Putting Your Cloud to Work: Integrating Public Cloud and Internal IT Resources

Public cloud resources are a key enabler for today’s agile enterprise. Cloud services allow a company to quickly respond to market opportunities and competitive pressures while helping drive down costs. There are many well documented use cases for public clouds that are ideal for certain functions. However, one of the biggest issues enterprises must address, when brokering these services to their employee base, is the integration and management of the public cloud assets with their own internal IT resources.

While public cloud resources can be used independently of an enterprise’s own IT assets, business outcomes can be maximized by integrating the public cloud resources in such a way that they almost become transparent to the user. Ideally, users should be able to seamlessly move back and forth between public cloud and private cloud assets with little to no effort. For example, if your DevOps team wants to use a public cloud to develop and test code that will ultimately run internally, that code should be able to run unchanged when it is deployed to production. If data needs to be stored in a public cloud service, you need to ensure it meets regulatory and country-specific compliancy requirements for privacy and security. Controls also need to be in-place to ensure that the correct integrated services are used to meet those requirements.

Three Key Considerations for Hybrid Integration

However, making public cloud resources and internal hybrid IT assets work together seamlessly requires considerable thought and planning of your private cloud environment — particularly considering that the largest public cloud providers are not standards-based. You can start with these three key considerations for your hybrid cloud integration:

  • Application portability: If you develop on Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure, how do you move an application to a private cloud? If you develop on a private cloud, how do you move that application back to the public cloud service?
  • Data sovereignty: In addition, data sovereignty and where sensitive data is stored within specific countries, when using public cloud services, has become an extremely important compliancy issue — and a key criterion for selecting a service. Efforts are underway to provide this through communities such as Cloud28+, specifically to handle geo-political and regulatory policy requirements.
  • Service consistency: As a result of the above, you also need a strong network of standards-based regional cloud providers that can provide consistent service quality, as Ormuco discusses in their case study.

The resulting choices in services made available to your user base will require policy-based deployment tools to ensure the right integrated service is used, based on the requirements of the data.

The key point is, if your users can’t move their workloads easily between your hybrid IT and the correct public cloud resources you end up increasing your costs, wasting time and losing much of the agility that cloud computing offers. Even worse, your user base might even circumvent your private/public cloud service choices and deploy on unauthorized services that are simply easier for them to use.

Getting started

The solution to providing an agile, seamless, private/public cloud environment is to start by closely adhering to open standards whenever possible. If you deploy your own private cloud, consider standardizing on an open cloud operating system like HPE Helion OpenStack. If you use a public service, like Amazon AWS, make sure you have tools on your private cloud that ensures it works seamlessly with AWS, like HPE Helion Eucalyptus. If Microsoft Azure is your primary public cloud service, deploy a private cloud service based on Windows Azure Pack. You can start with something as simple as an HPE hyper converged Azure-consistent cloud in a box. Implemented properly, the final public and private cloud offerings in your service catalog should be so easy to use and move between them that your user base would not consider using anything else.

You don’t have to do it yourself

Selecting the right global and regional public cloud partners that will mesh with your private cloud system is critical. Proper planning and implementation of your private cloud will ensure that you’re ready for this public cloud hybrid integration from the start — yielding the best possible return on investment from your private cloud resource. Getting the proper level of integration of your hybrid cloud could take years of expertise and an army to keep up with all of the cloud providers and private cloud technology choices, but you don’t have to do it yourself — and it would be cost ineffective to do so. There are turn-key solutions focused on delivering this type of open integration. For example, take a few minutes to watch the overview on the latest HPE CloudSystem to see how to make your private cloud and hybrid cloud management work seamlessly across all your different cloud providers and technologies.

Getting an open agile hybrid cloud implemented doesn’t have to be difficult. However, it does require a well-designed strategy along with the right tools, products and technology partners to make it happen. Hewlett Packard Enterprise has what you need to make it happen faster.

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