When it comes to the cloud, for many organizations, a hybrid environment is the way to go. A mix of private and public cloud services and on-premises systems delivers the flexibility and scalability companies need to support their growing data demands.
Before choosing a hybrid cloud infrastructure provider and building a hybrid environment, here are five key questions IBM shops should ask:
- Does the hybrid cloud provider guarantee performance and reliability?
Companies rely on continuous availability and high performance of their IT environments. Anything less can lead to dissatisfied customers and lost business. Guaranteed performance is a key part of running an enterprise-class IT infrastructure and needs to be a core requirement of any enterprise hybrid cloud provider.
- What types of services are available?
Organizations today want private clouds that have the same flexibility and breadth of services typically available from a public provider, but with dedicated equipment and the ability to custom design the cloud infrastructure to fit their needs. Hybrid offerings should include infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) to provide the scope today’s businesses are looking for.
- How much experience does the service provider have?
With the cloud, experience matters. So does the cloud provider’s relationships with key vendors and knowledge of their offerings. Any hybrid cloud hosting offering should be enterprise-grade in production-ready as-a-service solutions available on Windows, Linux, IBM i, AIX and AS/400 for a cloud service that will meet business needs. The hosting provider should have many years’ experience and the capabilities to leverage relationships with major technology vendors to build a hybrid cloud solution.
- Does the provider operate its own data center?
Companies that are entrusting critical IT services to an outside party need to make sure the service provider is operating its own, reliable data centers. If a third party is involved, that could introduce issues related to liabilities and responsibilities for service performance and outages. The data center should provide total redundancy, from multiple power sources and multiple backup power systems – and it should be powered by an established platform such as IBM’s Power System.
- What security provisions does the provider offer?
For every organization, cloud security must be top of mind. Hybrid cloud providers must make the protection of data and applications a top priority, and companies that use these services need to be diligent in evaluating the security tools and policies in place. That means determining how secure servers are in the host’s data center, whether the environment is compliant with regulations, and whether the host can address common threats such as distributed denial of service.
Ready to ask these questions on your way to the cloud? We’re ready to answer. Learn more about our Hybrid Cloud Architecture
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Chief Information Officer
Key Information Systems, Inc.