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With the holidays fast approaching, we want to help you make your list (and check it twice) by 3-Must-Haves-v2.3breaking down the 3 must-haves you need on your 2016 cloud considerations checklist. In IT, having a bird’s-eye view of big picture priorities is essential.  There are so many interconnected details in our day to day responsibilities.  By identifying the major factors which set the context for the minor ones, we can start to crystallize decision making. So whether you’re considering moving to the cloud or reviewing your existing efforts for the New Year, here are the key areas to consider.

What’s Merrier than Great Management?

Any move to a new platform can result in changes to how IT manages complexities. Just like holiday planning, the goal is to save time and resources, rather than create more problems to solve. Quality cloud services can identify potential pitfalls before they happen and solve them by building in the required capabilities. Some of these important aspects include:

  • Application Migration: When applications can migrate between the cloud and an on-premises datacenter seamlessly, network environments can be easily extended without complications. The point is for IT departments to scale much more efficiently. One useful method is replication-based migration, which earns extra points for minimizing downtime – giving employees a few more minutes back in their day to send holiday gifts.
  • Device Proliferation: Since one of the cloud model’s basic selling points is the ability to enable devices to connect more freely, it’s important that those connections don’t increase difficulties. You certainly don’t want to be routing through a VPN gateway and authenticating users through single sign-on.
  • Extending Network Capabilities: Hundreds of network segments can easily extend and scale over a single WAN. It turns out that we can get all the things on our wish list.
  • Management console: Finally, management should be made easy with an end-to-end view of all applications and resources in single place. Ideally, the management console should be transparency-driven with single pane of glass management. Check out these examples here.

I’m Dreaming of Security and Compliance

Security and compliance are the two most significant reasons why many IT departments haven’t moved to the cloud yet—and understandably so. However, this area is also why many prefer the True Hybrid model. The essential factor for security and compliance is the relationship between on-premise policies and that of the cloud. Some key aspects which true hybrid clouds will accommodate are:

  • Granular Portability: The degree to which virtualization can replicate existing network constructs ensures whether an IT department can trust security policies of the public cloud. It’s always reassuring to know that your own granular security controls are also replicated in the cloud. In fact, a true hybrid cloud will accomplish this by embedding existing security controls into workloads.
  • Segmentation and Tiering: The trustworthiness of the cloud can be further defined by micro-segmentation security policies and multi-tier distributed firewalls. These can be virtualized and applied automatically to new workloads, which means streamlining deployment without additional security strain.
  • Extension: Since we’ve been discussing the replication of security and compliance policies, it’s worth noting that a virtual network can replicate the entire network as a whole. Network security capabilities can be extended and apps moved “as is” without having to be re-architected.

For more information, check out why IT security doesn’t end where the public cloud begins.

Give the Gift of Free Time

Today’s demands on IT are changing fast. The emphasis is on being increasingly agile and responsive to business needs. If we can develop a level of self-servicing to take care of the basics, we can create time for departments to focus on more important tasks. Shifting to a cloud allows this:

  • Automation: Self-service catalogues enable end users to work within set policies, and free up the IT team to get some valuable vacation time. Self-provisioning resources also means skipping laborious approval processes, getting straight to development and testing.
  • Collaboration: Forward-looking companies want to embrace DevOps – cloud infrastructure offers a fast-track. Collaboration can happen without having to change current processes as long as there is a high level of automation. Basically, the existing automation deployed by customers paves a path for implementing new initiatives.
  • Integration: It’s important that emphasis on speed and scalability does not create negative productivity. Not only does an open and integrated cloud platform ensure that learning curves and configuration are minimal issues, but it can also allow enhancements to productivity. Customers can leverage existing processes and also extend them with new tools and frameworks. Make sure your cloud infrastructure can integrate with existing tools such as Chef, Puppet, Saltstack, Ansible, etc.

We hope this list helps bring clarity in your cloud solution decision making. For a cloud solution that does it all, visit vCloud.VMware.com to learn more.

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