The Cloud

By Peter Wüst

The future belongs to the hybrid and multi-cloud. But with the rapid proliferation of cloud instances, services and providers, enterprises are suffering from cloud sprawl. In order to see the benefits of cloud computing, enterprises need to regain visibility and control over its cloud computing resources. Data Fabric concepts and Cloud Data Services from NetApp can help enterprises get to grips with their clouds.

Companies should therefore take a structured approach on their path to the cloud. The following seven steps lead to the successful use of cloud computing.

1. Select the cloud deployment model for applications and data

First, it is important to find out which applications are to be used in a specific infrastructure. With consideration of the relevant compliance regulations, it must be determined where certain data will/may be stored. The correct deployment model takes account of the needs of the business and the IT department. Flexibility, security, speed, costs, service levels, and system dependencies are key criteria that play a role.

2. Integrate existing systems

Connecting the existing IT infrastructure with the new cloud services is a major challenge. It is important that the details of the link are understood: What interfaces and protocols will be used? How will the integration be managed? How will data be moved between the two worlds?

3. Fulfill the connection requirements

Hybrid clouds need more than simple network communication: the network connections must fulfill the required service levels and security standards and take account of the availability and disaster recovery requirements.

4. Develop governance policies and service level agreements

The different infrastructures must be subject to a consistent governance framework. The provider must take the different SLAs into account of. An efficient change management system, including communication, must be ensured.

5. Analyze and address security and privacy requirements

The biggest challenges are compliance and data storage requirements. Special care must be taken when moving data between the different infrastructures so that security is guaranteed at all times.

6. Administration of the hybrid cloud

Service management within a hybrid cloud can quickly become a challenge. Due to this, a central management framework that integrates all existing systems and new cloud services is indispensable. All components must provide corresponding APIs and integration points.

7. Plan backup, archiving, and data recovery

A hybrid cloud needs exact planning for backup and disaster recovery. Backups must be monitored precisely as they can soon result in high service costs for the cloud. In addition, data integrity and consistency in the cloud services must be considered. And last but not least, when cloud services are used, the geographical location plays a role with regard to complying with legal regulations