You own SharePoint Server, but want to see what all this Office 365 fuss is about. Microsoft can help with that, recently posting some guidance (in the form of a whitepaper) that offers a road map to creating a hybrid SharePoint environment—both on-premise and online.

Many organizations are seeking the flexibility of cloud computing but want to retain tight control over their data, and this fine paper from Microsoft offers specifics for designing hybrid environments. The paper highlights various scenarios in which an organization might want to create a hybrid design: when the business wants to move to the cloud but still requires features not available in Office 365, such as PerformancePoint; when the business is heavily invested in customizations to its SharePoint environment; when the business has concerns about network performance; or when a business is in a heavily regulated industry with deep compliance and security requirements.

Some requirements for an initial hybrid environment include deploying Active Directory Federation Services for single sign-on; creating a strategy for determining which workloads and content to place in the cloud; creating a consistent information architecture and navigation experience; and planning how and where to deploy shared service applications such as User Profiles or My Sites.

Download the whitepaper if you’re considering a hybrid environment for SharePoint. It’s good advice and guidance.