We generally think of a transformation to a hybrid infrastructure as one where you're going from a completely private setup to one that spans the public cloud and your private installation. But what if you started life as a small company with your systems entirely in the cloud? It's not an unusual approach, as running up your initial services in the cloud is straightforward and avoids a big capital outlay. As a company grows it's understandable that it might want to take on a private data centre, build an in-house support team and evolve to a two-site setup.
Step one is to consider why you're bothering with an on-premises setup instead of a second cloud instance. The answer will generally be that you want something that's closer to your office, with a potential performance improvement gained from such proximity. And that's fine what matters is that you've considered the options before deciding which way to go.
The next step is to think about where you'll host your private data centre. As you're already in the cloud, you have the opportunity to pick a data centre that's close (electronically speaking) to the cloud centre you're in. For example, you're probably aware that AWS provides a Direct Connect facility that lets you hook straight into their infrastructure rather than accessing your cloud world over the internet. Check out the locations and you'll see that the connectivity's hosted at 51 well-known locations Equinix in London, for example, or TierPoint in Seattle. Connectivity between your public and private components with a latency of just a few milliseconds is an attractive concept if you're looking for high availability with seamless failover.
Next, you'll need to think about the platform you're using. Most of the time you'll have used one or more of your cloud provider's standard operating system templates, so it makes sense to run your local stuff on the same operating system flavour if you can. And of course you should use the same CPU architecture where you can too, so you can be assured that your apps will be portable.
So you've sorted the platform. Now you need to decide whether the on-premises setup is to be your primary or secondary installation. If it's to be a secondary setup you should have a relatively straightforward job of adding new system and application-level components in as secondaries to your cloud-based apps.
If you decide to flip things around you'll have a more involved task of be shifting the primary apps over and redeploying the cloud setup as the secondary installation. Either way the happy news is that you've already gone through the non-trivial task of providing your office users with connectivity to the cloud installation, so hooking things up so they're able to get to the private data centre, regardless of whether it's the primary or the secondary, should be easier.
One further consideration with the choice of primary and secondary installations is the cost of data transfer. Shifting data out of a commercial cloud setup has a cost associated with it. Not a vast cost, I'll grant you, but one that you do need to keep an eye on. Using Amazon as an example, moving a terabyte per month over the internet from the cloud setup to your private installation will cost you $90. That's $900 for 10TB, or $7,800 for 100TB; even though the per-gigabyte cost tapers down, it doesn't ever tail off at zero. What does this mean? Easy: if the cloud setup is the primary and it's replicating application data to the private secondary, you're paying a chunk of cash for it to do so.
While we're on the subject of data transfer, you also need to figure out how you're going to do it. In these modern times, it's a relative doddle to set up the major cloud providers' storage instances so you can access them externally via standard protocols such as NFS. Alternatively you can look to the major storage vendors, who will sell you a funky gateway to install in your private data centre and handle the cloud magic for you.
The next consideration is licensing, and there are two aspects here. First is the basic fact that you'll need to buy operating system and/or application licences for your private setup sounds obvious but you may not ever have had to consider this if you were using a pay-as-you-go model with pre-configured cloud app servers. Second is that if you want to go for a clustered or active/passive application setup, you may need to revisit the versions you use on the cloud servers as well as buying licences for your private setup. Take SQL Server, for example: if you're running Standard Edition you can implement basic two-node high availability, but if you want something more advanced you'll need to upgrade to Enterprise Edition. Same with Oracle: if you want to enable Data Guard between sites that'll need Enterprise Edition too.
Lastly, but by no means least, is your internal support team. They've probably spent a number of years fettling your cloud installation and fixing stuff when it broke, but their skillset will be at worst lacking and at best out of date when it comes to hosting, networking, hardware and hypervisor support.
Be prepared to invest in training so that you can be confident that the new kit you're acquiring for your private data centre is properly supportable and hence properly supported. Yes, your typical infrastructure is easier to put together than it was a few years ago, but that doesn't mean it's trivial. And if you're virtualising your private data centre which you should getting the hypervisor layer running and optimised will take time, effort and skill.
