8 Essential Best Practices for Building a Hybrid Cloud

If you’re looking to transform your business, look no further than the hybrid cloud. Pursuing a hybrid cloud strategy combines the computing control brought by a private cloud, with the flexibility achieved by the public cloud. The benefits to your business that can be derived from building a hybrid cloud depends on the amount of time and effort you put into designing, building, implementing, and monitoring your solution.

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Pros & Cons for Building a Hybrid Cloud for Your Enterprise

Over the last several years, the clouds have rolled in over enterprise IT. These clouds aren’t dark ones obscuring the sun, however; in fact they’ve made the enterprise computing horizon much brighter. Going from a relatively unheard-of concept ten years ago, the cloud has become a popular buzzword seizing hold of the collective conscious of CIOs and directors of IT at companies across industries, sizes, and revenues for its promise of organizational transformation.

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A Competitive Corporate Cloud Blend

Unauthorized use of public cloud services is a contentious issue we encounter as we design the initial Actifio architecture for new clients. Every CIO faces it, and most are scratching their heads about how to address it. One recent example is a large North American enterprise with locations spread across 50 states, Mexico, and Canada. This company is highly dependent on sophisticated central IT services. No surprise that financial controls, operational management, information security and IP protection are all of primary importance.

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Enterprise Conversations

As we have customer conversations about data virtualization - smart data - a predictable pattern emerges. Discussions turn quickly from cost, to speed, to operational simplicity, and a desire to capture the value of cloud operating models. For enterprise leadership, the transformational benefits of cloud and virtual environments are viewed as an essential competitive lever. That has them searching to satisfy requirements for data movement - mobility, agility, migration, and consolidation. Most often they’re already underway with virtualized compute and networking. But now they’ve encountered the data challenge – exploding expense for too many data copies with no acceptable way to directly manage data access and movement. Their drive to transform has hit a serious roadblock.

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Smart Data; An Out of Box Experience

No surprise, business is going to the cloud. Forbes cites recent 451 research predicting that “Within two years, 34% of enterprises will have 60% or more of their applications on a cloud platform and 47% of marketing departments will have 60% or more of their applications on a cloud platform.” But to achieve true cloud-based IT, data and storage are still the last frontier. Enterprises want to put data and applications in the cloud but still need to flexibly control, move and manage their data. The revelation for many comes in the moment they understand that their storage solution no longer comes from acquiring another box. The solution requires a dual application and data focus. The challenge is finding how to bind their data and applications and reliably manage all at scale.

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Cloud Brokers – Cloud Sommeliers

If you love wine, you know about making decisions. Narrowing down. Red, white or sparkling? California, Italian or French? Ahh, monsieur prefers Bordeaux? Medoc or St. Emilion? Chateau Figeac ou Clous Fourtet? Le 2001 ou 2005? What goes best with duck? How about the house wine? Where is that Sommelier?

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Actifio And The Cloud

So, we’ve been spending time here talking about cloud benefits and cautions in a general sense. Now, how about more specifically outlining how Actifio helps businesses use the cloud to transform? More than a blatant Actifio pitch, we’d like to highlight how cloud has the potential to move IT from a cost center to a value creator – reshaping possibilities, accelerating delivery and creating new business opportunity. We’ve already seen many traditional IT operations make the strategic decision to implement their own cloud. They’re becoming internal Service Providers with service catalogs aligned with their own business plans. They’re also selectively partnering with external Service Providers to integrate private, hybrid and public cloud capabilities.

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Cloud Transitions – People First

The first step in cloud adoption isn’t about the technology. It’s about the people. It may seem a bit obvious, but when most cloud discussion centers on technology, it’s a point worth repeating. At our eCloud Summit the emphasis on the people proposition was made with persistent emphasis.

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Going to the Cloud: Technical Challenges

The Actifio eCloud Summit took place mid-February in Austin Texas. For those of us living around Boston, it was more than an intellectual event. We were escaping from eight feet of snow and below zero temperatures. If only for a few days, we enjoyed warmer weather and some fascinating insights into the current state of Cloud Computing. One of the clearest messages was that cloud isn’t as easy as it may at first appear, especially at enterprise scale.

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Going to the Cloud: Business Challenges

During the recent Actifio eCloud Summit the point brought home from nearly every presenter and panel was that enterprise cloud deployments aren’t necessarily simple. Of course individuals or small project initiatives can take advantage of easy access to Amazon or Microsoft or any number of other cloud service offerings. But that won’t satisfy complex enterprise application requirements. Not without a good deal of planning.

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