Hybrid Environment – Gotchas

YASH Blog

Last updated on January 29, 2020

Pravish Jain

Pravish Jain Technical Arichitect

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Introduction

Hybrid cloud environment is one that helps orchestrate between public and private clouds, thereby giving organizations flexibility and increased data deployment options. It employs a computing environment that will be a mix of on-premises private cloud and third-party public cloud services thus allowing workloads to move between public and private clouds.

A gotcha is known to be a valid concept/construct in a system, that is supposed to work as documented. However, it could be counter-intuitive and in all probability could invite mistakes. Therefore, businesses need to know how to avoid potential gotchas by taking proactive measures. Some are listed below.

How to Avoid Gotchas in a Hybrid Cloud Environment

Holistic Approach

Once businesses decide to migrate to a hybrid cloud environment, it is not just a matter of agility, is also important to manage the operations effectively. Therefore, they should be aware of the following and have a holistic approach in order to avoid gotchas and challenges.

  • Migration is not a process of just lifting and shifting data and workloads.
  • You should monitor compliance, security, integration, cost and governance
  • Deployment of resources across multiple cloud platforms
  • To know how work is done, aspects like organizational structure, policies and security are required to be re-evaluated

Plan for Potential Costs

With several organizations lacking cost governance, as they end up buying complex and high-level features such as serverless computing, database and security systems. They don’t analyse which ones they need to pay for, as it offers the flexibility of “pay per usage”. it is one of the major elements to be considered, when investing in cloud technology. Specially to ensure a favourable investment to returns ratio. Which is why, these businesses are urged to oversee:

  • The percentage of cloud services used
  • Departments that are using the technology
  • Cost of the cloud services availed
  • Potential (additional) costs with the new technology

Importance of Skilled Resources

Most businesses tend to assume that once they migrate to cloud technology, the process would be smooth; however, that is not the case. It is possible that with the new technology, new skills may need to be added.

If people with cloud architecture backgrounds (who are in high demand) are not hired in businesses and teams that work on cloud technology, resultant productivity and costs becomes a major issue. While the pay for such skilled individuals is quite high, not hiring or hesitation in hiring these skilled individuals is becoming problematic for businesses that want to leverage cloud technology.

Businesses Should Have Control Over Security

Businesses, irrespective of their size, have security as their number one concern. Once the data migration implementation is completed, they would need to analyse and assess their own security.

Businesses assume that once public cloud vendors provide controls and security for their data, they need not oversee/monitor the cloud operations. However, they need to be aware that a large percentage of control like the configuration and design of their cloud would still need to be with them.

Organizations wanting to host confidential data would not only need to have control over the security, but may also need to have their own network connectivity additionally and for backup.

Monitoring through Encryption and Authentication

When availing cloud services, businesses need to make sure that the vendor has the required encryption level for the data on the cloud, so it’s not susceptible to any hacking/attacks. In other words, data should not be in a plaintext format, as it would be vulnerable. A few other examples of data being prone to attack are:

  • Ineffective policy for user behaviour – Usage of weak cloud service passwords, not changing the passwords frequently or re-use of passwords
  • Leaving the data monitoring activity entirely to the cloud vendor
  • Being completely dependant on the cloud vendor alone to monitor data
  • Organizations in the regulated industry are susceptible to being barred. For example: few cloud vendors may provide logging or monitoring mechanisms for a single tenant. This is a security risk for enterprises with full auditing capability, as it may result in noncompliance of regulations.

Data Back-Up

More often than not, data back-up could mean everything. Which is why, relying completely on the cloud vendor through and through for backup would be a huge risk. In case of a shutdown or lapse in service due to physical/natural catastrophe like fire or floods, the enterprise will have no access to backup. Restoring in such situations could be extremely costly. Therefore, these steps are necessary:

  • Be well aware of or ask to see the disaster recovery plans
  • Important enterprise applications should be moved to contractual, private clouds

Avoid cloud gotchas through due diligence

Some of the steps businesses have to take to ensure due diligence, when it comes to cloud management are:

  • Gain the required knowledge by keeping themselves updated through reading on the topic (via print medium – books, articles, online reading)
  • Seek necessary advice from the cloud service provider proactively, for smooth cloud operations
  • When changes are required to be made in the cloud environment, organizations should be well aware and prepared in advanced
  • With several options available for legacy applications, various noncore capabilities can be substituted by cloud-native SaaS alternatives, thereby having a holistic strategy for the cloud and more specifically individual applications.
  • Ensure that the SLAs or service level agreements clearly guarantee:
    • Proper encryption when on public internet.
    • Steps to be taken during a lapse or outage in service
    • Vendor’s compliance with government regulation

How to get started

Migrating to or adopting cloud solutions should not be treated as a simple IT adjustment, as it does not guarantee business value. The best way is to think of the results first and then work backwards. A proactive approach to cloud services is much needed, so organizations can avoid gotchas. One of the key factors is coordination of cloud procurement with end business users through effective cloud management solutions, so that businesses and teams do not enter into a hybrid cloud environment haphazardly.

YASH offers expertise in agile cloud management solutions. We will help you provision connections, deploy, test, monitor and manage the cloud environment, by avoiding any public internet risk or congestion. This will be irrespective of where it needs to be deployed from (worldwide deployments) or the workload required.

Partner with us today, for a secure and effective multi-cloud management solutions.

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