Are You Ready for Hybrid Cloud Migration? Here's 6 Key Ingredients of a Strong Strategy


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Tuesday, November 8, 2022

What steps must you include in a hybrid cloud migration in order to see the best chances of success?

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Are You Ready for Hybrid Cloud Migration? Here's 6 Key Ingredients of a Strong Strategy
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A hybrid cloud strategy offers many businesses an ideal balance between the flexibility and scalability of public cloud options and the level of customization and control that's only possible with private cloud deployments.

Therefore, it's no wonder that a growing number of businesses are showing interest in these solutions. According to Statista, 80% of organizations are following a hybrid cloud strategy in 2022, while last year, the total global market for the technology was worth $85 billion.

However, while the hybrid cloud offers many benefits, you'll only fully realize them if you approach the project carefully. There are a range of challenges related to hybrid cloud that must be addressed as part of any migration strategy, including security, complexity performance and cost. Overlooking any of these can lead to your migration failing to deliver the results you expect and lead to wasted time and money.

So how can you ensure your hybrid cloud migration meets its objectives and delivers a strong return on investment? Here are six elements you need to have to achieve success.

1. Ensure hybrid cloud is the right option

The first step must be ascertaining whether hybrid cloud is actually the best option for your intended use case. Ask why a hybrid deployment is necessary and whether the same results could be achieved with a solely public or private model - if so, the added complexity of hybrid won't be worth it.

Once you’re sure hybrid is the right route, you need to determine if any applications are actually ready for migration. They will need to function effectively both on-premises and on platforms such as AWS or Microsoft Azure, and if they aren't able to do this - for instance if they rely on legacy technology - you'll need a clear plan for any rebuilding work that will be required.

2. Develop a clear roadmap

When you're satisfied hybrid is the right path, you need to develop a clear roadmap for the project that can be shared and referred back to by all stakeholders. This should include a full list of applications, data and platforms to be migrated and a clear timeline for the process.

Moving everything at once is often a recipe for disaster, while an unplanned migration can lead to duplication or fragmentation as data is spread out across disparate resources. Therefore, the roadmap should also cover exactly where data will reside, how it will be accessed and who is responsible for it.

3. Don't overlook storage

When it comes to data, one critical element of a hybrid cloud strategy is the storage itself. This may often be overlooked or regarded as less important than ensuring applications are cloud-ready, but if you don't pay close attention, it can easily spiral out of control.

Although expenses for cloud data storage may seem small on paper, they can quickly become a major cost drain. Many organizations have a tendency to keep every piece of data they create. To avoid unexpected bills, it's useful to take a multi-tiered approach and move unnecessary data back to local storage.

4. Check your network capabilities

Another factor to consider when combining local and public cloud solutions is your network infrastructure, especially when you're only shifting certain parts of your workloads to the cloud. If you don't have the right connectivity solutions in place, this can result in lag and latent issues that harm performance and customer experience.

There may be a few reasons why your hybrid cloud isn't operating as expected. It could be an issue with the service provider or the quality of your own internet connection, so be sure to test everything before making a decision on a hybrid cloud partner.

5. Plan which pieces to shift

Many applications have multiple components, not all of which may be suited, or even able, to be migrated to the cloud. Look at what can be moved easily, what will require rearchitecturing and what will have to remain on-premises, whether due to legacy technology or for compliance reasons.

When making decisions, time should be a major factor. Automation technology may help you perform 'lift and shift' operations that let you move workloads and applications into the cloud with minimal changes. However, even with these solutions, it could take anything from minutes to even days for a migration to complete. This can be costly, as you'll still be paying for setup time.

6. Identify key metrics to track

Once the migration is complete, you'll need to demonstrate a positive return on investment, so this means monitoring key performance indicators to identify what benefits are being seen - or not, as the case may be. However, you need to think carefully about what you want to achieve and highlight the most relevant metrics to be sure you're getting the full picture,

For example, focusing solely on the bottom line financials may not tell the whole story. Moving an application to a hybrid cloud system may end up costing more money than sticking with on-premise solutions, but if it improves the reliability or performance, this will more than offset any expenses.

Metrics such as the number of helpdesk tickets raised may therefore be an important area to measure - if reported issues drop by 30%, for instance, this is a good sign you're improving efficiency and seeing an overall boost to your cost-benefit analysis.

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