Tips for Building a Versatile Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure
Experts Voice
19 April 2021
Tips for Building a Versatile Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure
Experts Voice
19 April 2021

Working with a combination of private and public cloud services in a hybrid cloud solution presents a wide range of challenges with keeping data safe and making sure all of your applications can communicate efficiently. The path to building a versatile, secure hybrid cloud infrastructure involves developing a standardized, tracked, and validated configuration. 

The different parts of your hybrid cloud need to allow applications and databases to communicate with each other. Individual cloud providers keep configuration data under control, but this is a bit more of a challenge with a hybrid cloud because data doesn’t live inside a singular enclosed service. How you organize configuration information makes a difference in both performance and maintainability.

Standardization: making a herculean task manageable

The closer you can keep your organization’s hybrid cloud configuration to a standardized model, the easier it will be to manage it. A standardized or normalized system is easier to maintain than one built under several layers of ad hoc adjustments.

Avoid changing how you manage computing resources between different cloud and application providers. The configuration should handle cloud services like Azure and AWS the same way. Write your code and configuration data as portable as possible.

Machine learning and performance testing tools are invaluable assets you can have on your side when developing a standardization strategy. These tools can identify configuration patterns and which configurations offer the best performance.

Tracking changes: managing configuration like a program

Keeping detailed logs of all configuration changes is part of high-performing hybrid cloud infrastructure. Like with an application’s code, maintain a version history log of the configuration. You need to know who changed what, when they changed it, and why they changed it.

Although standardization is the ultimate goal, it isn’t always realistic to expect the same code and configuration to work in all instances. It’s necessary to track deviations between applications.

Tracking changes is easier said than done when working with multiple teams. You’ll need to account for teams updating different parts of the configuration at the same time. Implementing a role-based access control system helps keep things orderly.

Validation: stopping mistakes before production

You’ll also want to run configuration data through a validation process. Run configuration changes through QA like you would with application code updates. Your organization will need to establish how strict it will be with enforcing standards because more freedom to deviate from the standards requires more validation. Additionally, validation checks will scale as more people can access the configuration.

As part of the validation process, you’ll want to maintain snapshots across versions. Machine learning can also help out in this part of the process.

Data governance: an additional complicating factor

The concept of data governance complicates the hybrid cloud infrastructure because it imposes specific rules and requirements for different regions. Local laws may require that your organization stores information in specific places or entities. 

Your organization is legally required to follow data governance requirements, but don’t let those requirements break your other good habits. The best practice is to build with portability in mind so applications can connect to different databases in a similar, standardized manner.

Building a versatile hybrid cloud infrastructure is an ongoing process. It doesn’t end with a single configuration. It requires continuous development and enforcement of standardization, tracking, validation, and data governance practices.

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