To handle distinct IT environments, often enterprise CIOs are likely to opt for hybrid cloud solutions. Hybrid cloud reaps the benefit of a public cloud as well as a private cloud in a single well-integrated solution. It offers cost optimization, flexibility, scalability, and agility of public cloud, compliance, security, reliability, and private solutions control.
Despite this, adopting a hybrid cloud strategy into an enterprise is not as simple as it appears. There are myriad challenges that tend to appear in the process, and if not addressed, they can hinder or even entirely stop the adoption.
One factor that stems from different challenges is the lack of knowledge and skills in adopting and operating in a public cloud. Until businesses gain expertise in this sector, successful hybrid cloud adoption is impossible.
Common Challenges to Hybrid Cloud Adoption and How to Address Them:
1. Compliance Issues
As per the location and industry, a business is expected to comply with a standard regulation or law related to storage and data usage.
Say, for example, if you run a healthcare center, it is a must to follow HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance. If you’re storing users’ financial data, your systems must comply with the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard).
However, implementing and maintaining compliance can be quite challenging in a hybrid environment. Here are some of the ways to make sure you keep up with compliance:
- If your enterprise comes under a particular regulation, make sure the staff incorporates it in the related workload and storage planning.
- Monitor every hybrid segment as a unified system as well as a single component. Because even if an entity is compliant, the interacting subsystems may still create issues.
- Invest in education and training of staff so that they can understand compliance guidelines. Additional tools and techniques further help in keeping your in-house procedures compliant.
- Make sure your cloud service provider complies with the relevant regulations and standards of your industry.
2. Not Being Ready for Data Migration
Shifting your workloads from a data center or another cloud to a hybrid solution can be challenging and time-consuming.
The whole data migration process to a hybrid cloud requires:
- Integration of different components such as machine learning, databases, cloud monitoring tools, systems, etc.
- Native features
- Independent cloud providers
Before migrating to hybrid cloud, make sure your team follows the given guidelines:
- Evaluate features of operational and performance workload
- Execute capacity planning and get rid of unused or useless services
- Strategize the resource provisioning, including network, storage, data, security, and application stacks.
- Make existing workloads and applications portable so that they can operate on an On-Prem framework.
3. Poor SLAs
Before finalizing the SLA with the cloud provider, make sure to read their fine print carefully. The SLAs must define all the terms, conditions, guarantees of the service related to data availability and server uptime.
The SLA print must define the performance and security requirements of your company in detail. The IT and legal departments need to analyze the print to look for any potential problems.
Lastly, make sure the cloud provider agrees to align the regulations with the ones maintaining your On-prem infrastructure.
4. Skill Gap
Enterprise teams tend to rely excessively on the cloud provider to manage their hybrid cloud environment. Such over-dependency on providers often leads to inefficiency in decision-making, lack of business opportunities, and potential risks.
To avoid this, businesses need to invest in staff training regarding cloud computing, so the in-house team can handle and manage hybrid infrastructure. The team must have necessary expertise in application architecture design, application and integration development, workload processes, and cloud monitoring.
Along with staff training, enterprises also need to recruit new employees with enough knowledge and skills to manage hybrid systems. This will provide you with a newer perspective and boost your operational efficiency.
5. Lack of control and visibility
Businesses often struggle to get full visibility and control over all systems present in a hybrid infrastructure. This leads to:
- Lack of transparency into configuration settings
- Difficulty in employing self-service systems
- Issues in Agile development
- Lack of team collaboration
To tackle these problems, enterprises need to retain a seamless and transparent infrastructure with the right set of tools and automation. With automation, companies will be able to create, share, verify and repeat code. This further simplifies the whole system management process and offers greater control.
Besides, businesses need to leverage DevOps tools to get centralized management and full visibility into their hybrid infrastructure.
It is exceptionally crucial to properly map the network topology in a hybrid solution, given the virtual and physical gap between components.
A network topology needs to consider the latency and security of external and internal resources. Network design must consider different factors for a robust network, including bandwidth needs, individual application requirements, branch networks’ location, and public and private clouds management.
7. Lack of Redundancy
Low redundancy is one of the most common security challenges for businesses when implementing hybrid cloud solutions. This issue generally leads to absence of backup copies in the IT infrastructure.
Enterprises need to leverage disaster recovery and backup directives to ensure optimal redundancy across an entire data center. With these strategies in place, you won’t be facing data loss in case of an outage.
Data is an integral part of every organization, no matter what cloud solution they adopt. Data breaches and theft risks are very evident in the industry today. And to prevent them, companies need to implement basic data protection guidelines such as:
- Implementing full-disk or partition data encryption
- Not allowing staff to type passwords into encrypted devices manually
- Employing hardware encryption and security modules
- To make Trusted Platform Module (TPM) a crucial part of Network Bound Disk Encryption (NBDE). This will add an additional layer of security to the operations in your hybrid cloud environment.
The main culprits to data breaches in an enterprise are generally interception and alteration to moving data. Encryption of network sessions makes sure the data is moving securely across the systems. Businesses need to use IPsec to encrypt the interactions between hosts that connect through IP.
Furthermore, enterprises may consider running BAS (breach-and-attack) simulations to see whether their hybrid cloud systems are really resilient or not.
A hybrid cloud solution can really turn the tables and reap numerous benefits for businesses. It is also essential for companies to be careful while adopting hybrid solutions to avoid pitfalls. Consider the above challenges that tend to occur during hybrid cloud adoption and tackle the issues before they end up wasting your money and time.
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