Best Practices for Hybrid IT Deployments

Organizations increasingly deploy cloud applications or consume cloud-based application services. They do so to increase awareness of and control over their IT infrastructure.

Many of those same enterprises continue to host applications in their on-premise data centers, due to concerns regarding security, risk, and regulatory compliance obligations.

To achieve and maintain the benefits of cloud applications in a hybrid IT model, on-premise legacy systems should coexist seamlessly with off-premise cloud deployments. Proper integration is achieved with implementation of consistent management and control practices across both cloud deployments and on-premise applications.

Though that may seem daunting, the ODCA offers best practices for smooth adoption and management of hybrid IT deployments.

Potential Roadblocks to Cloud Coexistence

Let’s first take a quick look at challenges associated with the adopting a hybrid cloud model, most notably issues resulting from cloud applications duplicating and overlapping the existing systems.

Problems with poorly integrated hybrid cloud implementations

  • Increased management complexity
  • Duplicated security and governance processes
  • Inconsistent data management
  • Reduced system functionality

To avoid these pitfalls, organizations need a clear understanding of the cloud service they adopt. Only then can governance controls and management processes be refined to accommodate cloud services in the existing system.

The ODCA Approach to Hybrid IT Deployments

The ODCA recommends a layered approach to hybrid cloud adoption, one that considers people, process, information, and technology aspects.

Service Management Layer

Let’s break down the elements of service management. There is a lot to consider here, including:

  • At the strategy level, identify consistent, enterprise-wide policies with which to govern and procure systems.
  • Design with a focus on flexibility and adaptability.
  • When the point of transition is reached, consider whether a traditional bottom-up or innovative top-down approach best suits your organization.
  • Understand the structure and account hierarchy of each cloud system or service so that each can be mapped appropriately within the enterprise environment.
  • Integrate a structured and rigorous change management process with well-defined responsibilities.

Enterprises should identify a dedicated team responsible for each element of the service management layer. Choose subject matter experts capable of integrating and testing of cloud-based services for compatibility with the enterprise systems and operations.

For more details on best practices for each component of the service layer, visit our resource center.

Technology Layer

At the technology layer, it is critical to understand that all capabilities provided in and accessed from the cloud must be available only through well-defined APIs. Once that is established, focus will shift to asset and configuration management—considering inclusion of an asset management tool in the enterprise architecture and ensuring version compatibility prior to adoption.

In addition, organizations must plan to manage the technology layer in key areas including:

  • Licensing
  • Compliance
  • Security
  • Penetration testing

Hybrid cloud deployments can deliver significant advantages to an enterprise, but diligence is needed to retain control of those services without causing disruption to existing systems. For a real-world example of cloud adoption, take a look at this presentation illustrating cloud innovation at UBS.

The ODCA offers substantial resources to enterprises interested in migrating some or all of their systems to the cloud. For more on best practices for hybrid cloud deployments, read our white paper offering detailed information on the subject.

Consider the Cloud Maturity Model

Services should not be adopted just for the sake of adoption. The ODCA Cloud Maturity Model (CMM) provides the tools to evaluate where you are and where you want to be. With this road map, an organization can identify where to focus their cloud adoption efforts.

Join the ODCA,  Shape Future of Hybrid IT and Cloud

Both IT professionals and solution providers can enjoy the benefits of ODCA membership. Learn how you can shape the direction of the open data center.

Attend Forecast2016, June 28-29 in Seattle, Washington

The Open Data Center Alliance welcomes you to join our members at Forecast2016™ in Seattle, Washington. This conference brings together a global community of professionals invested in unlocking the power of cloud computing. Attendees get world-class content, workshops, practical tools and networking focused on accelerating delivery of value from cloud investments. Register today.

Learn best-practices to adopt and worst-practices to avoid from those who have paved the way. With the combination of visionary keynote presentations, case studies, panel sessions and interactive workshops, conference participants can return to their jobs with actionable strategies and roadmaps based on tested, operational successes from leading enterprise IT organizations.

Topics address emerging challenges and opportunities facing enterprises around cloud deployments, including:

  • Managing Hybrid Cloud
  • DevOps: Enabling Cloud
  • IoT
  • SDN/NFV/SDDC/SDC
  • Accelerating Speed to Value with Cloud Investments
  • Applying the ODCA’s Cloud Maturity Model