This blog post is an excerpt from our latest industry perspective with Swish. To download the full report, head here.
The experts at Swish have spearheaded many advances into hybrid clouds for both public-sector and private organizations, shepherding extremely complex datasets, applications and information into optimal placements, linked by a robust orchestration layer to tie it all together.
“Once you get into a working, hybrid cloud, the management is not too difficult,” said Joe Bailey, Senior Solutions Architect at Swish. “It’s the transition that is the most difficult. One of the things that we recommend, and do for each of our customers, is a systemic inventory of everything in their entire environment. We map out exactly what can move to the cloud and what should stay in place, and then help to design the migration as well as new service-level agreements (SLAs) and processes to support the new environment – all before we ever move any pieces of data.”
Just like every federal agency has distinct needs and requirements, every hybrid cloud deployment is going to be a little bit different. The goal is always going to be moving as many applications and datasets to the cloud as possible, but only when doing so makes sense from a performance, fiscal and security perspective.
For example, some agencies are required to maintain certain financial or communication records for a number of years. To meet that obligation, moving static data that must be maintained, but which will probably never be accessed, into any type of cloud is going to waste resources. Instead, it might make more sense to move those records to less expensive disk storage, or even tape backups. But it’s that level of planning that is required before any part of the enterprise transitions to a hybrid cloud.
Additionally, a hybrid deployment is an opportunity to consolidate the data and storage containers across the enterprise, something that can and should be built into agency-vendor SLAs. Gartner estimates that over 80 percent of data in most organizations resides in file shares, folders, file servers or Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices throughout the enterprise. As organizations grow, this can lead to management challenges as permission tracking becomes extremely difficult. Part of the systematic inventory conducted by integrators like Swish involves tracking, consolidating and taming that data. Specifically, all data should go through the following processes as part of deployment planning:
- The owners of all data should be identified;
- Locations of data within the enterprise should be carefully mapped;
- New storage containers should be built to consolidate and house data within the new hybrid cloud;
- All storage containers should be protected with highly controlled access and continual monitoring;
- And rules should be put in place so that new data goes into the proper containers to prevent a re-emergence of sprawl.
By following these steps, not only can hybrid clouds be deployed efficiency, but all enterprise data can be consolidated and optimized for maximum performance and security in the new environment.