Going from a cloud-centric setup to a hybrid infrastructure isn't rocket science, then which is no great surprise as any problem's tractable if you design, plan and implement the solution properly. But going from cloud to hybrid has some differences from going from private to hybrid.
So you just need to think a bit before you do it.
Sponsored: The Joy and Pain of Buying IT - Have Your Say
- What is the Cloud - Definition | Microsoft Azure - October 19th, 2019
- What is cloud services? - Definition from WhatIs.com - October 3rd, 2019
- What is cloud server? - Definition from WhatIs.com - October 3rd, 2019
- UpCloud: World's fastest cloud servers - October 3rd, 2019
- What is a Public Cloud? - Definition from WhatIs.com - October 1st, 2019
- Cloud Server - what is and how does it work? | Probrand - September 22nd, 2019
- Best cloud storage service - Consumer Reports - September 22nd, 2019
- Linux Cloud Servers- instantly flexible - May 18th, 2019
- Pricing - Cloud Services | Microsoft Azure - May 13th, 2019
- Hybrid Cloud Security: Simplify Complex ... - Trend Micro - April 28th, 2019
- Best cloud computing services of 2019 | TechRadar - April 8th, 2019
- Hackers Backdoor Cloud Servers to Attack Future Customers - March 29th, 2019
- Cloud vs. In-House Servers: What is the Best Choice ... - January 4th, 2019
- Cloud Services | Design In The Cloud | Autodesk - December 15th, 2018
- Brinkster Cloud Servers - VMware, SolidFire SSD-Based ... - June 2nd, 2018
- Virtual Network Virtual Private Cloud | Microsoft Azure - March 29th, 2018
- Keeping Your Files Safe in Google's Cloud - New York Times - September 7th, 2017
- 5 Reasons SD-WAN, 4G LTE Are Cloud Essentials - No Jitter - September 7th, 2017
- Canon USA Advances PRISMAsync Color Print Server in Version 5.2, Offering Cloud-Based PRISMAlytics Dashboard ... - PR Newswire (press release) - September 7th, 2017
- HPE Reports Q3 Gains Along With Cloud Deal - EnterpriseTech - September 6th, 2017
- Huawei Releases the New-Generation Intelligent Cloud Hardware Platform Atlas - Markets Insider - September 6th, 2017
- Unlocking the promise of a connected world through edge cloud ... - ITProPortal - September 5th, 2017
- Want to do IoT right? You'll need more storage, networking, servers, and cloud - TechRepublic - September 5th, 2017
- Nasa: Our demands for repeat presidential election - Daily Nation - September 5th, 2017
- Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi open to moving servers to India - Economic Times - September 5th, 2017
- VMware officially lands on AWS cloud with new management and security features - SiliconANGLE News (blog) - September 2nd, 2017
- VMware-on-AWS is live, and Virtzilla is now a proper SaaS player - The Register - September 2nd, 2017
- Socionext Partners with Advantech to Offer High-Density, Low-Cost ... - Design and Reuse (press release) - September 2nd, 2017
- Municipal adoption of the cloud - American City & County (blog) - August 31st, 2017
- Veeam follows Virtzilla's cloud up the Amazon - The Register - August 31st, 2017
- Where does a business's data live? - Information Age - August 31st, 2017
- IBM cooks up a hardware architecture for tastier cloud-based services - TechTarget - August 31st, 2017
- Tachyum bets on flash storage to re-architect the cloud data center - ZDNet - August 29th, 2017
- Juniper adding microsegmentation to Contrail cloud - TechTarget - August 29th, 2017
- The future of serverless cloud looks a lot like physical servers - TechRepublic - August 29th, 2017
- Demand for server specialists increases, but talent pool is small - Network World - August 29th, 2017
- The pros and cons of cloud vs in house servers - Edmonton - August 28th, 2017
- You Can Now Spin Up VMware Servers in Amazon Data Centers - Data Center Knowledge - August 28th, 2017
- Windows Server 2016 changes prompt a new look at management - TechTarget - August 28th, 2017
- Cloud security market to reach $12B by 2024, driven by rise of cyber attacks - TechRepublic - August 28th, 2017
- Jeff Pulver, Internet Pioneer of VoIP and Entrepreneur Joins ... - Markets Insider - August 28th, 2017
