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Start your hybrid cloud implementation off on the right foot

Hybrid cloud storage has garnered a lot of interest because it offers cost savings and scalability. But there are some key concerns to think about before you dive in.

Hybrid cloud promises to bolster data center storage with just the right amount of cloud resources. As a result, more companies are interested in hybrid cloud implementations than ever.

Combining the best public and private cloud features, the hybrid cloud is a fitting option if you want to take advantage of cloud storage, but you're wary of the risks. Depending on your setup, implementing a hybrid cloud architecture could provide even more cost savings than going the public cloud route.

There's a lot of information out there, so if you're looking to dip your toes in the hybrid cloud waters, you probably have some questions. These answers to some common hybrid cloud implementation questions will help you decide if it's right for you, and will give you some tips on how to get started.

How do I implement a hybrid cloud?

When integrating hybrid cloud into your storage infrastructure, there are a couple of different routes you can take. For some, the DIY approach is the best fit. A do-it-yourself hybrid cloud gives you the ability to tailor the environment and to create hybrid apps to suit your needs. That approach isn't for everyone, however.

You may instead want to look into an on-premises cloud gateway; it delivers local performance for production applications and does not require the same labor-intensive upfront development as a DIY approach. On-premises cloud gateways are also designed to support cost-effective scaling.

What are the benefits?

The hybrid cloud wouldn't be as popular as it is if it weren't for some major selling points. Designed to deliver the best features of private and public cloud systems, the hybrid cloud saves businesses from having to choose between the two. Because it allows for both on-premises and cloud storage, a hybrid architecture is a relatively simple way to take advantage of the cloud without adding devices or changing processes.

Along with being cost-effective and scalable, storage vendors have increased their attention on the hybrid cloud. Hardware and software vendors now offer features such as cloud gateways.

What are the risks?

There are two potentially costly mistakes you can make when implementing a hybrid cloud. One of the ways a hybrid cloud can cut costs is by reducing the amount of on-premises hardware you need, but choosing the wrong on-premises storage for your organization could result in transit fees or the need to purchase additional hardware to pick up the performance slack.

Picking the wrong type of public cloud is another potential cause for disaster. If you don't match your needs with the options available, you could end up spending more than you need to.

Does the hybrid cloud affect performance?

A hybrid cloud implementation has the potential to give performance a boost. It moves passive and rarely accessed data to a public cloud, which frees up otherwise wasted storage space. This reduces refresh times, as well as data migration costs and efforts. Because the amount of data a system must manage is reduced, performance improves.

Backup providers take advantage of the hybrid cloud to address their performance issues; they rely on hybrid cloud's ability to store the most recent backups locally.

How do I get started?

If you decide that the hybrid cloud is right for you, put together a hybrid cloud implementation checklist. Such a checklist will differ from one organization to another because every company has different needs and requirements. Still, there are some basic steps everyone can take to prepare.

Figure out what you'll use your hybrid cloud for and determine which apps you'll need to support that use case. Then, look at public cloud providers and consider service-level agreement requirements and costs. After that, take a look at your current infrastructure; decide which integration approach will work best for you and determine your long-term storage.

With the right steps taken care of, it should be relatively smooth sailing toward a successful hybrid cloud implementation.

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