Master the Might of the Hybrid Cloud

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1 Reach for the Sky Master the Might of the Hybrid Cloud WHITE PAPER As an IT decision maker at a global enterprise, you face unique challenges in managing a complex infrastructure with varied resources while serving business units with a range of requirements. We take a closer look at the hybrid cloud as a resource management solution, including: Key advantages of a hybrid cloud approach Most successful applications for cloud deployment Common adoption strategies Tips for choosing a hybrid cloud provider

2 More than 60 percent of U.S. businesses have shifted to the cloud. Introduction Cloud computing, or the shared computing resources available over the Internet, is not new. And we readily acknowledge the cloud s biggest benefit that resources are available in mere minutes and can theoretically scale infinitely. While the trend toward cloud computing continues to grow, enterprises often list scalability, security, privacy, availability and regulatory compliance as key considerations for a cloud solution. Because a full-service cloud solution involves entrusting confidential and private data to a third-party vendor, security is an especially important factor for companies that want to take their global business to the cloud. It s also a primary reason many enterprises have not yet fully embraced large-scale cloud adoption. Different models of cloud deployment public, private, community and hybrid address different needs. Of these, the hybrid cloud specifically aims to address enterprise concerns about security. It provides the much needed flexibility to deploy both public and private cloud resources for respective applications. In doing so, the enterprise benefits from the elasticity of cloud computing and the security of dedicated infrastructure. 2

3 A hybrid cloud delivers the best of both worlds: the elasticity of cloud computing + the security of dedicated infrastructure. What is a Hybrid Cloud? A hybrid cloud solution seamlessly integrates public cloud resources with the organization s dedicated IT architecture to form one cohesive system and give IT a cost-effective and scalable way to deliver services to the enterprise. Companies can keep their most important computing tasks in a private cloud, while using public clouds for occasional peaks of demand or less sensitive tasks, like testing and development. For example, a company may have an application that requires a secure database on the backend. For compliance purposes, the database can be hosted in a dedicated, private environment, but the less data-sensitive portions of the applications can be shifted to the cloud. In this instance, hybrid hosting can help overcome complex hosting and IT environments because the enterprise can provision cloud (virtual) and dedicated (physical) infrastructure seamlessly on the same network. A hybrid cloud approach also allows an enterprise to integrate existing infrastructure into the cloud in order to maintain a functional system based on old designs yet enjoy the latest developments in cloud technology. A hybrid cloud approach also supports a measured upgrade of legacy systems by connecting new clouds to the old dedicated servers. Alternatively, the legacy system could run entirely within a private cloud with the ability to expand into the public cloud as needed. This burst of functionality allows the company to maximize dedicated resources without concern for performance degradation during a spike in demand. These types of hybrid approaches give enterprises a greater degree of availability, security and elasticity. Without a hybrid platform, the enterprise would have to invest in infrastructure to support peak capacity, only to have that capacity idle and unutilized most of the time. 3

4 Top Uses for the Cloud Resource-intensive applications Application testing and development Transition legacy systems On-demand resources for demand spikes Disaster recovery Infrastructure Expansion Enterprises with on-premise infrastructure can also benefit from the hybrid cloud by using traditional IT infrastructure with public cloud computing via private networks. As seen in the diagram below, some resources can be provided and managed in-house, while others are provided externally by cloud computing providers. Over time, enterprise IT will be able to mix and match public clouds and local IT assets to achieve maximum cost-efficiency for the organization. This approach also addresses security concerns associated with cloud computing because it gives a company the flexibility to keep its most important data on local servers, while offloading the rest onto clouds. For example, critical operations like business intelligence can stay in their premises, while more mundane, yet processing-intensive tasks can go to the cloud. While cloud computing may be a great fit for some applications and workloads, there are often some data, processes, and applications that must remain on-premises for reasons of regulatory compliance, mission-critical or classified data, control, and cost. 4

5 Adoption Strategies The number of use cases and variations of the hybrid approach require enterprises to select applications and cloud service providers based on their unique business needs, risks, and architectural considerations. As you can see in the chart below, the most efficient method is a bottom-up strategy, where cloud services are deployed in isolated pockets to solve specific and tactical problems. Typical use cases include: Processing spikes A marketing campaign drives an unprecedented amount of traffic to a company s website, or certain business models call for irregular or unexpected bursts of IT capacity to support increased online traffic. Bursting from private to public cloud Running logic and processing in the public cloud, but leaving the database in the private cloud. Other applications Web servers and certain SaaS tools run well in the cloud because of its elasticity and ability to rapidly scale. CRITICAL APPLICATIONS Moving Applications to the Cloud Platform one Piece at a Time Financial & Accounting, HR Management Business Critical Systems Business Continuity & DR Servers Sales & CRM Applications Test & Development Uses DEDICATED HARDWARE PRIVATE CLOUD PUBLIC CLOUD TYPE OF CLOUD PLATFORM Cloud Adoption Strategy 5

6 Choosing a Hybrid Cloud Service Provider When choosing a hybrid cloud service provider, it is important to consider the supporting infrastructure and resources. The overall quality of the cloud solution, as well as the availability of cloud resources, depends highly upon the availability and stability of its underlying infrastructure. These include the network, data center, and managed service capabilities of the provider. As the key enabler of a cloud, the stability, scalability, and coverage of the network that connects it should be one of the decisive factors when selecting a cloud provider. Is the cloud running on a stable and fully redundant network with an SLA to ensure high availability and reliability? Does the network have ample bandwidth to scale up along with the growth of the cloud? Apart from local connections, how is the capacity and coverage with regard to global connectivity? In the long run, one more concern would be whether the cloud is running on an IPv6 compatible network owing to the depletion of IPv4 addresses. Carriers which operate as cloud service providers have an edge. With their own Internet, private network infrastructure, and expertise to manage the full stack of services, they can offer end-to-end SLAs that other service providers cannot. Data Center Security is a top concern for enterprises as they transition to the cloud. Some key questions to pose to private and public hybrid cloud service providers include: Where is the cloud? Is it located in a highly secured environment? Is the environment under stringent control and fully redundant facilities to ensure high availability? 6

7 Managed Services The ability to deliver a one-stop solution is valued by enterprises, and often includes telecom expertise and a comprehensive suite of services, of which managed services is a part. A complete one-stop cloud solution should feature: Global data center support Low-latency network connectivity Computing resources (memory, CPU) Value-added services that include managed services Some providers have converged the infrastructure of servers, storage, and network connectivity bundled together with automation technologies for management and governance. In these environments, additional security allows private connectivity such as leased line or MPLS-VPN between clouds and existing IT infrastructure. Conclusions A hybrid solution is an ideal way for a company to begin building its cloud architecture, particularly if security concerns have been a barrier to entry previously. And in many ways, a hybrid solution delivers on the ultimate promise of cloud computing scalability, flexibility, and cost savings while knowing exactly where the servers and data are physically located. With the emergence of a variety of cloud service models (laas, PaaS, SaaS) and an array of deployment models (private, public, and hybrid), we expect to see an assorted mix of cloud environments in the enterprises of the future. NTT Communications is uniquely positioned to help global enterprises move into this new paradigm. With a global infrastructure underpinned by a network in over 160 countries and data centers in over 130 locations around the world, NTT Communications offers a broad range of services including cloud, hosting, security, and migration services. We are committed to helping our customers meet the needs of their business. Contact us now to find out how NTT Communications can move your business to the cloud. Learn more about NTT Communications Cloud services at Phone: (888)

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