Embarking on Your

Cloud Journey

Defining the Cloud

The cloud can be a confusing place. In order to understand where your data and applications should live and how you can access it, you must first understand what public, private and hybrid cloud deployment models are.

Public Cloud

Public Cloud

Public clouds are based on shared physical hardware which is owned and managed by
third-party service providers. Users benefit from economies of scale because infrastructure costs are spread across all users, allowing each to operate on a low-cost, “pay-as-you-go” model.

 

Private Cloud

Private Cloud

A private cloud is a platform exclusively built and dedicated to your business. The private cloud delivers most of the agility and efficiency of the public cloud, but provides greater levels of control over security and management, making it ideal for larger businesses or those with strict data, regulation and governance requirements.

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud allows organizations to operate in a mixed deployment architecture. Applications can be matched to the environment best suited for their needs, and workloads can move between environments depending on business concerns such as testing and disaster recovery requirements.

Hybrid Cloud is Booming

Cloud computing isn’t going anywhere. In fact, there are more cloud platforms, services and environments every day, giving today’s organization a myriad of choices. As the cloud has evolved, we’ve seen many organizations go from private to public and now hybrid cloud solutions.

The RightScale 2016 State of the Cloud Survey shows that hybrid cloud adoption has now hit its stride. The strong growth in the use of private cloud, combined with the ubiquity of public cloud means that the majority of organizations are now operating in a hybrid environment.

Since hybrid cloud leverages both private and public cloud resources, there are many benefits to be reaped...

Secure data and applications

As businesses grow and change, IT constantly struggles to stay ahead of security and compliance issues. Hybrid clouds enable IT to leverage cloud provider expertise, infrastructure and processes to ensure critical applications and services remain patched, secure and compliant.

Manage Shadow IT

Going the hybrid cloud route ensures IT can quickly and efficiently address the needs of business units. Many IT departments have a broker of services that users access dynamically on demand using a self-service model to minimize Shadow IT. Consequently, business units consider IT a partner, not a hurdle to bypass in order to get work done.

Achieve scalability

Hybrid clouds allow IT to scale to capacity as needed and handle peak loads and seasonal variations, and just as easily decrease capacity (and costs) when demand is lower.

Cut costs

IT is often tasked with competing mandates to provide more, better, faster service at reduced costs. Moving to hybrid cloud helps both shorten time to market and reduce expenses by offloading new, expensive workloads to the cloud.

Maintain control

With hybrid cloud, IT can manage and maintain sensitive workloads on-premises, while offloading less-critical applications and services to the cloud. Such flexibility means IT can apply processing power and capacity where needed to deliver consistent security and performance, across even the most distributed organizations.

Ensure performance, reliability and availability

By offloading workloads to the cloud as needed, IT is freed up to focus on more value-added tasks like application development and operational improvement. This ensures IT applications and services maintain the highest performance, reliability and availability, even as the business grows.

Implement new capabilities and innovative technology

Instead of investing in expensive software and infrastructure as technology evolves, hybrid clouds ensure IT can always access the latest technologies and releases in the cloud. In addition, IT can always match the right workload to the right infrastructure, be it on-premises, in the cloud or both.

Hybrid Cloud Use Cases

Challenge:

Bridging the gap between legacy systems and cloud-native workloads

Challenge:

Scalability

Requirements

Challenge:

Dev Ops

Challenge:

Security and Compliance

Challenge:

Delayed time to market

Challenge:

Complexity

Challenge:

High availability and

diaster recovery

Challenge:

Digital transformation initiatives

CHALLENGE

Bridging the gap between legacy systems and cloud-native workloads

SITUATION:

In many organizations, complex lines of application dependency mean that some components of an application can move to the cloud while others, usually those tied to legacy systems, cannot. These legacy systems are hosted on-premises, while other components are moved to the cloud.

 

Traditional ERP and other large-platform business software are often the culprits. They’re key to the business processes; however, the expense associated with fully upgrading and moving these large-platform applications to the cloud is more than they can afford in the current budget. By utilizing a hybrid cloud model to bridge the gap, they can continue to utilize their legacy applications without fully migrating everything to the cloud.

USE CASE:

A large manufacturer has been running their ERP application on-premises for years, fueling the processes required in meeting their tight production deadlines. With the onset of the cloud, many of their other applications are moving to the cloud, and they’re tasked with deciding whether to keep their ERP application on-premises or move it to the cloud. This could be a costly and time-consuming project, and they are leaning towards keeping it onsite. However, to keep pace with their production schedule, they need to integrate their on-premises ERP application with the cloud-based workloads. 

