Answer

Manage hybrid cloud environments to optimize application performance

What advice do you have for cloud project managers and IT professionals that are working in hybrid cloud environments?

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I recently wrote a step-by-step guide to building a strategic application performance optimization (APO) plan for a hybrid cloud architecture. In addition to that advice, here are three more tips to keep in mind for hybrid cloud environments.

Fix it before it breaks

I have found that fixing problems takes more time and resources than doing it correctly to begin with. If you fail to proactively fix issues that can cause problems in the future, you will always struggle when integrating new cloud environments into the hybrid cloud. Get rid of small problems now to simplify managing the future hybrid cloud environment.

I know the old adage is, "If it's not broken, don't fix it," but with a hybrid cloud, I say, "Fix it before it breaks." A strategic plan helps identify where the team can anticipate problems in the future with application performance optimization and customer satisfaction. Don't wait for a problem to happen in the hybrid cloud. Allocate resources now. You'll thank me later.

Know cloud vendors' service-level agreements

Fixing problems takes more time and resources than doing it correctly to begin with.

Do you know what cloud vendors have promised to the organization when it comes to application performance? Most the time, project managers and IT professionals do not. Reach out to the appropriate legal representative and ask them to review the vendor agreement.

Know what the service-level agreement (SLA) states, and request that cloud vendors validate that they have been meeting the agreed upon SLA performance metrics. If they fail to follow up or give excuses on why they don't have the metrics, get that legal representative involved.

There may be thousands of dollars in SLA credits if a cloud vendor fails to meet an SLA agreement. If the agreed upon performance metrics are not meeting customers' needs, work with the legal representative to renegotiate the metrics.

Communicate to business partners that not all apps perform well in a public cloud

Be open to the possibility of moving to a public cloud, but not until you've done your homework. Cloud project managers and IT professionals are far too often pushed by business partners to migrate applications and data that will not perform well in the public cloud. Know the performance application metrics in the private cloud and what risks are associated with moving an application and data to a public cloud.

Many legacy applications need to remain in a customized environment to optimize performance. Be aware that some business partners will move ahead with their own cloud solution (i.e., go rogue) unless they understand the overall impact to the application's performance and security.

This was first published in March 2014

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