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Take Your Cloud Strategy to the Next Level By @JmkGill | @CloudExpo #Cloud
Taking advantage of applications in the public cloud can further reduce costs while ensuring agility
By: Jennifer Gill
Aug. 14, 2015 12:00 PM
Four Things a Company Can Do to Take Their Cloud Strategy to the Next Level
Many organizations' virtualization strategies begin and end with deploying VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V to virtualize as many servers as possible. But there's so much more that an enterprise can do to extend the benefits of virtualization. In addition to virtualizing, a workflow-based management overlay can minimize operational costs while ensuring assets are fully utilized. Furthermore, taking advantage of applications in the public cloud can further reduce costs while ensuring agility and on-demand resources to meet changing business requirements. Here are four ways an enterprise can improve its overall cloud strategy:
1. Deploy a Second Hypervisor if it Makes Sense
The one thing organizations need to watch out for is not to get too overzealous trying all kinds of hypervisors. The key is to start small - try out one new hypervisor for one use case. As organizations can demonstrate success, expand that same hypervisor to all secondary use cases. Once the IT team has a good degree of comfort with the second hypervisor, then try a third.
2. Empower the Business with a Self-Service Portal
Be sure not to confuse self-service with a "set-it-and-forget-it" approach. The portal will need ongoing maintenance and management. To further increase usability, be sure to include end-users in the design process or the portal selection process.
3. Try the Public Cloud - It's Cheap, Flexible and Can Really Help in a Pinch
Public clouds aren't just for cloud bursting as it has other great ways it can be used, including test and development, production environments and disaster recovery. Public clouds can also be used for other specific needs which can include:
If an organization's use case for cloud is temporary, be sure to stay temporary. Have an end date in mind with a plan to migrate data and applications out of the cloud.
4. Trial Software-as-a-Service for a Non-Critical Application
As the SaaS provider manages their own infrastructure, be sure to fully investigate the availability, backup and DR strategy. This can entail confirming there is a high availability in place, ensuring that a clear data recovery plan is established and having everyone in the organization be aware of the frequency in which it performs backups.
When a company relies on SaaS, they have to ensure it is protected in a manner that aligns with their SLAs and what their organization expects in terms of availability.
As with anything that requires change for improvement, an organization should always make sure that these ways to improve cloud strategy are the right move for them. If you virtualized, you are off to a great start, but don't stop there. There are several opportunities to extend your vision of the cloud. It may seem complex to manage an environment that is this diverse, but it isn't. There are solutions that make it easy to leverage the hybrid cloud effectively, whether it is a mixed hypervisor environment, use of the public cloud or SaaS. The key is being aware of these solutions and taking the proper actions to take your organization's cloud strategy to the next level.
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