locations.

According to an Informatica report, establishing clear organization and consistent processes is critical as companies work to intermingle multi-cloud solutions and on premise (or legacy) systems. These hybrid environments can be prone to data quality and accuracy issues if the different configurations aren’t orchestrated properly.

This type of cloud management complexity can get overwhelming, but some vendors (you know, the good ones) offer services in which public and hosted private cloud environments (and more) are managed by the service provider. In this setting, the complexity burden is eased for businesses using the cloud, and companies can avoid additional operational overhead and headaches of infrastructure management and support.

2. Understand What You Can Control

Not every cloud provider handles support in the same way and there are varying levels of management offerings from different providers. Service-level agreements and vendor policies can vary substantially, leading to problems ranging from availability issues to cost management. In a CIO report, Gartner analyst Dennis Smith explained that businesses need to manage their clouds just like they would a typical IT configuration.

“A big mistake that many companies make is that they treat, particularly public cloud service, as though it is cable service, where you use it every month and pay a bill at the end of the month,” Smith told the news source. “Many find they’re spending more money than they did before [using their on-premises service]. Public cloud providers aren’t going to tell you there are more efficient ways of using their services. You need to manage it similar to the way you’d manage on-premises infrastructure.”

Cloud providers that emphasize transparency and clear lines of communication can help organizations understand exactly what they expect from their hybrid configuration at any given time.

3. Account For The Network’s Impact On Performance

Hybrid cloud configurations will often feature servers and storage systems spread over multiple locations, frequently across a large geographical area for redundancy and resiliency purposes. This setup can lead to performance degradation if the underlying network systems aren’t able to handle the demands created by moving so much traffic through long-distance WAN systems and data center interconnects.

Imagine you are accessing a file through an app. You are in Boston, the app server is hosted in a New York-based data center, but the file is currently residing in a West Coast facility because your company’s headquarters is there and it has a private cloud environment in a local data center. The app has to send out to that data center across the country to get the information you need, creating significant latency.

Cloud providers with a robust network can overcome these issues by optimizing routing and performance within data center interconnect systems.

At Lume, we offer a combination of geographically distributed data centers to give organizations access to their cloud anytime, anywhere. Our managed hosting solutions eliminate the management challenges associated with hybrid and multi-cloud environments. When combined, our capabilities help businesses get more value out of their cloud solutions by simplifying the management, monitoring, and support requirements of their infrastructure.

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