What you need to know about a hybrid cloud model

1 Dec 2020

John Stone. Image: Interxion

A hybrid cloud model is being widely discussed as the way forward in data storage. But what do businesses need to think about when switching?

As digital transformation continues to accelerate, the way we store data is likely to change. While it’s not a new concept, the hybrid cloud model is being discussed much more widely during the Covid-19 pandemic as moving away from physical storage is growing alongside the remote working revolution.

Earlier this year, Interxion Ireland and Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced a new cloud experience, which aims to provide a private cloud economic model with the connectivity and network options to make hybrid and multi-cloud a reality.

John Stone is a senior consultant for Interxion with a focus on assisting businesses with the adoption of co-location services and multi-cloud architectures. He told Siliconrepublic.com that the hybrid cloud option is best for businesses that want flexibility in terms of how they consume different cloud services.

“Public cloud is the right answer for a lot of workloads, but not the right answer for all workloads,” he said.

“Also the competitive nature of the public cloud providers means that customers should be taking advantage of this competitive environment. Having a strategy to go with a single provider is not a good strategy as different providers have differentiated offerings that may be technically or cost beneficial for the customer’s business.”

If business leaders decide to migrate to a hybrid cloud model, Stone said the main challenges can vary but can also be minimised with proper forward planning.

“An old carpentry saying is very relevant here, ‘Measure twice and cut once’. These challenges include customer workload evaluation as to the appropriateness for their move to cloud, cost, compliance, regulation and ongoing workload management.”

What leaders need to think about

He added that leaders should first consider whether an application can be run in the cloud or can be moved to the cloud with minimal re-engineering. “If not, then what is the cost to redevelop, test, deploy and roll out?”

Next, it’s important to factor in the potential disruption, downtime, retraining and customer support costs. Then consider security and data compliance requirements when it comes to where and how data will be stored.

“Is it easier to keep in-house while utilising the benefits of cloud services for business continuity and back-up? Is this a more appropriate strategy for applications that fit this profile?”

Stone added that business leaders should also consider the ongoing costs of public cloud options compared to a utility-based private cloud model. “Ultimately, the question is why would you want to choose one over another when you can have both and have the flexibility to flex based on what is right for the business?”

He noted that customers can mitigate the risks that come with making such a migration by deploying a ‘pay-as-you-go’ option within co-location data centres.

“The addition of a private cloud within co-location as part of a customer’s overall IT strategy allows workloads, which need to remain within a private cloud, to reside within a co-location-based private cloud with high speed competitivity,” he said.

“When it comes to security, the blend of hosted private cloud and public cloud allows customers to keep sensitive data, intellectual property or data subject to compliance, within a secure private environment, again mitigating risk for high-value data assets.”

John Stone will be speaking at an Interxion webinar entitled ‘De-risk your migration to a hybrid cloud solution’ on Tuesday, 8 December. You can register for the event here.

Jenny Darmody is the editor of Silicon Republic