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Cloud Adoption Journey: Hybrid Or Multi-Cloud

By Kazim Somji, CTO

June 15, 2021

In my last article I explored the business outcomes of a cloud transformation journey. There are many different drivers across the entire business, but there can be several different pathways to transform your business using a cloud strategy. I’d like to start here by exploring one type of journey – a hybrid or multi-cloud solution.

In my next article I’m going to explore a different type of journey using modern container solutions, so it’s worth just briefly outlining both of these journeys.

A hybrid cloud is a type of cloud computing that combines a private cloud (on-premises infrastructure), with a public cloud (computing services offered by third-party providers over the public internet). Hybrid clouds can allow data to move between the different cloud environments and they are now evolving to embrace edge workloads – so some processing is performed without the need for data transfers across the cloud.

But as cloud adoption gets more complex some will require a different strategy. Orchestrated containers to manage pools of workloads in one or more centralized clusters can help you prepare for container integration into centralized operations and your broader cloud strategy.

So let’s explore the first of those journeys – a hybrid or multi-cloud adoption journey.

It’s worth understanding some of the terms first. A hybrid cloud combines your on-premises infrastructure (the private cloud) with public cloud services available from third-party providers on the Internet. When you are using a hybrid deployment model, you gain data and application portability making it possible to move both data and applications between the clouds but for them to also remain unique entities.

Although cloud evangelists will often argue for a 100% public cloud solution, there is sometimes a need to create a hybrid. This might be due to regulatory or related to where specific data, such as personal details of customers, can legally reside. If it breaks data protection legislation for you to process details offshore, then it is likely that you need to plan for a hybrid model.

But it may also just be a performance-related decision. If you require extremely low latency – the delay when accessing and using your data – then you might need to design a hybrid cloud so your data and application’s network requirements are being met.

Transformation to use a hybrid solution can also be a useful way to embrace the emerging use of edge computing and edge workloads. With the Internet of Things (IoT) we are now seeing networks full of sensors and devices that create and consume data – without effective planning bandwidth can become a major issue.

A hybrid and multi-cloud adoption strategy allows all your resources to be spread across your on-premises private cloud, the public cloud, and devices at the edge. When I talk to clients there are some recurring themes that drive companies into this transformation journey, beyond just the latency or regulatory requirements I mentioned earlier.

  • Common view on all systems; companies want to see their present infrastructure all in one place and have clear ideas about how new applications can be included in this infrastructure.
  • Governance; without taking an explicit hybrid approach there is often a difficulty in matching policies and standards across the on-premises systems and the public cloud.
  • Skills; most companies feature a range of skills and these can be augmented with partners, but in general there is a need to ensure that future applications are designed for a hybrid cloud.
  • Security; how to ensure security without a dramatic modification of the existing procedures.

Exploring this hybrid or multi-cloud transformation journey does ensure you can avoid the lock-in of using a single cloud provider and across your entire business there may already be different public clouds in use so a hybrid strategy can help to unify them into a single governance structure.

Application performance can be maximized by using an edge workload strategy and it may even be preferable for your Business Continuity Planning to use more than one cloud provider. It may duplicate some effort, but after the experience of the past year anything that can increase security and resilience may be worth exploring.

Let me know what you think by getting in touch directly via my LinkedIn profile. Follow the WatServ company page on LinkedIn to ensure you never miss our articles and commentary.

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with 1000’s of users connecting from around the world, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.

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