However, companies have always been somewhat reluctant to switch to the hybrid cloud. In fact, most of them don’t even know what this model has to offer in concrete terms.
The hybrid cloud combines services on both a private cloud and a public cloud.
Each of these storage solutions offers specific benefits, but the hybrid cloud must first and foremost meet the company's expectations in terms of security, regulatory compliance and data location, ease of access (if necessary), services purchased in "as-a-Service" mode (e.g.: purchase of Storage as a Service to outsource storage hardware management), outsourcing of physical infrastructure management, possibility of occasionally extending virtual machine resources, etc.
Having established this starting assumption, how do you go about building a winning hybrid cloud strategy?First, by clearly defining your needs and objectives. Because, before launching a multicloud strategy, you need to be aware of the model’s constraints and ensure that it is relevant. But you also need sufficient skills to adopt and maintain it because the hybrid cloud can be complex to implement. The connection between the public and private cloud is of paramount importance. This is why most companies decide to outsource it to specialized partners. In this scenario, you place some of your applications/data on a public cloud because it meets certain requirements (latency, shared platforms, shared resources, etc.). Then, you place everything else on a private cloud, again to meet specific needs (performance, reliability, security, etc.).
You also need to consider applications and databases very carefully, asking yourself what transit times are necessary and acceptable for the applications to work correctly. You also need to define the levels of service you want to deliver to end clients for each application, whether internal or external. This step also involves distributing applications between the public and private clouds based on security and regulatory aspects (GDPR, PSD2, etc.).
What are the limits of the hybrid cloud?
Hybrid clouds have to be continuously monitored and therefore require additional investments, particularly regarding security and connectivity. For example, some solutions allow a public cloud platform (Amazon, Microsoft, etc.) to be connected to the private cloud platform via a private link with a short latency time and without needing to go through Internet. When defining a network strategy, you need to choose the speed of the physical port used to connect to the public cloud, the CSP platform (Cloud Service Provider), its geographical location as well as a redundant solution to guarantee service continuity in the event the main link is broken. The CSP manages the infrastructures from A to Z so you can dedicate your time and business applications to growing your company. This also lets IT teams refocus on other value-added activities without worrying about the operational management of the cloud service.
So the hybrid cloud offers many advantages. But you can benefit from them only if you put in the time needed to set up this new infrastructure properly and if you pair up with appropriate partners and solutions. Although there are plenty of players in France (an innovation hotbed), companies need to learn to sort through them find relevant service providers that respond to their specific needs.
Jérôme Totel is Vice President of Products & Business Development at DATA4.