3 key Challenges for IT Leaders Managing a Hybrid Cloud

Missed our What’s Brewing Event on the 3 key Challenges for IT Leaders Managing a Hybrid Cloud?

On Thursday 15th October, Citrus Consulting held another of its What’s Brewing events. This event was the first of a four-part series about Hybrid Cloud Data Management. Our special guest, Chris Gondek – Technical Partner Manager at NetApp, shared a number of key insights around managing the Cost, Complexity (Security, Compliance, and Governance) and Scale of Hybrid Cloud.

Challenge 1: Managing Costs of Hybrid Cloud

Cost is the most obvious challenge of any Hybrid Cloud environment. Cost is defined as the bill at the end of consumption, paying for capacity often whether you have used it or not. The number one reason for application repatriation is the cost overruns.

Public Cloud is designed to be used for subscription-based services like Office 365, using pay-as-you-go pricing structures, it is not designed to run as a virtual data centre. However, it is prominently being used as a data centre by many companies who end up paying for capacity they don’t use.

If we want to identify efficient use of infrastructure then we need a cost optimisation approach, identify and understand consumption models and understand the concept of tiers. Analytics can be used to predict usage and understand spikes and anomalies, then manage costs and avoid overprovisioning.

Challenge 2: Managing the Complexity of Hybrid Cloud

There are complex skills required to manage the operation of each type of Cloud infrastructure. These can be too complex for one person to know and master, so we need to rely on technology and artificial intelligence to take over some of these tasks.

A major risk of adopting new types of infrastructure is that as new issues occur, they take too long to identify, causing outages and downtime. This emphasises the importance of excellent monitoring and visibility of environments.

Many Cloud vendors want to ensure customers are entirely in their Cloud ecosystem, so they make it difficult to monitor their Cloud in a distributed environment, hybrid workloads become increasingly complicated and there ends up being no way to keep everyone honest.

A common user experience needs to be simple. The challenge in Hybrid Cloud Data Management is getting a common user experience across multiple infrastructure environments. It is important to consolidate and centralise as much as possible into one solution that can spread natively across those environments. By doing this, not only are you reducing complexity, but you are also starting to reduce risk. However, maintaining security and compliance as you start to go across multiple environments gets consistently more complicated.

Challenge 3: Managing Scaling Capacity for Hybrid Cloud

As mentioned above, scale has some impact on cost and complexity. Cloud was designed as a shared infrastructure model, so as a customer you don’t own the data centre. The main benefit is that capacity should be able to be scaled at any given time, and for any period of time that you want. The management of this scaling capability is impossible for humans to do, so we come back to an artificial intelligence approach.

Lock in capacity and scalability do go hand in hand in some scenarios. If you have architected your application to scale a specific way, with potential dependencies on certain infrastructure in the data centre, you are effectively locked into that approach. The more cloud-native you become with your application development, the less you’re locked in by infrastructure and cost limitations.

The management of scalability of Hybrid Cloud is a big subject, something that cannot be summed up in a single article or event, which is the reason for our four-part series on Hybrid Cloud.  If you have missed this event and would like to know more, watch the event recording!