Hybrid cloud solution requires planning

April 24, 2012

When considering a move to the cloud, organizations must consider what architecture best suits its computing and storage needs: a private, public or hybrid cloud configuration. A private cloud offers the greatest degree of security while a public cloud is the most scalable and ideal for sharing information between groups.

As many organizations have come to realize, a hybrid cloud is often the ideal solution. As the name suggests, this configuration combines elements of both the private and public cloud. This allows organizations to use a private option for particularly sensitive information and the public cloud for data that must be easily accessible.

In the more complex versions of this setup, organizations can transfer files from a private to public cloud and vice-versa as needed, which allows them to customize their configurations to maximize efficiency as their businesses adapt and grow.

A complex arrangement
However, achieving a successful next-level hybrid cloud architecture can be challening. Without the proper foresight and understanding, it is possible that data will wind up on the undesired network, or transference can be more difficult than desire.

Beth Stackpole, writing for InformationWeek, recently shared several tips to help organizations set up these types of configurations.

Awareness and organization are key
One of Stackpole's leading recommendation is that organizations carefully consider their own existing IT architecture and application needs. It may seem self-evident that some operations should be private and others public, but sometimes counterintuitive arrangements may be preferable. For example, Michael Crandell, CEO of RightScale, indicated that while a company will likely want to perform research and development on a private cloud and release the final product on a public cloud, it is also possible that the reverse case might be preferable in certain instances. Only careful consideration can determine the best decision for a given company.

Additionally, Stackpole stresses the importance of careful organization, particularly in regard to IT departments. IT professionals often specialize in very specific areas, such as virtualization or servers and backup, but a hybrid cloud configuration will incorporate elements of these and other specific skill sets. Consequently, any company considering this arrangement will need to organize and train its IT department to handle these varying challenges, as well as any others that may arise in the future.

-McAfee Cloud Security