Backup & Storage|Cloud Computing|Hybrid Cloud|Hyper-V|Microsoft Azure|VMware

Upgrading your Infrastructure with the Hybrid Cloud

There’s no doubt the businesses today are rapidly adopting hybrid cloud technologies. The cloud’s cost-effective storage, pay-as-you-go model, and global access make it a valuable asset to all types of organizations. The hybrid cloud computing model brings with it several important new capabilities that can significantly upgrade your IT infrastructure and processes. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most effective ways you can upgrade your IT operations using the hybrid cloud.

Cloud Backup

One of the easiest and most effective ways to upgrade your infrastructure using the hybrid cloud is to move your backups to the cloud. The cloud provides very cost effective storage which makes it a natural choice for backups. Backing up to the hybrid cloud can enable your organization to replace older legacy tape and other offsite storage technologies. Cloud services like Azure Backup and several applications like SQL Server 2014 and higher offer integrated cloud backup capabilities for your on-premise systems. When using the cloud as a backup target it’s important to realize that there is a tradeoff between backup performance and storage costs. While the cloud is typically less expensive, the latency for cloud backup and restore operations is higher than on-premises backup and restore.

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Cloud HA and DR

One of the other ways that the hybrid cloud can modernize your IT environment is by using it to enhance your application’s availability and disaster recovery capabilities. Technologies like vSphere Replication, Hyper-V Replica, and SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability Groups (AGs) have the ability to use the cloud to for both high availability (HA) as well as disaster recovery (DR) for local VMs. vSphere Replication and Hyper-V Replica enable you to create and maintain VM replicas on cloud that can be readily fired up in the case of a local failure. Likewise, SQL Server’s AlwaysOn AGs have a built-in wizard that can help you to create either HA or DR AGs that can span both on-premise and the cloud.

Cloud-Smart Storage

Another innovate way to take advantage of the hybrid cloud is through smart storage. Several of the modern storage subsystems available today, like Microsoft’s StorSimple, are able to seamlessly span on-premise and the cloud — automatically keeping hot frequently accessed data on high-performance local SSD drives while moving colder less frequently accessed data to the cloud. These type of smart storage systems can perform this activity completely transparently with no manual intervention after they are initially setup. Using this hybrid cloud technology can help you reduce operational requirements and can optimize the balance between higher cost and higher performance local SSD storage and lower cost lower performance cloud storage.

Hybrid Cloud Management

Serval Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solutions like Microsoft Operation Management Suite (OMS) have emerged with hybrid cloud management capabilities that enable you to use the cloud as a central management platform for both your on-premise infrastructure and your cloud infrastructure. Designed to replace on-premise solutions like System Center Management Suite, cloud management services like OMS were designed in to run entirely in the cloud and you can be up and running with them in just a few minutes. Agents running on the Windows or Linux systems in your data center can send operations data to Log Analytics where it can be combined and analyzed along with the data collected from cloud services.

Cloud Bursting

Another way to modernize your IT infrastructure capabilities with the hybrid cloud is by utilizing cloud bursting. Cloud bursting enables you to handle temporary spikes in your workloads by extending your on-premises applications into the cloud. Many businesses experience peaks in demand during marketing campaigns or the holiday shopping seasons. The advantage of this type of hybrid cloud deployment is that the business only pays for the added compute resources when they are needed without the need to buy additional local computing resources. When the demand is over and the cloud resources are no longer needed you can easily dispose of them. Your applications usually need to be designed to be able to take advantage of cloud bursting.



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Michael Otey is president of TECA, a technical content production, consulting and software development company in Portland,
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