Solving cloud management gaps
Integration of multiple computing environments has always been difficult. Cloud is just another platform for which tools need to be developed to solve management gaps. This is where the development of federated management tools, which allow customers to manage the cloud in the same tool that manages on-premise computing, is having an impact. Without federated tools, enterprise developers will have to write their own management integration or rely on partners, such as system integrators to do it for them.
It is not only management tools that need to be properly integrated. Support for compliance software, end-to-end encryption of data in transit, encryption of all data in the cloud, integrated enterprise directory services, support for Application Lifecycle Management tools and governance are all enterprise requirements. The public cloud must provide solutions to all these requirements.
Choose the logical home for your cloud
Before planning to build a cloud instance, there are key questions to ask in selecting foundational infrastructure, such as the co-location facility. If physical access is required, then it should be easy and quickly accessible for IT staff. Alternative premises in the same geographical region can provide backup, business continuity and disaster recovery services. If power is an issue, the ability to switch workloads to an alternative data centre is a requirement. Location, however, is not the only element that has to be considered:
- Flexibility: Carrier-neutral collocation allows the cloud provider a wide choice of carriers to obtain services from. This choice of carriers enables the cloud provider not only to manage the SLA for its service but also ensures it reduces the latency of its service due the choice of connectivity. This “community of interest” bringing cloud providers, carriers and end-users together is fundamental in the successful delivery of hybrid cloud solutions.
- Power and cooling: The efficiency of the data centre design in reducing power wastage and efficient cooling cost is extremely important. Evaluating different data centre designs for energy-efficiency should be a key consideration.
- Environmental awareness: European legislation over carbon emissions means customers will be expecting the cloud provider to prove the green credentials of the facility. As such, cloud providers should seek a data centre provider that has a reliable, consistent access to green energy suppliers
- Security: The layers of security at colocation data centres are likely to exceed those of most smaller scale in house build datacenters, as they are servicing multiple, often highly security sensitive, customers and are audited on a very regular basis.
- Future-proof: Colocation offers scalability. Resources will support growth of the customer base while ‘pay as you grow’ means no heavy CAPEX costs.
Whether hybrid clouds are held by a single enterprise or managed by a service provider to serve multiple customers, the advantages are the same. Colocation enables them to focus on their customers, instead of infrastructure. Done right, it is the key enabler of a successful hybrid cloud offering bringing carriers, end-users and cloud providers together in to a single community of interest.
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