I need to be sure my ICT is safe and secure

While migrating your ICT to the cloud can unlock many benefits for your organisation, there may be reasons why you need to maintain an on-premise infrastructure to complement your cloud environment. In these instances, hybrid cloud offers a balanced solution. Hybrid cloud combines the best elements of virtual and on-premise computing, storage and services. It’s an environment that comprises on-premise infrastructure, private cloud services, and a public cloud, with integration across the various platforms.

A hybrid environment of cloud computing and an on-premise datacentre can help your organisation achieve efficiencies while providing an excellent user experience. However, getting the balance right to meet your organisation’s specific requirements will be crucial, in terms of maximising the potential of your infrastructure and creating an effective, agile environment which supports your business objectives. Although cloud services can drive cost efficiencies, their main benefit is the way in which they support meaningful digital transformation.

This is where aligning your ICT strategy with your organisation’s overall strategy is crucial. In isolation, the primary focus of your ICT strategy will probably be on improving your ICT function and saving money. However, if it feeds into your overall objectives, it can have a real influence on the way your ICT can serve your organisation in the best way, to help it achieve its digital transformation aims.

What are the benefits of a hybrid environment?

Arguably, the most significant benefits of hybrid cloud are agility, and the ability to manage your on-premise environment in the same manner in which you manage your cloud based environment. With technology continually evolving and our ways of working becoming increasingly digitally driven, hybrid cloud enables organisations to be more flexible and responsive to their users’ needs.

From a security and compliance perspective, hybrid cloud can allow your organisation to deploy regulated or sensitive data, processes and workloads to private cloud, and less-sensitive workloads to public cloud. It will give your organisation more options and flexibility in deploying workloads to make the best use of your on-premise and cloud budgets, to maximise the value of your investment in each.

You will also be able to quickly change deployment in line with your current priorities, as well as allowing test projects to fail, so you can see where failure was and address it without any real commercial impacts. Hybrid cloud will allow your organisation to quickly scale up to meet spikes in network traffic and scale back down when demand subsides, without affecting other workloads running in private cloud. And it will also enable you to rapidly adapt or switch to the latest solutions that can improve your service offering and meet your changing objectives.

Things to consider when it comes to creating a hybrid environment

As a rule, any solutions you are looking to invest in should be policy-driven and cloud-enabled and managed, as this will help futureproof your ICT delivery model and make rolling out further changes easier. Any technology should be AI-assisted and updated automatically, and remotely supported, so you can receive all the virtual support you need from the vendor.
If it’s cloud-ready, this will support migrating to your cloud environment with an easy to see path. And, of course, any solutions should be secure to ensure you comply with all the relevant legislation and cybersecurity best practice. When it comes to creating your cloud environment, you shouldn’t let the software you want to run dictate the hardware you purchase.

There should, instead, be a decoupling between the software solutions you choose and the hardware they can run on. As such, the physical infrastructure solutions you purchase for servers, storage, networking and security should enable easy movement of the services it hosts between your on-premise and cloud environments. When selecting vendors, choose ones which have a cloud offering on the major cloud providers, such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), or VMware.

Solutions like VMware on AWS allow you to migrate services from on-premise to cloud and back again quickly. You should also look for vendors which offer on-premise solutions that are cloud-managed or use the same management tools both on-premise and in the cloud. Architecture is moving towards becoming ‘infrastructure as code’, where the configuration is done based on a JSON script. Traditionally, infrastructure architects have been technology-specific – you would recruit a Cisco engineer to manage your Cisco networking and an IBM engineer to manage your IBM storage.

However, the skill set of engineers and infrastructure architects is moving away from their vendor specific / technology aligned traditional understanding, to also include a generic ‘infrastructure programmer’ skill set. This may affect how you choose staff and external consultants in future.

Find out more

AMDH Services Ltd has a wealth of experience in ICT infrastructure design. As your trusted technology partner, we’ll work with you to deliver the best outcomes possible for your organisation. We base our advice on the whole technology marketplace, rather than the vendors we have previously sold. It’s about matching the solutions and features available with your requirements, budget and future aspirations. We can also provide you with the best technical expertise at the right price to enhance the overall value of your investment in our services. To find out more, get in touch for an informal chat and a free consultation.