Best practices for hybrid clouds
By Mark Micallef September 25, 2013
- Hybrid cloud enables enterprises to increase ROI on existing IT investments while providing agility and scalability
- Transparent bridge needed to allow cloud apps to appear as though they are running on the enterprise network
ACCORDING to a cloud computing study by Tata Consultancy Services last year, the use of cloud applications in Asia Pacific is expected to peak at 50% in 2014, higher than Europe’s usage of 24%, and 34% in America.
Now, more enterprises in Asia Pacific are seriously considering the use of hybrid clouds in order to achieve maximum benefit from their cloud infrastructure.
Hybrid cloud strategies are a combination of public and private cloud services, enabling enterprises to increase their Return on Investment (ROI) on existing IT investments while providing the agility and scalability required quickly.
Whether an enterprise chooses a public, private or hybrid cloud service, there must be a transparent bridge between the enterprise data centre and the cloud, allowing cloud applications to appear as though they are running on the enterprise network.
This is key in reducing the cost of cloud-specific Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and portals while avoiding the creation of cloud silos – a key concern for enterprises moving their corporate data and applications to the cloud.
Build in security features
A good hybrid cloud computing strategy is characterised by a built-in security feature for data in motion, between the enterprise data centre and the cloud.
This is usually fulfilled by a secured tunnel and seamless network bridge which allows data to traverse the network between the enterprise data centre and the cloud. This enables a natural extension of the enterprise’s network and a fuss-free shift of resources to the cloud, without having to re-architect the application.
Leverage existing tools
The cost and complexity of moving applications to the cloud can be efficiently mitigated by consistently using the same tools and processes. By making cloud-hosted applications appear as though they are on the enterprise network, the same tools used to manage them in the enterprise data centre can be applied to manage them in the cloud, too.
This approach reduces investment in cloud-specific APIs and portals, avoiding the creation of cloud silos.
Globalise the server load balancer
Another distinct component of a comprehensive hybrid cloud strategy is the global server load balancing feature. It gives end-users a single, consistent path to their applications, regardless of the enterprise or cloud data centre that hosts the application at any given time.
This is fundamental in keeping applications running at all times despite the various ongoing changes in the network’s topology.
Enterprises seeking the benefits of cloud computing may face challenging requirements in their cloud deployment, ranging from the overall mix of traditional data centres and available cloud resources, to the number and type of clouds to leverage.
The key measure of success would be for enterprises to adapt to their chosen cloud approach and be able to capture value from any situation encountered.
Citrix is the cloud company that enables mobile workstyles, empowering people to work and collaborate from anywhere, securely accessing apps and data on any of the latest devices, as easily as they would in their own office. Mark Micallef is area vice president of Citrix Asean.