Hybrid cloud management challenges

Hybrid cloud is the platform for business innovation, but there are management challenges to face along the way.

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Hybrid cloud infrastructure provides businesses with the platforms to deliver crucial apps and services with a speed and flexibility that pure on-premise systems can’t match. Using a mix of on-premise, private and public cloud services, they can bring traditional line-of-business applications to the cloud and optimise these workloads, while also driving innovation. There’s no better platform for deploying new applications, then rapidly scaling them up.

Yet while there’s no shortage of potential in the hybrid cloud, businesses also face some real challenges, each threatening to stall initiatives unless met with the right strategy, tools and expertise.

These start at the implementation phase, where levels of automation are initially low and there’s difficult, manual work involved in configuring the platforms, not to mention developing, migrating and optimising workloads. This isn’t just a problem in terms of time and labour, but also in terms of skills. The Rightscale 2019 State of the Cloud Report found that a lack of resources and expertise was a major cloud challenge for 79% of enterprises and 77% of SMBs.

The same issue has an impact on the management of hybrid cloud, exacerbated by the need to manage very different architectures with different tools and APIs. For many firms this means either mastering the different platforms and their individual management tools or adding an extra layer of software which might introduce new complications.

The dream of hybrid cloud is rapid or even self-service provisioning, but realising this isn’t easy when each platform in the cloud has its own approach. Meanwhile, orchestrating the flows of data between areas of the cloud sits somewhere between a black art and a full-time-job, meaning you run into the same skills shortages and management burdens we mentioned before. The same applies to maintaining consistent security.

Even working out where to run your workloads isn’t easy. On the one hand, firms face the daunting task of selecting the right platform with the right service levels and the right performance characteristics. On the other, there’s little in the way of visibility and cost controls across cloud platforms, and when users have to predict capacity, they frequently overestimate. Throw in the tendency of developers to spin up then abandon services and you have a perfect formula for cost creep. As HPE’s Gary Thome put it in an article for CIO, ‘Managing cost is an important element in successfully using public cloud resources. And it’s one that can be achieved, but only when you have the right safeguards in place.’

Finally, hybrid cloud poses challenges for disaster recovery. While each cloud will have its own failover and redundancy features, these can be difficult to integrate, both with other cloud platforms and on-premise infrastructure. In the words of Gartner Senior Research Director, Ross Winser, ‘Organisations are left potentially exposed when their heritage DR plans designed for traditional systems have not been reviewed with new hybrid infrastructures in mind.’

These challenges can be brutal, but they’re not insurmountable, particularly if you can find a partner with the right expertise and powerful cloud management tools. HPE’s Greenlake hybrid cloud-as-a-service offering meets every one of these challenges, using a cloud-native, highly automated approach that reduces the burden of management and the need for expertise.

What’s more, HPE’s Greenlake Central console provides a consistent approach to provisioning, management, security and compliance, covering all your cloud platforms within a single pane of glass, tailored for specific company roles. And where organisations need support or guidance, Greenlake delivers it, with industry-leading expertise to help firms select the right platforms, optimise their workloads and ensure a consistent, reliable and high level of performance.

To discover more benefits about HPE Greenlake, and how it can help optimise your hybrid cloud management, click here to visit the HPE website.

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