It’s no secret that the cloud has changed the IT landscape. Virtually every enterprise is looking at some form of cloud computing as an integral part of their IT strategy; according to Market Media Research, cloud computing spend will exceed $270 billion by 2020.

That is a bullish forecast, however, that doesn’t mean that all enterprise applications are a good fit for the public cloud.

Technology workloads with high compute needs — financial transactions, computer-aided design or academic computing, for example — are usually better off staying on-premises. This is particularly true with financial trading, where a price fluctuation of even a fraction of a point can make huge difference in the cost of a transaction. Financial traders need massive compute power coupled with extremely low latency, something even the top cloud providers can’t always guarantee. Architecting a hybrid cloud to utilize the benefits of massive compute instances provides scalability with more compute power and lowers the uncertainties on varying price fluctuations experienced with high volatility in the trading marketplace.

Still, there are instances when on-premises resources may not be enough, such as periods of unusual market activity or when workloads in your data center are approaching maximum utilization. Scaling computing resources in a hurry is the main benefit of hybrid cloud architectures and maximizes your current on-premises investments. With a hybrid cloud, you can spin up cloud servers when you need them and shut them down when you don’t — quickly, efficiently and without a massive investment in infrastructure.

Simplify Your Options

Although hybrid cloud solutions offer advantages, adoption isn’t as simple as it may appear. In CDW’s Cloud 401 survey of IT decision-makers, nearly 60 percent said the complexities of integration and migration were keeping them from taking full advantage of the cloud.

This is where CDW and our Cloud Planning Services engagements are necessary for a successful hybrid cloud deployment. We’ve partnered with leading technology firms to deliver workshops, assessments, diagnostic services and consulting engagements to make sure that moving applications and the determined workloads to the cloud involves a firm plan from both a business and technical perspective.

IT executives need to examine a matrix of options, comparing the costs and benefits of an on-premises solution against the top three cloud providers across a range of scenarios. You then want to determine if it makes sense to run that application 24/7/365 in the cloud, or to keep it on-premises and have additional compute power available to you as a service.

Cover All the Bases

If you decide to partner with a cloud provider, you’ll need to account for key variables we call SPILL, for Security, Performance, Integration and Legal control.

  • Security: Odds are, a cloud provider can do a better job at securing servers and physical data centers than you can. But what about business or financial security? How stable is your cloud or colocation partner’s business? What happens if the business merges with or is acquired by another company?
  • Performance: How compute-intensive are your applications? Are you willing to sacrifice performance for price? Where is the breakeven point between compute power and cost?
  • Integration: What will integration look like? How long will it take? How will that impact your performance, data and users?
  • Legal Compliance: Is your cloud provider adhering to all the compliance frameworks you’re required to meet? Are you able to audit this to make sure? Where does your cloud provider’s accountability end and yours begin?

The fact is, no single cloud service is the best at everything. Each major provider has its own strengths and weaknesses; each has dozens of core offerings, different methods of accounting and billing, and differing levels of reliability. Mitigate risk by building redundancy into your cloud strategy with multitiered architecture across leading public cloud providers ensures a successful hybrid cloud deployment.

Learn more about how CDW can help you find the right cloud arrangement for your organization.

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