Management Considerations in the Hybrid Cloud

What does management mean to you in a hybrid cloud environment? Is it about having control over hardware choices or onsite Account Management presence from your cloud vendors?

It’s important to understand how you will manage the different services within your hybrid cloud – and how that management, whether that’s vendor account management or general IT support and management, will differ from platform to platform.

We help lots of customers integrate public cloud services into their IT environment, but for some, they need more management and control than what the public cloud alone can offer.

As part of our whitepaper series on Hybrid Cloud considerations, today, we’re going to look at a number of areas where private cloud and hybrid cloud solutions can offer more management and control to suit your needs. For the full whitepaper, see Hybrid Cloud: Choosing the right cloud for your workload.

Account Management

Some organisations still need dedicated Account Managers from their IT vendors and cloud suppliers, who they can meet with to get access to strategic guidance and support about their IT strategy. Some of the hyperscale public cloud providers cannot provide the same levels of dedicated or in-person Account Management that enterprise customers might be used to engaging with, and for larger projects which have a transformational or strategic impact on the business, having access to a team of experts at your IT partner can make all the difference between project success and failure. Ask your cloud vendors about what Account Management support is on offer when making a decision about the right cloud for you.

Maintenance and Support

What does maintenance and support look like across your public cloud estate? Can you tailor support preferences in your cloud portal to match the SLAs you need to deliver to your own customers? Sometimes, organisations prefer to operate a private cloud platform where they operate more control over how ongoing support and maintenance is delivered, whether that's administered in-house by IT teams or delivered by a support partner such as CenturyLink who can manage your platform onsite or within our own datacentres. Especially in a hybrid cloud environment, it's critical to understand the different SLAs that your IT might be operating under across all your different cloud services. Your public cloud services might operate different SLAs and maintenance contracts to your onsite IT and SaaS applications - so in the event of downtime, how do you deliver a common SLA to your business and customers?

This can be complex to manage, which is why working with one expert IT partner to manage your end to end hybrid cloud environment can simplify the process and harmonise SLAs and maintenance contracts.

Billing and cost management

With an agile private cloud environment, you can get more control over your future cloud costs. In the public cloud, costs can quickly escalate if not managed properly and pre-emptive billing modelling doesn't always reflect the true costs once operating in a live environment.

To avoid unexpected bills, consuming cloud services for resource-hungry applications and workloads through a private cloud solution can help you to better plan costs and understand what future costs will look like, without the worry of unexpected bills.

Managing Your IT

In the public cloud, what control do you have over how your cloud resources are managed? Can you tailor which infrastructure management tools your team uses or do you have to use the provider's own management console? How do you combine the management of multiple different cloud services to manage your hybrid cloud environment holistically?

Cloud Application Manager from CenturyLink provides a platform to manage enterprise workloads across any cloud or infrastructure from a single interface – making it easier to combine public, private and on-premise IT environments.

Some organisations also want more control over specific hardware or software used across their cloud platform which isn't always possible to define in the public cloud. A good example is security software, where customers can have particular needs relating to their industry or business type about which security add-ons they require for their cloud platform, which may not be available through standard public cloud service portals.

A common challenge for organisations embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy is that the management of each cloud service is focused only on that one cloud solution - it doesn't take into account how to manage the different areas of your IT and combine different cloud services and resources holistically. This means that IT teams are left struggling to manage and integrate different cloud environments - so the productivity, efficiency and cost saving benefits of the hybrid cloud are never realised.

By bringing management together under one single interface using tools like Cloud Application Manager from CenturyLink alongside our flexible hybrid cloud management services, organisations can achieve a truly hybrid approach to their business technology landscape, with access to the right management and support from a trusted partner who is experienced in delivering technology and cloud services.

 

Find out more about CenturyLink Private Cloud on VMware Cloud Foundation with HPE here.

 

About HPE and CenturyLink 

CenturyLink is a global communications and IT services company focused on connecting its customers to the power of the digital world. CenturyLink offers network and data systems management, big data analytics, managed security services, hosting, cloud, and IT consulting services. CenturyLink is an HPE Gold Partner Service Provider.

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