Among the benefits of using hybrid IT — a mix of on-premise and off-premise IT environments — is that you can place your workloads where they perform best. In many cases, specific IT environments can also help you meet other requirements for those workloads, such as regulatory compliance. But how do you know which environments are best for your workloads? The following are some of the tasks entailed in making sure each workload moves to an optimal IT environment.
- Measure, analyze and understand your applications. You’ll need to determine your anticipated demand pattern, geography profile and delivery requirements. How can various IT environments accommodate the volume of growth you anticipate, as well as any unexpected spikes in demand? Keep in mind that most workloads are cyclical, following the same patterns whether it be over daily, weekly, monthly or annual periods.
- Know your data and its security needs. What kinds of data do you have and where is it located? Mapping the flow of data through the application will help clarify this. Identify what data is sensitive and which part of the application handles that data. You will need to know where your data resides and have the ability to access and monitor it no matter where it is along the end-to-end data path. What security policies do you have in place to protect your data and does it account for various IT environments? If not, make sure to update your security policies to account for any new IT environments you use.
- Team up with your cloud services and/or colocation provider(s) to meet compliance requirements. Moving some or all workloads to a colocation facility or a cloud environment doesn’t relieve you of your compliance requirements. However, your provider may be able to help you meet some of them by solving challenges that help you achieve compliance at the infrastructure layer. Keep in mind that it is your responsibility to ensure any provider you work with maintains the necessary regulatory controls and certifications on an ongoing basis. You also need to make sure that you have the ability to do auditing and reporting, and have access to your information.
- Adopt and deploy a service-oriented architecture. Decompose applications and understand the demands of your workloads. Anything that is business critical and/or sensitive can be separated from your non-critical components so you can find the appropriate environment for each one. You can also compose them into more complex workloads, and put them into integration hubs. Many companies decompose their applications and move everything to the cloud, missing out on using the services available from their cloud service providers. Importantly, if you will be moving to the cloud, take advantage of the repeatable services the provider offers.
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