More and more businesses are beginning to realise the benefits of embracing the cloud. But what are the best practices for moving to a hybrid infrastructure?

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    Cloud-based solutions, such as Office 365, allow today’s organisations to improve IT efficiency and reduce costs, but fully understanding everything it entails and its impact on a business can be difficult.

    The phrase “hybrid” can seem complex and lead to concern that implementing a hybrid infrastructure will add more workload to IT teams or that a business lacks the resources needed to support a cloud-based system. The cloud has innovated processes for enterprises in every sector, but to understand its benefits, it’s first important to understand how to manage a hybrid infrastructure efficiently. 

    Get to Grips with What a Hybrid Infrastructure Manages

    Despite being so crucial, many businesses establish cloud hybrid infrastructure strategies without understanding the profiles of the workloads running on both private and public clouds.

    Your IT department needs to understand the applications in your network and the access that is required. They should also know what these applications do, including how they interact with the end-users, how they handle networking, performance and security patterns and how data is managed.

    If you want to implement a hybrid infrastructure but lack the know-how or resources to do so, your best bet is to seek the assistance of an IT professional. Fortunately for you, our team can make your move to the cloud a hassle-free and cost-effective process and deliver the perfect service to suit your needs.

    Familiarise Yourself with Security and Governance

    Security and governance are crucial requirements for business and may be supported by your company’s senior management or by a service level agreement (SLA) with your customers.

    This means your IT department must proactively manage security to ensure that security requirements are met. IT managers may also leverage new mechanisms such as IAM (Identity and Access Management), which allows you to assign identities to data, people, servers and devices to establish what can be accessed and when.

    When managing a hybrid infrastructure, it’s vital to understand its impact on certain issues:

    • Security and performance: When you store or encrypt information, or have data “in flight” (moving over the network), you risk decreasing overall performance. This needs to be understood, monitored and managed effectively.
    • Policy management: Governance dictates that policies should be written and enforced. The enforcement of these policies must be understood by anyone who manages the hybrid infrastructure to ensure they do not conflict or hinder operations.


    Choosing the Right Cloud Model

    Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) are the cloud models typically available to you. Each of these models has its pros and cons, which will depend on your specific requirements. At ITRM, we ensure that you adopt the cloud model that is best suited to your needs.

    ITRM is a gold-standard partner of Microsoft, which means we can seamlessly move you onto the Azure cloud platform and cloud-related apps, including Office 365. We will do this ahead of implementation and ensure that every variable is established and considered.

    Knowing Your SLAs

    A Service Level Agreement is a contract between cloud providers and end-users outlining a minimum provision of services. IT departments must familiarise themselves with the terms of these agreements to ensure they are getting the best possible service at all times.

    Generally speaking, the terms of an SLA also need to be defined at a management level. SLAs don’t just involve a baseline of high performance for the end-user — they also involve providing a level of performance that meets specific needs and expectations.

    Understand the Cloud Tools Available

    It’s not uncommon for people who manage hybrid clouds to rely on a small number of management tools. However, they should regularly review the needs of their business and adopt new relevant tools at their disposal, whether that’s for API management, cloud management, resource management, security management, performance management, DevOps management or network management.

    Hybrid infrastructures can be remarkably complex. IT professionals must consider how their applications and platforms communicate to guarantee optimal performance.

    Comprehensively reviewing the way data is captured, analysed, stored and retrieved allows you to build a hybrid infrastructure that not only meets your current needs but is also capable of adjusting to your evolving demands. Performance monitoring tools help you modernise your infrastructure, allowing you to access the cloud quicker and more efficiently. In doing so, IT managers will spend less time monitoring and more time optimising their environment for future growth.

    Are you looking to implement a hybrid infrastructure to enhance your business?

    Get in touch today to discuss your IT needs with a member of our specialist team.

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