 

Their environment was the perfect fit for a hybrid cloud strategy. They were able to successfully maintain the high performance of their on-premises ERP application while still gaining the scalability and low cost of cloud compute resources.

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CHALLENGE

Scalability requirements

SITUATION:

Enterprises who are growing or experience seasonality spikes, are often challenged by the lack of resources available to increase IT capacity and capabilities within their current infrastructure and their inability to decrease capacity when assets are underutilized.

 

For added scale, nothing beats hybrid cloud.  Hybrid cloud gives you an efficient and cost-effective way to extend your existing IT capabilities. You can respond immediately to dynamic spikes in demand, such as seasonal peaks, without increased capital expense, by allocating cloud resources as needed and releasing them when demand subsides.

USE CASE:

A national retailer has a web based application, they host on-premises, that has the potential for unpredictable spikes or predictable (seasonality) bursts in traffic especially during the holiday season. Unable to scale, they needed a solution that would allow them to exponentially scale their infrastructure in an automated fashion to handle the extra load in a moment’s notice.

 

By leveraging a public cloud deployment, as an extension of their current internal server environment,  they now had access to unlimited resources on demand to scale as the web application requires more compute capacity to accommodate the web traffic. Following the highest peaks in traffic the public cloud deployment can also be reduced just as quickly to ensure the retailer is optimizing costs when the resources are no longer required. They credit their hybrid cloud deployment for allowing them to continue to deliver on their promise to provide a seamless online shopping experience for customers.

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CHALLENGE

Dev Ops

SITUATION:

Quickly coding, testing and distributing applications as needed by the business is what developers strive to do on a day-to-day basis. Because of this, early cloud adopters found success in moving development and testing to the cloud. It’s an easy, fast and cost-effective way to get on-demand capacity for a limited time period. Moving to the present, organizations are finding that hybrid cloud can enable this cost-effectively in secure, internal sandboxes and in public-facing (often open source) environments.

 

In today’s DevOps environment, hybrid cloud can enable collaboration and integration between systems, software libraries, developers and line of business leaders, leading to faster build and deployment timelines and more timely delivery throughout the business.

USE CASE:

A large software developer builds custom applications for their clients, yet some of their clients are not comfortable with their data in the public cloud. But they would like to reduce cost and utilize the cloud, so they decide to utilize the cloud for development and staging environments that do not contain sensitive data. They can easily move the data between the environments in the public cloud and their on-site infrastructure, giving them the ability to ensure their production data is delivered in the most secure offering. This has resulted in reduced hosting costs overall and greater agility and collaboration between the development teams as they can spin up and down their environments very quickly to accommodate business demand.

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CHALLENGE

Security and compliance

SITUATION:

As businesses grow and change, IT constantly struggles to stay ahead of security and compliance issues. Hybrid clouds enable IT to leverage cloud provider expertise, infrastructure and processes to ensure critical applications and services remain patched, secure and compliant.

USE CASE:

An insurance agency has varying needs for privacy, security and complexity, and couldn’t confidently move all of their data to a 100% public cloud environment. They have stringent security and compliance requirements, especially for the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Securing customers’ credit card and other personal information is critical.

 

They opted to manage data security on-premises, and leverage a private cloud to secure highly sensitive customer data and meet their compliance requirements. This decision also provided them with options to add additional layers of security (IPS, SIEM, SOC, Log Management, etc.) not always available in public cloud offerings.

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CHALLENGE

Delayed time to market

SITUATION:

Time spent procuring and provisioning IT infrastructure and/or time spent hiring expertise to manage and maintain your systems extends your time to market for new services.

 

A hybrid cloud allows organizations to decrease the time it takes to provision IT infrastructure, speeding delivery of IT projects that are critical to revenue growth or cost reduction. While a physical server could take days or weeks to procure and provision, a cloud server takes minutes. Faster time to market means faster time to revenue.

USE CASE:

A business unit within a large manufacturing company, needed resources for a new project. They depend on IT to provision those resources. And while IT typically provides compute, network, and storage resources, it was left up to the business unit team to install and configure the software required for the project—a process that can take hours or even days to complete—delaying time to market.

 

In an effort to get to market quicker, the company opted to provision the new resources within a private cloud infrastructure that was already established by a service provider and ready to take on their workloads.As a result, the company was able to speed up the provisioning process, and, as a result, speed time to market by moving to hybrid cloud model for their workloads.

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CHALLENGE

Complexity

SITUATION:

The increasing complexity of servers, storage, and software requires that the customer invest in a highly skilled internal support team.  The day-to-day focus of managing IT operations is cumbersome and shifts focus from more strategic business initiatives.

