Analysts’ research indicate massive adoption of Hybrid Cloud (Gartner, IDC) by 2020 as the cost of cloud, hosting, and traditional infrastructure services are at par while providing new levers for cost optimization and efficiency. Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) are also clearly drawing out aggressive plans to support comprehensive enterprise hybrid cloud adoption; IBM’s $33 Billion acquisition of Red Hat, Google’s Cloud Service Platform rollout plan, Microsoft’s expansion of Azure Stack to support more third parties and disconnected environments, and AWS’ Outposts are a few that made headlines. However, while delivering IT services in a hybrid environment sourced from multiple vendors, complexity increases many folds. Obviously, one cannot think of every possible IT ramification of this added complexity. But, these 11 interesting dimensions deserve special attention:
1. Stay ahead of the technology curve: It is important to have an in-depth knowledge of a myriad of technologies that underpins the various aspects of hybrid cloud management to choose the best fit solution that maximizes business benefits through smart investments.
2. Establish a reference architecture: Most vendors prescribe a reference architecture and associated configurations and accelerators that not only implement best practices but also make it easy to setup the foundations quickly and efficiently.
3. Define multi cloud strategy: Choosing appropriate cloud platform depends on many variables such as cost, security and regulatory concerns, technology foot print, specialty hardware, latency, past investments, organization unit specific policy, etc,. For example, mission-critical workloads can be designated for private cloud and hyper-scale workloads can move to public clouds. Additionally, having multiple vendors at bay and splitting computing workloads is also considered as an essential hedge against a vendor from a price point and avoiding lock-in scenarios.
4. Brace for handling complexity: While several pathways, such as 5-6-7Rs are defined to onboard applications to hybrid cloud, there are no silver bullets that guarantee this process to be seamless. It requires frequent retooling, and artisanal modernization effort to take full advantage of a hybrid cloud platform.
5. Plan disaster recovery and business continuity: Implementing an on-premise environment for disaster recovery (DR) or business continuity is a very expensive proposition. Hybrid cloud can enable on-premises data center fail over to cloud in the case of a disaster and is often much more affordable. It also provides larger geographic separation from primary site and therefore, a remote possibility of the alternate infrastructure to be affected at the same time.
6. Implement cloud bursting: Hybrid cloud provides the ideal platform for cloud bursting where in an application running on-premise or private cloud can burst into a public cloud in the event of a demand spike.
7. Leverage automation and intelligence: Not only cloud platforms offer extremely high automation propensity starting from provisioning, deployment, and application performance monitoring, but also provide artificial intelligence (AI) platforms that drive further optimization of cost and efficiency.
8. Adopt agile: There are no surprises here. Tailor agile manifesto for your company’s leaders—both the C-suite and the board.
9. Choose an appropriate tool for hybrid cloud management: One of the core capabilities for hybrid cloud implementation is the adoption of a hybrid cloud management tool that provides a consistent user experience across multiple cloud platforms and monitoring.
10. Plan for workload mobility: Enterprises must be able move workloads between clouds to improve efficiency and flexibility. So, implementing tools that allow bytes or stream level replication between workloads and keep a real-time replica ready to be switched to when needed is a necessity for most.
11. Prepare for an ecosystem play – Gartner Predicts, by 2022, leading CSPs will predominantly offer platform services addressing the needs of business ecosystems rather than of individual companies and integral ecosystem optimization will become the new normal. Hybrid cloud implementation by organizations will greatly benefit them to become an integral part of this ecosystem.
Hybrid cloud is becoming the de facto norm, and adoption is a complex process. An ecosystem of trusted partners, established processes, offerings, and solutions for cloud adoption around infrastructure, applications and data, can enable business become agile, competitive, and create new customer experiences with a vision for the future by driving efficiencies and predictable outcomes.
For more information on TCS’ more than 200 successful cloud migration experiences and hybrid cloud solutions please visit the TCS website.
About the author(s)
Siddhartha Ghosal heads the Architecture Practice with TCS Cloud Apps, API, and Microservices. In this role, he drives enterprise architecture for strategic and complex engagements by bringing in thought leadership and TCS experiences from different projects. Siddhartha takes pride solving complex business problems as customers embark on their digital transformation journey into next-gen application modernization and integration service offerings on cloud.