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1Hybrid Cloud Computing Best Practices

Examine Your GoalsThe “why” is a very important first step. Examine your motivations for moving to a hybrid cloud computing model. What are you getting out of it? Cost benefits? Compliance needs? Performance improvements?

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Measure SuccessBefore the implementation begins, set your goals and decide how you are going to measure success. Also ensure that the success can be tested and that service level agreements (SLAs) can be met.

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Evaluate Multiple ProvidersDon’t choose the first cloud provider that comes along. A cloud provider should have a comfortable level of maturity in the market and have a detailed product and service roadmap they’re willing to share. For more on due diligence of cloud providers, see the Is That Cloud Safe? Due Diligence for Cloud Apps” slideshow.

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What’s an SLA?Service-level agreements (SLAs) can be tricky things, and customers need to understand what they are, what’s detailed in the agreement and what will happen if the agreement is not met. Compare SLAs of different providers to get an idea of what’s important and, more importantly, what will serve best your business’ needs.

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Scenario PlanningIn making sure you’re ready for the hybrid cloud from a technical perspective, businesses need to do scenario planning based on their individual needs. Should it be static or dynamic? Is bursting important, and do you want to be able to burst on demand?

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Network DesignSwitching to a hybrid computing infrastructure means doing a network assessment and (likely) reconfiguring your existing network so it will serve your business’ needs effectively in the cloud world.

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Workload AssessmentWith three options (private cloud, public cloud and local) available for running workload applications, each workload has to be assessed and then placed in the most appropriate place. Keep in mind corporate policies and compliance regulations when placing workloads. Security should be a top concern.

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Workload ReadinessWorkloads will need to be standardized so that they can be used with the vendors you are working with. Compatibility with your provider’s APIs and making sure there is appropriate load balancing available are also both key to ensuring a smooth transition to hybrid cloud computing.

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Risk AnalysisAlthough cloud vendors assure customers that security is top of mind, businesses still need to do appropriate risk analysis and then make plans for backups or alternatives. One key thing for customers is ensuring they maintain control of their data, so read the fine print.

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MobilityChanges in how you want to run your cloud applications should be expected, so ensure that applications are mobile between the public and private clouds, as well across bare metal and virtual modes. Migrating workloads from internal to external and back (as well as between providers) should be seamless. Avoid getting locked into a single provider.

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AutomationWhat’s so good about the cloud if you’re stuck making changes manually? Automating workload placements, security of the network and nodes, and provisioning and management will reduce headaches and make your hybrid cloud infrastructure run much more seamlessly.