5 Common Hybrid Cloud Mistakes to Avoid

Jason McKinney

Hybrid cloud’s balance of control and flexibility gives it a lot of advantages. However, there are some pitfalls to overcome when implementing a workable hybrid cloud.

Here are five mistakes to avoid along the way:

  1. Jumping In Too Fast. The term “cloud” conveys a feeling of simplicity, but with migration, integration, compatibility and other issues, hybrid clouds can be hard to get right the first time. Start small with a pilot, and iron out your organization’s challenges, issues and day-to-day operations requirements and adjustments. Then take it from there.
  1. Inadequate Cloud Expertise. Hybrid cloud requires a certain set of integration, operational and other skills that organizations can lack if they are used to running everything in house. Several surveys, including the “RightScale 2016 State of the Cloud” report, have cited expertise as perhaps the biggest challenge to an effective hybrid cloud implementation. By hiring the right cloud expertise, organizations can avoid costly errors in architecture, integration, migration, security and ongoing operations. Outside consultancy services can help you get through the initial hybrid cloud gotchas and roadblocks.
  1. Focusing on Security Too Late. Too many organizations make important hybrid cloud decisions about providers and architecture before seriously considering security and compliance, which should be an integral part of all your decision-making. Where will sensitive data be stored? How will you protect data in transit and at rest? Are there compliance restrictions on where data can be stored? Does the cloud provider have any expertise in the compliance requirements of your industry?

One way to secure data in transit and reduce the likelihood of a breach is to bypass the public internet and link your private cloud infrastructure directly to the public cloud inside a colocation center that has a high density of cloud service providers (CSPs) and flexible interconnection solutions that enable direct and secure, dedicated virtualized connections to hundreds of cloud providers, without going over the internet, for enhanced security.

  1. Missing the Mark on Compatibility. This is an issue that inevitably comes up when you’re extending applications out to a public cloud, whether it’s for bursting or any other purpose. Chances are, internal and external application components will be running on different stacks. Make sure you have the right tools to manage your hybrid cloud easily across the public/private divide. And take your time choosing and testing cloud management solutions to make sure the control is exactly where it needs to be. A vendor-neutral staging and proof-of-concept testing center can provide just the right environment for trying out hybrid cloud configurations in a real-world environment.
  1. Ignoring Network Latency. It’s very easy to get into serious performance problems in a hybrid cloud environment if you have active or dynamic applications running in the public cloud. An issue that inevitably comes up is the need to add more interconnection bandwidth, but whatever you do, don’t forget about high latency. You need to look closely at the volume of traffic that is transmitted, moved and replicated in a hybrid cloud environment and carefully architect a network that can handle the challenge over low-latency connections to ensure high performance.

Proximity between end points is the key to slashing latency, which is why many organizations choose to place their IT infrastructure as close as possible to CSPs. The optimal path toward higher cloud application performance is extending your hybrid cloud infrastructure to a colocation center that also houses global and regional clouds and leverages high-performance interconnection hubs, which can reduce network bandwidth costs and latency.

Hybrid cloud is a great solution for organizations looking to balance control and flexibility. If you choose this route, avoiding common mistakes can make the hybrid ride a lot smoother and easier to navigate.

Read the “Home of the Interconnected Cloud: Where Service Providers and Enterprises Meet to Grow and Innovate Together” to learn more about how to successfully deploy hybrid cloud infrastructures.

Jason McKinney
Jason McKinney Practice Lead, Equinix Professional Services