Private, public, and hybrid cloud computing are gaining popularity as companies seek efficient, cost-effective technology and compute solutions that address their needs in real time. For IT teams, the array of connections, integrations, portability issues, resource options, orchestration, and storage choices have increased exponentially—as has the complexity of installing and maintaining cloud environments. But technology alone is not enough. A thoughtful, strategic, and detailed approach to cloud deployment is essential for success.
1. Identify your goals
Start with your objective, then determine the precise steps you need to take to get there. Before putting your cloud strategy in motion, you should:
- Understand and clearly articulate what you are trying to achieve.
- Define clear and specific key performance indicators (KPIs) as well as criteria for success.
- Research applicable policies and regulations for every aspect of your implementation.
- Identify stakeholders—detractors as well as supporters—and walk them through how you plan to address concerns and potential roadblocks.
- Identify implementation challenges and consider options for addressing them before you start, taking into account organizational goals for automation, management, and scalability.
- Analyze which existing applications and workloads can and should be migrated to a new environment, then map out the people and budget you need for proper support.
2. Get educated
Hybrid clouds normally use technologies such as containers, Kubernetes for container orchestration, common operating systems, runtime environments, flexible storage, and universal developer frameworks and tools. They are used for everything from Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) deployments to tools for data analytics, machine learning, and database functions. Hybrid clouds designed with portability in mind can orchestrate cloud workloads under unified management, but they require the ability to navigate myriad connections and integration points.
3. Build your strategy
Follow a proven approach for cloud implementation and create a thorough checklist to make sure nothing is overlooked in discovery, design, build, proof of concept, testing, and migration. You should:
- Address all potential concerns, issues, and roadblocks before beginning.
- Research successful use cases and align architectures to your company’s business needs and operating environment.
4. Brace for impact
Cloud implementation affects workflows, automation, management policies, and more. To be successful, you should partner with your company’s operations team from the beginning and engage them throughout the implementation. The better they are prepared, the smoother the transition. Be diligent about communications and documentation—keep all stakeholders informed and aligned throughout the project.
Enterprise-ready open source code and software provide the foundation for cloud platforms that deliver all types of business applications in various environments. Linux® is often at the heart of a cloud infrastructure, and for good reason—adopting an open, extensible architecture helps companies avoid vendor lock-in and proprietary implementations, giving them the flexibility to adapt as their business needs and priorities change. Additionally, application developers increasingly package application components in Linux containers that run as microservices across a variety of cloud environments to increase agility.