- Google Aims to Boost Cloud Security with Titan Chipset - BizTech Magazine - August 28th, 2017
- Oppo and Vivo plan to move cloud storage to India, following India's new directives on data security - Firstpost - August 28th, 2017
- Digital Deluge on the Cloud - Valley News - August 27th, 2017
- How Can You Improve Document Management By Integrating Cloud-Based File Sharing And What You Need To Know ... - Business 2 Community - August 27th, 2017
- Hitachi rack servers get VMware Cloud treatment The Register - The Register - August 26th, 2017
- CenturyLink enhances VMware-based DCC platform, touts software-defined data center approach - FierceTelecom - August 26th, 2017
- Biz sends apps to public cloud, waves 'bye to on-premises server ... - The Register - August 23rd, 2017
- Druva Raises Another $80 Million - Channel Partners - August 23rd, 2017
- CrashPlan alternatives: How to move to another home backup solution - Macworld - August 23rd, 2017
- VMware shares to surge more than 20% because the Amazon cloud threat is overblown: Analyst - Yahoo Finance - August 23rd, 2017
- AMD Lines Up New China Datacenter Partners - EnterpriseTech - August 23rd, 2017
- How do you bring artificial intelligence from the cloud to the edge? - TNW - August 21st, 2017
- The rice of cloud, avocado of virtualization and salmon of doubt: Let's eat storage sushi - The Register - August 21st, 2017
- 70% of firms face skill shortages for server-based roles - Cloud Pro - August 21st, 2017
- Qualcomm moved its Snapdragon designers to its ARM server chip. We peek at the results - The Register - August 21st, 2017
- Info on 1.8 million Chicago voters exposed on Amazon server - USA TODAY - August 21st, 2017
- Microsoft and Google Give Startups Options to Amazon's Cloud - Fortune - August 18th, 2017
- Cloud is the ignored dimension of security: Cisco - ZDNet - August 18th, 2017
- How AIG moved commercial claims to the cloud - Information Management - August 18th, 2017
- Oracle expands database offering to its cloud services - Network World - August 16th, 2017
- Voices Cloud security from all angles - Accounting Today - August 16th, 2017
- HostHatch launches new Cloud Servers - 5x faster than the giants, including AWS & DigitalOcean - PR Web (press release) - August 15th, 2017
- Oracle Exadata Cloud lands on bare-metal servers - Computer Business Review - August 15th, 2017
- School phones go on 'the cloud' - The Ridgefield Press - August 15th, 2017
- Datrium Announces Split Provisioning For Simple Private Cloud Consolidation At Rackscale - Markets Insider - August 15th, 2017
- New McAfee virtual network security platform offered as part of free test drive on Amazon Web Services - CTR - August 14th, 2017
- How to move into a cloud career from traditional IT - InfoWorld - August 14th, 2017
- Oracle Makes the Most Powerful Database Platform Available on the Industry's Most Advanced Cloud Infrastructure - PR Newswire (press release) - August 14th, 2017
- Frank Dinucci's Cloud Accounting Workshop Draws Many ... - Markets Insider - August 13th, 2017
- Frank Dinucci's Cloud Accounting Workshop Draws Many Entrepreneurs - PR Newswire (press release) - August 12th, 2017
- Cryptocurrencies have pulled one of Nvidia's most sluggish businesses out of the gutter - Quartz - August 11th, 2017
- GoDaddy tops Q2 targets, revenue up 22 percent - ZDNet - August 9th, 2017
- Hardware Can Still Make or Break the Cloud - IT Business Edge (blog) - August 9th, 2017
- Serverless Architectures from an MSP's Point of View - MSPmentor - August 4th, 2017
- Unisecure Data Centers Offers 15% Discount On Cloud Server Hosting Services - HostReview.com (press release) - August 2nd, 2017
- How The Cloud Will Disrupt The Ad Tech Stack - AdExchanger - August 2nd, 2017
- Packet launches edge compute service in 15 global locations - RCR Wireless News - August 2nd, 2017
- IBM adds Optane to its cloud, only as storage and without GPUs - The Register - August 2nd, 2017
- Joining Apple, Amazon's China Cloud Service Bows to Censors - New York Times - August 1st, 2017