Four hybrid cloud risks – and how to deal with them

Posted by jesspoulter on November 27, 2018

More than 80% of organisations are operating with hybrid cloud infrastructure of some sort. The rate of adoption tripled in the year up to 2017 and continues to rise. One of the major drivers of this trend is that, for a variety of reasons, full transition to the public cloud has proven more challenging than first anticipated. Hybrid cloud has emerged as a more comfortable option with less risk and lower costs.

However, that doesn’t mean adopters can dispense with risk management considerations completely. Far from it. Hybrid cloud arrangements can expose enterprise to numerous risks if they are not managed with the necessary governance.

Here are four key risk areas to address:

1. Increasing costs

The elasticity of many cloud solutions provides organisations with unprecedented flexibility and ensures their payments are more accurately aligned with their actual usage. On the flipside, unexpected cost increases during periods of peak usage are not uncommon. That’s bad enough. But when IT managers are navigating a complex environment with disparate infrastructure solutions from various vendors, it is difficult to maintain total visibility of budgets across the organisation. Spiralling costs are an unfortunate feature of many hybrid cloud deployments. To ensure ongoing cost-effectiveness, hybrid infrastructure monitoring and management platforms, such as those of Nutanix, are essential in providing a valuable snapshot of costs, performance, usage levels and alignment with expectations.

2. Data management

It’s impossible to consider hybrid cloud arrangements separately from the subject of data management. The introduction of GDPR has intensified the focus on that relationship. The question of what types of data are stored in what data centre infrastructure is not always easy to answer. Conversations about data stewardship and automation of storage need to be prioritised so that an essential layer of governance can be applied.

3. Disaster recovery and back-up

Hybrid cloud arrangements do not negate the need to have robust back-up and disaster recovery mechanisms in place. When sensitive data and business critical applications are hosted in the cloud, it’s not unreasonable to ask vendors about their disaster recovery or failover policies. The question is particularly relevant when an organisation depends on multiple vendors and even more so if any of those vendors additionally depend on third parties to any extent. Any vulnerability in these areas not only poses a threat to business continuity but could raise legal liabilities too. issue. Whatever the outcome of research and discussion, the company has to feel comfortable that its business will not be interrupted or liable if a cloud service fails. The partnership approach that Nutanix has taken to strengthen resilience is an example of how to address potential vulnerability, and further reassurance is available by enlisting the wrap-around services of an IT specialist such as CDW.

4. Service level agreements

What minimum standards have been agreed? Are they being met consistently? For enterprise to invest fully in hybrid cloud infrastructure, these are questions that must be answered. But where there is a complex assembly of different solutions, clear SLAs can easily fade into the background. Successful risk management is reliant upon an agreement of key criteria determining what levels of uptime can be expected, how quickly any issues will be dealt with and how long a disaster recovery process may take. These details need not be beyond reach. Working with a specialist cloud partner in CDW ensures these expectations are contractually agreed at the outset. But ongoing vigilance is required. As a highly developed provider of hyperconverged infrastructure, Nutanix has developed visibility and management tools bring cloud performance levels into sharp focus.

Helping organisations manage risk is one of the foundational objectives of CDW, the global leader of IT orchestration. Working in close partnership with Nutanix, CDW brings a layer of governance, compliance and oversight to hybrid cloud infrastructure. It is no coincidence that CDW was officially named as Nutanix’s global partner of the year in recognition of its deep understanding of the technology.

To find out more about how CDW and Nutanix, working together, can give you greater control over cloud risks, contact your CDW account manager.

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