 

With hybrid cloud, the time your IT staff spends managing and supporting cloud infrastructure is reduced greatly compared to that seen in an on-premises environment. Freeing up your IT resources to focus on more strategic projects that drive value to the business.

USE CASE:

A dental manufacturing company deployed an ERP application on its internal IT infrastructure in hopes to streamline operations and achieve business objectives. However, the increased complexity of the IT environment posed some unexpected support challenges. The company’s internal resources were quickly consumed with keeping the ERP environment running smoothly. The day-to-day maintenance, troubleshooting, patching, and managing of the system taxed internal resources to the point of halting strategic projects. The company’s IT staff did not have the specific application expertise to efficiently manage operational issues or tailor the solution to enhance the benefits for the organization.

 

By moving their ERP application to a cloud service provider, who would host and manage their infrastructure, the company’s IT staff was able to transition away from day-to-day application support and toward strategic projects. They were also able to leverage the service provider as their ERP application expert which enabled the business to reap all the benefits of the ERP platform.

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CHALLENGE

High availability and disaster recovery

SITUATION:

In today’s ever-growing threat environment, organizations can't take chances. To ensure they’re prepared, a disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity (BC) strategy is a must. By utilizing a hybrid cloud approach to DR, on-premises resources can be replicated into the cloud, ensuring recovery of critical data in the event of a disaster.

 

Since most businesses don't have the on-premises resources to support their DR requirements, they turn to cloud vendors to design and implement their DR strategy, which includes customized storage, virtual machine replication and automated failover testing. Hybrid cloud is ideal for DR, as customized capacity requirements and common DR use cases can be built to meet each customer’s specific environment. Hybrid cloud is a real game changer enabling many organizations to develop a viable cost optimized BC/DR strategy previously thought impossible.

USE CASE:

A large ecommerce company maintains critical intellectual property in on-premises and in colocated data centers. Their senior leadership does not support moving this critical data into the public cloud, yet they want to explore possible cloud solutions to decrease spending. When evaluating their DR strategy, they realized that they needed to re-examine it with the cloud in mind to ensure they are completely covered.

 

They decided to replicate the most critical servers  into a public cloud environment, therby providing them geographical resiliency. This will allow them to repurpose hardware currently dedicated to backups of front-line data processing, saving both on DR costs and non-hardware provisioning. They are now maintaining a mirrored database server in the cloud while keeping their other application and caching servers off so that should a disaster occur, they will be able to orchestrate a failover to their DR in the cloud and get the business back online very quickly.

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CHALLENGE

Digital transformation initiatives

SITUATION:

A new study by IDG Research Services provides strong proof that by increasing IT agility, hybrid cloud makes implementing digital business initiatives faster, easier and a less expensive process. The study states that organizations must “think digital” to enhance customer experiences, increase flexibility, drive business opportunities and decrease costs. With 92% of respondents stating that their organization’s competitive strategy calls for digital business initiatives and 90% calling digital business a “top priority” for the next one to three years, the transformative power of digital business is a key driver for IT today.

 

To solve the very real challenges today’s IT leaders face, hybrid cloud has risen to the top. By embracing a hybrid infrastructure that involves two or more delivery models, including a traditional data center, a private cloud, a managed private cloud and a public cloud, a hybrid cloud model creates a path to digital business.

 

Digital transformation enabled by hybrid cloud gives organizations increased agility and reduces cost, which in turn enables investment in digital transformation. Of those surveyed in the IDG study, organizations with a significant number of hybrid cloud workloads are three times more likely than non-adopters to be approaching their digital business and infrastructure readiness goals.

USE CASE:

A national healthcare organization developed a comprehensive digital strategy to support their goals of better patient engagement, more connected devices, and a deeply connected fabric of data that combines social, administrative, and clinical data together in order to gain insight from the new tools of big data. However, they lacked the IT resources and expertise to make it happen due to their time cycles spent on legacy IT maintenance.

 

By leveraging a public cloud service provider, they were able to capitalize on all the work and knowledge of that provider surrounding big data analytics. This also allowed them to free up the resources from legacy IT maintenance, which then allowed them to invest in innovations that improve their business and funded a number of their digital initiatives to support business growth.

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Gartner estimates that by 2020 cloud use will be mostly hybrid.

If your enterprise is looking for more flexibility in balancing the priorities of infrastructure and business, a hybrid cloud approach is most likely the answer. It means you don’t have to choose between on-site and the cloud, but choosing the right technology and partner is critical to your success. OneNeck can help you put the right application on the right cloud at the right time.

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