Optimizing Your Hybrid Cloud

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Community Manager

Research conducted by Microsoft found that 81% of IT Pros interviewed were currently deploying a hybrid cloud model and a recent study estimated that hybrid cloud spending will grow 22.5% annually through 2021. A hybrid cloud solution can be beneficial, as it allows companies to retain control of their IT environments while sending non-mission critical workloads to the public cloud for flexibility and scalability.

 

Whether a hybrid-cloud approach is your long-term strategy or a transition step as you migrate to a cloud-first strategy, here are four steps you can take to optimize your hybrid cloud:

 

1. Control cloud sprawl

Cloud sprawl occurs when organizations spin up new cloud resources that they may not need, thereby driving up costs. This is especially challenging in hybrid cloud environments where private and public cloud environments are often treated as separate entities. This can be countered by fully understanding network requirements, using the smallest possible number of server and VM configurations and controlling access. Organizationally, assigning an individual or team to manage across cloud environments can help increase visibility and prevent cloud sprawl.

 

2. Identify poorly used servers

Use monitoring tools to understand usage and performance across all servers. Underutilized servers are often abandoned because of budget cuts, project cancellations, reorganizations, or obsolete hardware. Underutilized servers that are on-premises are prime candidates to move to the cloud—where the elasticity benefits allow us to correctly size them to their business value, upgrade them to the latest CPUs, or turn them off during hours when they’re not in use. Another consideration to avoid poorly using servers is to consolidate storage prior to virtualizing it. Rather than just shifting everything over to the cloud, it is important to understand and map out the actual storage capabilities required.

 

3.Build in flexibility…

Many organizations plan their capacity based on median usage. However, during peak times, this median capacity cannot support optimal speed and performance. Monitoring cloud usage can help businesses respond to fluctuations in requirements and proactively respond to business needs. Building in flexibility can also help optimize cloud spending and improve the dynamic movement of workloads, as the capacity can vary with demand.

 

4. But standardize where possible

The complexity of hybrid clouds is one of the most challenging aspects to managing data and ensuring security across multiple environments. By driving standardization at an organizational level, resources can be more easily pooled and software patching and governance becomes more manageable. Another way to standardize is to limit the number of IT services provided. Creating a more standard environment where infrastructure is repeatable rather than customized and diverse can allow for more control and control spend. As identified in the hybrid cloud research done by Microsoft, unified management is the top priority for organizations with hybrid cloud solutions.

 

Want more resources on hybrid clouds? Check out the below links for more information:

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For a more detailed hybrid resource - check out the Hybrid Cloud Scenarios with SharePoint and Office 365, which covers details around configuring one or more hybrid workloads.