Thought Leadership

Exploring Cloud: Getting Started with Hybrid Cloud

The journey to hybrid cloud rarely follows a beaten path as each business faces unique demands and challenges.  However, what we can tell you, based on our experience in hybrid cloud transformation, is how to get started.

Just as we all did not immediately enter the workforce with profound knowledge of our current skillsets, one can not simply jump into cloud with an expectation to know it all.  As a result, young padawan, train, you must do…

  • Familiarize yourself and the business with the cloud marketplace, including providers, services, use cases, and billing models.
  • Align with best of breed partners able to help navigate, plan, and execute the cloud journey.
  • Walk before you run by exploring quick opportunities for hybrid cloud presence while minimizing cost and risk.

And, once you’ve developed the necessary skillsets and gained a comfort with the hybrid cloud strategy and approach, step up and expand cloud adoption through opportunity exploration in areas that enhance digital experiences.

How does one start small?  You may already have.

Organizations that have migrated to Microsoft Office 365 are already adopting hybrid cloud through public cloud hosted messaging and collaboration; however, a requirement of Office 365 is extending existing identity to the public cloud as well – Azure Active Directory.  Identity management represents a foundational piece to hybrid cloud as it provides a consistent user experience in authentication across all public cloud services.

Next, attack test and development workloads hosted within the private cloud as ideal targets to expand the hybrid cloud model.  Test and development workloads not only provide an immediate area to explore hybrid cloud capabilities, but also to develop the necessary skillsets required to support more critical workloads.

Once the comfort level has risen, explore the capabilities of hybrid cloud to facilitate data and workload protection and replication including data backup and workload recovery, as well as its production capabilities, such as geographic distribution of data to cloud locations closer to user consumption.

Lastly, review the cumbersome tools that IT leverages within private cloud to support service delivery and determine whether a capable public cloud or as-a-service offering exists.  A perfect example is a transition from traditional Citrix service delivery, where all management components exist in private cloud (i.e. Citrix XenDesktop Controllers, databases, licensing) to Citrix Cloud.  Citrix Cloud provides the same capabilities as the traditional deployment option yet removes the need to consider the management and control layer when architecting a server-based, virtual desktop, data sharing, or mobility management solution.  This approach becomes increasingly important as organizations move towards a distributed hybrid cloud model, allowing IT to focus on creating amazing user experiences instead of being bogged down by continuous upgrades, lifecycle management, and extensive infrastructure overhead.

These are just a few examples of how organizations can begin their hybrid cloud journey and you’re likely already on your way – whether you know it or not.  Begin small, gain a comfortable understanding, and then expand capabilities and before you know it, you’ll be well entrenched in a sound and strategic hybrid cloud model that’ll transform your business into an agile entity.

In closing off this series of blog posts, we invite you to peruse our current client references, including our joint release with Ingram Micro on a Microsoft Azure transformation of a financial services organization and our good friends at Cantactix where we helped transform service delivery through Microsoft Azure and Citrix.

And, last but not least, one of the most consulted reference papers at Third Octet on cloud consumption is RightScale’s State of the Cloud report for 2018, “the largest survey of corporate cloud users, including 997 technology professionals at large and small enterprises across a broad cross-section of industries.”

Happy reading and hybrid cloud journey.

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