Hybrid IT infrastructure seems to be the deployment mode du jour, but some theorize that hybrid is just a stopover on the way to a 100% public cloud environment. With cloud adoption as a whole moving slower than many anticipated, it may be too early to definitively say whether hybrid is here to stay, but in our opinion, hybrid will remain a valuable model for many years to come.
Surveys from McAfee and RightScale both show hybrid cloud and multicloud adoption increasing, with McAfee finding a jump from 19% of organizations using hybrid cloud in 2015 to 57% using hybrid cloud in 2016, and RightScale showing an increase from 58% to 71% over the same period.
But are these increases just because hybrid cloud is the easiest deployment model? Often times a company will add cloud resources alongside their current infrastructure, which is considered a form of hybrid cloud. Or is it because the definition of hybrid cloud itself is shifting?
While designing a new application may be the hot development path right now, enterprise organizations have a multitude of legacy applications that should not be ignored when undertaking a cloud initiative.
If you’re preparing to migrate some or all of your applications to a cloud environment, you’ll need to examine them and determine which of these four categories they fall under. With careful planning and perhaps some investment in development, your applications will work just as well in the cloud as they did on-premise.
While debt can be a useful tool for funding your organization (Green House Data is in fact currently leveraging debt as part of our expansion plans), you need to have a payment plan and carefully manage your debt in order to continue solvency. No business owner who wants to succeed would ignore debt and just hope it sorts itself out, or pay only the minimum required to avoid bankruptcy.
Technical debt shouldn’t be ignored, either. The term refers to the practice of putting off critical infrastructure or software upgrades. Out of date systems pile up — whether it’s your overall systems architecture, an aging switch that can’t handle new network speeds, or an application that only runs on 32-bit servers — and become a mess of band-aided solutions that are ready to fall apart at any moment.
Executives should take technical debt seriously. When your CTO or IT Manager tells you they need to focus budget and staff on reducing technical debt, it’s time to listen.
Focusing on cloud initiatives as a technology problem rather than business realignment can be a major mistake. Success in the cloud comes from more than just telling your CTO that you want your systems on a cloud platform. It requires a shift in overall business strategy and clear messaging from leadership on down.
You need to identify your business goals and work backwards from there to figure out how specific cloud technologies can help solve them. This may involve the creation of a cloud team or adjusting your organization to be an agile, “DevOps” style operation.
Ultimately the core technologies your team will use in the cloud aren’t much different than the old model of IT (at least if you were already virtualized), but they do require a shift in your business model to better use the flexible resources available from cloud computing, or the development of a plan that boosts efficiency, reduces costs, and thereby improves your bottom line.
Here are a few tips to keep cloud strategy front of mind.
While your admins might have virtualization experience, transitioning to a cloud-first IT strategy involves a real paradigm shift across your entire IT team. You’ve heard some of this before: you’ll be more agile, your team will be focused on service delivery instead of hardware, you’ll work on business issues rather than break/fix.
What you may not have considered are how the roles of your new cloud team may shift from previous responsibilities, or just how far reaching the culture change may be. Here are some tips to build a successful cloud service team within your organization.
Businesses of all types are collecting more data — sometimes this is inadvertent, sometimes it is completely intentional. With more and more devices connected to the internet and your corporate network, in addition to software that can store and analyze that data, information sprawl is a real factor in IT infrastructure strategy.
In order to better plan for data management, you should ask yourself these four questions. They can help guide your data strategy to maintain security, minimize risk, plan for costs, and improve performance.
If you’re like many modern organizations, you’re looking towards a “cloud-first” IT strategy, where new workloads are architected with cloud deployment in mind, and older infrastructure is redesigned for the cloud as time and requirements allow. But you may also face a common obstacle to these goals: a cloud skills gap among your IT staff.
An ISACA report claims that it takes three months months to fill 55% of information security vacancies, and six months or longer for an additional 32%. Intel security discovered that 36% of organizations lack cloud skills, but are still continuing on their adoption path. Only 15% of the 2,000 surveyed IT professionals claimed they had no cloud skill shortage.
It’s clear that many enterprises and midize businesses may require help managing these new cloud environments — especially when departments are adopting shadow cloud and shadow IT services at an increasing rate, as the Intel report corroborates.
Automation, and in particular, computer automation, has changed everything from the jobs we do from the cars we drive. Naturally, it has reached the data center as well, the nexus that stores and controls many of the systems driving automation in other spheres. But, even in a world where hardware and software can function more intelligently than ever, it still takes people to make everything go.
Most of us have been in the spot where we just want something to work. When you fire up your laptop, you want the internet to come on, or when you look for your electronic files, you want them to be accessible in the last place you left them.
In the endless quest for uptime and systems that just work, software and hardware pieces of data centers have both seen increased automation — but the robots aren’t replacing human service technicians just yet.
“Can my application run in the cloud?”
It’s a question we get more frequently than you might think — and the answer is almost always yes. Just yesterday, we got a web chat from an individual who wanted to know if a cloud server could run his e-mail server, SMTP-based, with PowerMTA, or if he would need a dedicated option. Mail servers are frequently run on virtual machines, so this configuration should pose no problem as a cloud server.
There are thousands of applications, running on a wide variety of operating systems, that play nice with VMware virtualization platforms (the basis of the gBlock cloud). Here are four hybrid cloud use cases to get you started.