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Hybrid Cloud – The First Step in Migrating

Are you sizing up cloud services and wondering what value they can bring to your organisation? Many companies are in the process of rolling over IT services and infrastructure to both public and private cloud – to varying success. The success of your plan and rollover hinges on many factors and to run in semi-blindly puts you at risk of sinking lots of money into something that you don’t really need.

One of the best ways to bring down risk in hybrid cloud rollover (after careful evaluation) is by first implementing a hybrid cloud architecture – which is what we’re going to walk you through today.

What is a hybrid cloud?

As the name suggests, a hybrid cloud is a mix of different services. Some of these are your own onsite services, and some are public and/or private cloud.

Onsite services, private cloud, and public cloud: The basics

Onsite services are everything you own and operate within your business. This might be software, networking solutions, and server storage.

Private cloud is (usually) offsite infrastructure that you “own” and manage yourself, say for instance you have a data warehouse with daily backups somewhere that your systems admins take care of. It is all considered “your” infrastructure – even if you are renting it from someone else. It’s a static resource that is dedicated entirely to your business. While the server might be housed alongside servers from other businesses, that one is dedicated to you.

Public cloud refers to conditions where services are shared with other companies, even though you may reserve particular resources for your own use. This is offsite, stored or ran on the public cloud provider’s own infrastructure. Providers include AWS (bonus: our blog on their latest services) and Azure. For instance, if you are running virtual servers, they may or may not be running on a physical server alongside other companies’ virtual servers on the same physical server. Public cloud infrastructure is valued for its elasticity – you only use the resources that you need at a time and can shuffle around to save on costs.

Where to now with your hybrid cloud migration?

The good news is that you likely already have some sort of internal experience with private cloud architecture. The example we mentioned above, where companies send daily data backups to offsite data centres, is common, even for smaller, less tech-advanced companies. So there’s a starting point. You already have onsite plus pretty-much-a-private-cloud, or a cloud-based service.

So you have off-site backups. How are they managed and who does the managing for you? Does your own team look after it, or does an MSP do the work for you?

Now you can take a look at other services that could be run in the cloud. Perhaps you’d like a private VPN between different sites. You can do that with cloud services, without having to host your own VPN server/s. Or how about transferring some of those old records from the 90s that are hogging up server space in the office to cold storage offsite, only retrieved if necessary? That’s easily doable with cloud storage.

Private or public cloud first?

The easiest way to start rolling over to cloud services is to reserve space, or try out private cloud – usually with public cloud providers, if that makes sense. Rather than sharing space and configuring resources, and worrying about all that jazz, if you’re new to the game and just want to try it out, then private is the way to go. This way, you can be assured that everything is safe, secure, and similar to what you already have onsite. Rolling over services like cold storage, that aren’t used often, can be used to test the waters.

Do be aware that private cloud costs can be significantly higher than public cloud costs, so unless your organisation has a very strict data security policy, it isn’t necessary to keep your services on a private cloud. Think of this bit as just the test. From there, you can start exploring public cloud offerings that sit the services you need.

How to get help 

Not everyone has the in-house experience needed to investigate cloud services, rollover current infrastructure and services, and manage these cost effectively on an ongoing basis. That’s where the people at A1 Technologies come in. We’re cloud migration specialists, and can help you through whichever stage of cloud migration you are looking at – and recommend which technologies will best benefit your business through careful cost-benefit analysis. Once implemented, we can train you through how to run them yourself, or you can leave the management side to us, it’s up to you. Reach out for an initial consultation now.

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