Planning Your Hybrid Cloud: 6 Key Steps (part 2) Posted on June 19, 2014 by Tim Burke In my last post I focused on the first two steps in planning for a hybrid cloud: Making sure your IT infrastructure is “cloudified” and assessing your current environment and workloads. In this post, I’ll lay out the final four steps: 3: Understand how your clouds are — or should be — connected Linking private and public clouds raises serious security concerns that have to be anticipated and addressed early in the hybrid cloud planning process. Two key questions should be asked and answered: Will the services we deploy in a public cloud run directly on the Internet? If services can expose their endpoints directly on the Internet, you’ll need to authenticate users who aren’t on your private networks. Will those services require access to data and systems running in your private cloud? If so, you must figure out how to connect those services without compromising your data and networks. 4: Prepare to use new kinds of IT management tools Effective management of a hybrid cloud environment entails unified management — an ability to monitor all workloads and apps across all clouds from a single console that provides data visualization as well as customizable data views without requiring navigation between different tools and/or interfaces. This gives your apps a kind of elasticity that can span multiple clouds and even enable you to pre-define application scale and performance thresholds. Thus when a threshold is exceeded (say, during peak demand), the additional hybrid cloud infrastructure you need gets automatically provisioned. 5: Plan ahead A hybrid cloud environment blurs classic IT boundaries, but it also gives your IT team an important new role —your organization’s cloud broker. The best way to do this efficiently involves new capabilities: on-demand self-service provisioning, shared/pooled resources, broad network access, rapid and elastic resource allocation/de-allocation, and real-time resource metering. With the help of an experienced hybrid cloud partner, you can continually adapt your IT team and environment to respond to changing business conditions and embrace new technologies when they prove useful. 6: Select a hybrid cloud partner I’ll keep this very simple: look for a hybrid cloud partner who brings extensive virtualization, networking, automation, and cloud experience and expertise to the table — and can prove it with appropriate technical certifications. Make sure your partner operates state-of-the-art data centers that are digitally and physically secure as well as disaster-resistant. To avoid lock-in, opt for a partner who works with many vendors across all leading architectures, can deliver cross-cloud consistency and a unified management capability, and is committed to sustaining technical leadership. You want a partner who seeks a long-term relationship with you, understands that your business is unique, and is able to respond with the scalability, flexibility, and customization you require to achieve a cost-effective hybrid cloud environment. Read how Quest’s hybrid cloud solutions can help you achieve this goal.