If you’ve migrated to the Cloud, chances are that you’re already using some sort of hybrid cloud as part of your environment. That’s because you’ve realized that hybrid cloud deployments offer the agility you seek, to make the most out of your private and public environments. However, managing a hybrid cloud can be challenging. That’s why it’s critical to have a clear strategy for managing it properly; which begs the question, what should you do about hybrid cloud management? Now, before we go on with the optimal hybrid cloud management approach, let’s discuss what it means; and, why you need it.
What is hybrid cloud management?
To explain what hybrid cloud management is, first, we need to understand the basics of hybrid cloud computing. In brief, a hybrid cloud is a system that can pair different cloud environments with each other. For instance, one — or more — public cloud environment with one — or more — private cloud environment.
Moreover, a hybrid cloud can also connect a legacy system with at least one private cloud, which is, in turn, connected with at least one public cloud. But, what does that mean, on a more practical level? On one hand, it means that a hybrid cloud can significantly increase capacity; on the other hand, it means that it’s a complicated — thus, challenging — system to manage.
That’s where a unified hybrid cloud management approach comes in, to provide a centralized and flexible cloud environment for running the company’s workloads efficiently. This can be supported mainly by using a well-rounded CMP or relevant tools that allow you, as a CTO, to manage, and automate workloads; therefore, operating across on-premise, and public cloud environments with ease.
How is a hybrid cloud different from a multi-cloud?
More often than not, the hybrid cloud term is used interchangeably with that of the multi-cloud; but, they do not refer to the same concept — although they can blend together really well. The hybrid cloud clearly has to do with different infrastructure ownership; while, the multi-cloud is a combination of different public clouds that are operated by different vendors. Put differently, the former is a model that supports privately owned infrastructure, and the latter is a strategy.
Why opt for unified hybrid cloud management?
We’ve seen, so far, that implementing hybrid cloud management practices can help you take control of your environments. Immediately, this allows you to keep a consistent, unified approach, across the various resources and components in your hybrid architecture; hence, offering you a higher level of governance and security along with a single place to collaborate within your organization.
What’s more, with hybrid cloud management, you can track and then minimize cloud expenses — since you don’t need new resources to execute your workloads. Also, don’t forget that hybrid cloud management combines the security of an on-premise data center with the scalability and innovation of the Cloud; offering a competitive head start in a very demanding market.
Other reasons why opt for unified hybrid cloud management, include:
- Offers a central operating system for all environments
- Helps integrate your legacy systems
- Ensures infrastructure efficiency
- Increases team productivity
- Allows you to deploy applications — both web and mobile — at scale, via containers
- Optimizes cloud spend
- Improves compliance, governance, and security
- Supports business goals, like shorter product development cycles and time-to-market, faster application delivery, etc.
5 Hybrid cloud management tips to put to good use, today
While the hybrid cloud offers agility and security, CTOs still struggle to get the best out of the private and public environments combination. That’s because managing workloads and applications — along with standardizing security across private and public infrastructures — presents many challenges. Having a holistic hybrid cloud management strategy in place can help tackle these challenges, while allowing you to achieve both technical and business objectives more effectively; that is, rather than using a public or a private cloud alone.
To that end, we’ve gathered a few tips that will take the hassles the hybrid cloud brings your way out of the equation.
1. Manage security and governance proactively
Whether a company policy or a requisite from your clients (see the SLAs section below), security and governance are of utmost importance. This means that you need to proactively manage these two aspects to make your hybrid cloud work. Identify the security requirements of all your environments and use the right tools to establish a standardized security system.
A unified CMP that can support hybrid cloud management (see the self-service DevOps Cloud Management Platform below), not only offers you the best cloud security and compliance technologies; but can consistently implement them across all environments, as well. Indeed, hybrid cloud management software can enhance the security of your data; and ensure continual uptime. As to the latter, thanks to built-in monitoring, a CMP makes sure that your requirements in security do not affect your system’s performance.
2. Clearly define the SLAs
A Service Level Agreement (SLA), is a contract with your clients, the end-users, that ensures that you can promptly deliver the agreed services. In this regard, SLAs highlight both end-user and business expectations. Therefore, they can serve as guidelines, to define the service expectations that need to be met through your hybrid cloud management approach. Using your private and public cloud resources, within this framework, will achieve high availability and fulfill uptime requirements.
3. Adopt DevOps Automation practices and methodologies
Automation is key to delivering speed, accuracy, reliability, and consistency to your processes. And a hybrid cloud requires automation to leverage the full benefits of DevOps. Besides, automation and DevOps go hand in hand. By automating your processes, while also integrating Agile and DevOps methodologies, you’ll soon see an increase in team productivity, enabling single-click deployments to your hybrid cloud.
4. Use the right tools for your business
If you’re going to manage a hybrid cloud effectively, you’re going to need the right set of tools. Choosing the right hybrid cloud management tools will depend on your company’s unique hybrid architecture.
To give you an idea, there are powerful automation platforms, like Ansible and Terraform, which can also help manage hybrid deployments — as they come with hybrid cloud management capabilities. In addition, running application containers, along with Kubernetes management and orchestration capabilities, will go a long way toward optimizing your hybrid architecture.
In any case, you should have in mind to opt for tools that can cover different management areas such as:
- Security and Compliance
- Application performance
- DevOps, etc.
Although most are designed for different purposes, all the tools you choose should aim to provide the automation you need — to simplify your processes — and help you manage, and even scale, your hybrid cloud.
5. Invest in a self-service DevOps Cloud Management Platform
It’s clear by now that managing a hybrid cloud is much more complicated than it sounds. To remind you, this happens because both private and public clouds have their own physical resources. Certainly, they both manage networking, storage, security, etc., but they do it via different interfaces and in different ways; which, may or may not be compatible. This means that CTOs are called to juggle multiple tasks, at multiple points of action.
A centralized, unified Cloud Management Platform, comes to change all that and simplify hybrid cloud management for you. Providing a single point of action to manage your hybrid cloud — all those different clouds and their components — a CMP instantly makes a huge difference in your daily workload. Hence, do invest in a CMP, and make sure it comes with:
- Self-service DevOps capabilities
- Application monitoring and analytics
- Service catalog
- Unified Inventory
- Configuration management
- Security and compliance
- Team management
To sum up
Hybrid cloud architecture includes different environments and, thus, hybrid cloud management can be a daunting task. Apart from its technical particularities, the hybrid cloud requires an in-depth understanding of security and policies; and, of course, SLAs.
The bad news is that its complexity will likely increase with time; hence, your hybrid cloud management practices need to become more focused and adaptable, every time.
The good news is that there are tools and strategies available to address the complexities of hybrid management; and, streamline operations across different environments.
Furthermore, utilizing a holistic, centralized, and scalable management platform — such as a self-service DevOps CMP — you can easily manage your data in public and private Clouds; and even integrate a variety of other tools and services.
Thankfully, with these powerful hybrid cloud management solutions in your hands, you can reap the benefits of the Cloud, without sacrificing on-premises security and control.