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Connecting Cloud and the Data Center By @MarkleyBoston | @CloudExpo [#Cloud]

Hybrid systems grant a flexible approach to cloud, allowing companies to mix-and-match on their own to achieve the right fit

Companies in all industries have been moving some aspects of their operations away from traditional IT and data center functions to the cloud - but usually not everything. Doing so can be somewhat scary, for a myriad of reasons, especially if a company's cloud strategy isn't locked up, secure and ironed out ahead of time. More often than not, companies are finding their way to the hybrid cloud - commonly defined as the combination of an on-premise cloud or IT operation and a public cloud service.

For some of those companies considering moving aspects of their organization to the cloud, the hybrid cloud and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model is a beautiful compromise. Companies have realized they don't have to choose (and marry their data to) a specific private cloud or public cloud offering, nor do they have to strictly keep their information to the physical walls of their data center.

The fears many companies have about the cloud lie in security issues. Some companies have specific security and privacy regulations to deal with and they want to be sure that moving to the cloud will enable them to continue to be compliant. For other companies, the sheer amount of data they need access to is massive and they simply assume it might be cheaper or easier to keep it in-house. Other executives still remain downright skeptical of the cloud and wish to stay in the ways that have served them well for years and years.

This is why the hybrid cloud makes perfect sense for so many companies - you get the benefits of the cloud in the areas where you want it, as well as the important security and management control where it matters most for the business. Adoption of the cloud is getting easier and easier as well, making it more attractive to these late movers than ever before.

Companies that might feel nervous to switch things up can feel comfort in the numbers of their peers. According to Gartner, some 50 percent of large enterprises are expected to choose hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017, further backing up the growing interest in this version of the cloud.

Hybrid systems grant a flexible approach to the cloud, allowing companies to mix-and-match on their own to achieve the right fit. However, another important aspect to consider are the benefits that are possible when you take the hybrid cloud a step further and connect it to your data center operations.

Companies have been leveraging data centers and colocation facilities for years. The benefits and ability to shift responsibility to a service provider is very desirable for companies who don't have a big staff or enough on-premise space for storage and real estate. In addition, some companies have found the cost benefits of sharing resources with other data center clients to be reason enough for a switch.

As more and more data centers build out their own Infrastructure as a Service offering, clients of said data centers have begun to take advantage of those offerings to experience the benefits of a true hybrid approach that is successful and secure.

By connecting the data center and the cloud, companies achieve peace of mind knowing their IaaS functions are managed by the secure, dependable data center that they've come to trust. For some companies, their colocation provider will offer high-speed connections between the data center to the cloud, and if that data center is simultaneously a carrier hotel, well, all the better.

It is important when choosing between all of the hybrid infrastructure options to consider important factors such as uptime, security and availability. Directly connecting the cloud with your data center is an advantage for companies and solves a lot of those issues. As you review your options, here are a few of the issues to consider:

  • Connections: It is so important to understand how the data travels between the data center and the cloud - if that traffic is patchy, unreliable or slow, it surely won't be a viable business solution. It is critical to consider professional and robust connectivity to match your high-performance needs.
  • Security: Security issues are plentiful when companies connect to the cloud without knowing the risk. Partnering with a data center that hosts data in the cloud means they'll have extremely flexible and secure connectivity practices in place for you to take advantage of.
  • Compatibility: In this day and age, everyone knows how important it is that all services and connectivity are compatible with one another. If you aren't able to work with an all-in-one data center and cloud service provider, a company's network provider should support the cloud provider and vice versa. That way, companies can employ a more direct connection and not have to consider work-arounds.

Flexible connectivity can be life changing for companies that are not used to the seamless interaction between data and how it moves in and out of the cloud. Make sure your data center provider offers a hybrid option, but also make sure that they have a steady and strong roster of network carriers to interconnect with and can provide robust connectivity that is stable, highly reliable and fully redundant.

More Stories By Paul Diamond

Paul Diamond is Technology Sales Engineer at Markley Group. He comes to Markley Group with over 30 years experience in various technology roles, most of them in the Banking and Financial Services sectors. Prior to joining Markley Group, he spent several years at Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) where he served as infrastructure manager, chief technologist and project manager. While there, he lead a Strategic Planning and Innovation team charged with creating both short and long term strategic technology plans to consolidate data centers, create regional operations centers and build data storage and archival operations plans.

Paul is an innovative thinker, known for being an early adopter of trends like VOIP, which he brought to BBH in 2005 to lessen costs while improving overall service and coverage capabilities.

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