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A Hybrid Cloud Strategy

Chloe Dupuis Published on Dec 10,2019
A Hybrid Cloud Strategy
Deploy the hybrid cloud perfect for your enterprise: Assess, migrate, and collaborate.

The concept

The right combination of on-premises IT infrastructure and cloud services can help any SMB or enterprise meet its efficiency goals. That’s where the hybrid cloud comes in, allowing for more flexibility and deployment options.

On premises systems are typically established by enterprises who have the resources to invest in equipment and infrastructure. These systems are set up on-site and managed by an IT team or an authorized service partner.

Cloud-based systems can be both private and public. While private clouds offer their resources exclusively to one enterprise, public clouds rely on shared hardware, storage, and network devices. Private clouds maintain their service and infrastructure on a private network, with servers, storage, and other cloud resources managed by third-party cloud service providers. Public clouds, on the other hand, are shared between various cloud “tenants” who can access services and manage accounts using a web browser, for instance.

By assessing IT needs, creating a data migration plan, and optimizing collaboration, the ideal hybrid cloud strategy comes together, combining the best of on-premises and cloud services.

The breakdown

Assess the technological needs of the enterprise

A hybrid cloud system is unique to the specific technological needs of an enterprise, which can be assessed along the following criteria:

  1. Data control

    Not all operations require the same level of data control. Those with sensitive information, for example, require stricter control of their data and would benefit from on-premises or private cloud services. Those with fewer security concerns, however, might prefer the public cloud for its lower cost and maintenance requirements.

  1. Resources for investment

    On premises infrastructure requires investment in hardware, software, and network administration. With cloud services, on the other hand, the providers perform the maintenance. As a result, determining the most beneficial combination of on-premises and cloud services often comes down to cost efficiency.

In general, the public cloud best meets high-volume, lower security needs. Private clouds or other on-premises infrastructures are better suited to meet the needs of more sensitive, business-critical operations, such as financial reporting. Optimal efficiency, however, comes with that sweet, tailored combination of the two.

Create a data migration plan

Deploying a hybrid cloud involves migrating data on-premises-to-cloud, or cloud-to-cloud, to achieve that winning combination of services. While cloud service providers typically have their own data transfer models, on premises-to-cloud migrations tend to be more complex, often following two primary data transfer models:

  1. Offline migrations

    Physical storage media, such as portable disk drives, are used to move data and applications to the cloud. Data is transferred using local network connections or connecting storage media directly to the cloud. This allows enterprises to efficiently, securely, and reliably transfer data sets otherwise too large for the public internet.

  1. Online Migrations

    Data and applications are moved using a network such as the public internet or a cloud service provider’s direct connection. The data can be copied directly from local infrastructure to the cloud, incurring no costs associated with external storage media or the physical relocation of data, but leaving room for network safety and reliability concerns.

Simply put, establishing an on-premises to cloud migration plan comes down to how much data an enterprise needs to move, and in what timeframe. As a result, the initial choice of a cloud service provider is key. While many cloud service providers offer competitive pricing for data storage (data in), data restoration (data out) can be expensive, making it important to keep the future cloud-to-cloud data migration needs in mind.

Prepare for collaboration

For a hybrid cloud system to run smoothly, communication between on-premises and cloud services needs to be properly configured to work together seamlessly.

Chief cloud strategy officer at Deloitte Consulting David Linthicum, proposes extensions and middleware as relevant solutions. On-premises public cloud extensions, for example, are proprietary on-premises private clouds that are designed to work with public clouds. They provide on-premises platforms for data and applications that aren’t yet running on the public cloud, but want to be ready to do so. In middleware-connected traditional systems, however, on-premises data and applications are shared with public cloud providers, allowing enterprises to run it all using a single system.

Similarly, “cloud bursting”, proposed by Microsoft Azure, offers the ability to run on private clouds until there is a spike in demand (such as a seasonal promotion for online shopping). The spike then triggers a shift to the public cloud, granting access to more computing resources and meeting that increased demand.

Though there are many solutions to optimal collaboration between on-premises, private, and public cloud services, the objective remains the same: to properly configure communication between all components of a hybrid cloud setup.

The result

By establishing its primary technological needs, an enterprise can plan for efficient migration to the cloud and optimize communication configurations to deploy a hybrid cloud tailored to their operations. A large enterprise can begin moving functions to the cloud while maintaining on-premises infrastructure for sensitive data. Or, a smaller enterprise can shift specific data and applications between private and public clouds as business fluctuates. It’s all a matter of customization.

7Clouds - Contact us today to set up a hybrid cloud strategy tailored to your business.


Chris Tozzi, Choose the right on-premises-to-cloud migration method. July 2019.
David Linthicum, Hybrid cloud is not what it used to be. July 2019.
David Linthicum, Private clouds are dead – but there’s an afterlife. July 2019.
IntegratedIT, Cloud, On Premise or Hybrid Communication. 2019.
Microsoft Azure, What are public, private and hybrid clouds? 2019.
Images: Pixabay

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