Capitalize on the Benefits of Hybrid Cloud
The transition to cloud computing can’t happen overnight.
There’s a common misconception that “moving to the cloud” means you’re all in – one day you’re on-premise and the next day your entire infrastructure is in the cloud. The reality is that most businesses already have an existing infrastructure that they need to take into consideration first. A lot of businesses are making the move to the cloud this year, but most are choosing a hybrid approach to ease in the shift.
Before you migrate all of your current applications and data to the cloud, you need to consider everything from regulatory issues to leases you’re locked into for on-premise (or datacenter hosted) equipment. If you’ve already made a significant investment into hardware, you need to be practical and take an approach where you don’t lose money.
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Your business can benefit from a hybrid approach because:
- It’s more cost effective than trying to transition to the cloud your entire business at once
- You have the opportunity to experience cloud slowly, so you and your employees have time to adjust to any changes
- You can take advantage of the faster performance and business process automation to improve operational efficiency
- Using this approach will help you securely add capacity and continue to grow your business
This is why 89 percent of enterprises surveyed by Forbes have a hybrid cloud strategy, up from 74 percent in 2014!
So, what exactly is a hybrid cloud strategy?
A hybrid cloud strategy is a way that you can gradually move to the cloud with proper controls. By extending your on-premise environment and deploying services in the cloud, you can prioritize what applications get moved to the cloud, ensuring your data is always secure. By allowing workloads to move between private and public clouds as computing needs and costs change, hybrid cloud gives businesses greater flexibility and more data deployment options.
It’s also a good way to help your staff and end-users adapt to the cloud. With a well-planned hybrid cloud strategy, they can start using functionality in the cloud and begin to leverage the performance, flexibility, and other benefits that come with it. Using this approach allows you to treat your environment as if it were an extension of your on-premise environment – no different from a remote site. You can take advantage of resources in the cloud, such as provisioning new machines, migrating resources, and setting up backup and recovery options.
Getting Started with Hybrid Cloud on Azure
If you choose to move forward with a hybrid cloud strategy, you are choosing to not be fully in the cloud and to not be fully in-house either. There are times when you should stick with on-premises and there are times when you should consider moving to the cloud. To run some applications internally requires a fair amount of storage and effort, including HR systems, corporate email and disaster recovery. In fact, it’s usually quite a bit cheaper to handle these applications in the cloud than paying for on premise space.
At the end of the day, you still want your system to act as a single entity. Although your system might be spread between locations, providers and technology, you can choose a provider and platform to unify some of the elements. At Rand Group, we recommend using Microsoft Azure because we use it ourselves. Azure can be used to extend your on premise server infrastructure for purposes of backup and recovery, failover from hardware issues, or expanding your domain in a way that makes it fast and easy to provision new virtual machines.
For more information on how to create a hybrid cloud environment with Azure, read this detailed blog post.
Start the Shift Today
93 percent of organizations surveyed by Forbes are running applications or experimentation with infrastructure as-a-service today. Once you have decided to make the move, the next decision is deciding what cloud combination works best for you and your business processes. It’s important to remember that not everything you are running might be intended for the cloud. The best thing you can do is to start asking questions and understand your cloud options.
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At Rand Group, we have worked with businesses of all sizes and requirements. Every client has different needs so we work with you to evaluate your current infrastructure, identify cloud hybrid strategies that are best suited for your business, and to plan for the future – where you may or may not move everything to the cloud. Contact our infrastructure team and start capitalizing on the cloud!
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