This content is part of the Essential Guide: Essential guide to hybrid cloud workloads
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Optimize hybrid cloud environments with these five tips

Hybrid clouds offer a range of benefits, causing more and more enterprises to climb on board. Follow these quick tips and join the hybrid crowd.

Many businesses are building a hybrid cloud environment because of its flexibility and other benefits. In addition to bridging public and private clouds, hybrid cloud environments are a great option for enterprises that need scalability. When private cloud workloads need more resources, for example, they can "burst" into the public cloud for additional capacity.

But before and after hybrid cloud deployment, it is important to think about planning, management and other issues. Here are five quick tips to get started with hybrid cloud, or optimize the hybrid cloud environments you have today.

Is my public cloud provider right for hybrid cloud?

To move forward and adopt a hybrid cloud model, you need a public cloud provider such as AWS, Microsoft Azure or Google. Choosing a provider is difficult because they all offer different services, and can sometimes put you at risk for vendor lock-in.

In a perfect world, workloads should be able to migrate flawlessly between different public clouds. Unfortunately, the reality is that workloads are typically coded for a specific cloud provider's API. To maximize portability within multi- and hybrid cloud environments, develop your workloads to be compatible with numerous public cloud environments.

Also, when selecting a public cloud provider for hybrid cloud, consider the location of the provider's facilities; a public cloud provider in a local region will typically deliver better performance than one located far away.

Three hybrid cloud advantages that fly under the radar

Hybrid cloud environments allow enterprises to move workloads between public and private clouds. The largest benefit of that model is scalability through cloud bursting, which allows workloads to use public cloud resources when demand rises. Beyond that, hybrid clouds have numerous hidden advantages that are worth the investment.

For example, hybrid clouds are a great for supporting containers, which make applications more portable and provide orchestration capabilities through tools like Kubernetes. In addition, hybrid cloud environments allow enterprises to preserve their hardware investments and use sunken hardware costs.

How do I ensure hybrid cloud security and performance?

After following your hybrid cloud plan and migrating your workloads, you want to optimize performance and security. After major breaches at companies like The Home Depot and Target, security is on everyone's mind. To keep hybrid cloud environments safe, take the time to encrypt data and use an encryption platform that works for public and private cloud.

Also, consider regulatory compliance. While data in the cloud is free from political borders, data is still physically in a data center and must comply with  government regulations. Also, monitor hybrid cloud performance through your own or a third-party tool to make sure SLAs are being enforced.

Three hybrid cloud management issues and how to tackle them

Security, account management and resource provisioning are crucial to effective hybrid cloud management. When dealing with security, an enterprise should concentrate on user management, access controls and encryption. By confronting these issues, and not relying on a cloud provider, you will maximize cloud security.

To keep track of spending, choose a third-party service to monitor expenses and budgets. In addition to keeping costs down, you also want to minimize errors associated with running workloads. Configuration management tools can decrease the chance of misconfigurations mistakes.

What to include on a hybrid cloud roadmap

In hybrid cloud environments, a strategy will help you map out the whole process and avoid possible problems. The first thing you should consider is that, as your enterprise expands, it will impact hybrid cloud deployment and costs. Always consider how your private and public clouds will be able to handle additional workloads and users, as your company grows.

Also, think about possible rules or regulations that might affect your industry. Acceptable deployments today might not hold up to new or updated regulations. By forming a hybrid cloud plan before doing anything, you can prevent overlooking small but important deals -- which can mean the success or failure of your hybrid cloud.

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