It’s been over a month since I attended the Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo in Orlando and I’ve spent that time really chewing on some of the great sessions and thought leadership presented at the show. Modern IT practices remain a moving target so plugging into the analyst machine every once in a while helps me get a bigger picture beyond even our day to day at Green House Data (which can be pretty diverse itself, with big pushes on DevOps and digital transformation while we balance our existing data center, cloud, and managed services pillars).
It was interesting hearing Gartner start to shift their message from “cloud is the only option” to “cloud is an option.” As cloud adoption strategies have matured we have seen this attitude shift as well, with more organizations looking multi-cloud while maintaining some on-prem systems. One presentation on public cloud costs compared to on-prem data centers really helped drive this home. The bottom line is that the cloud is not automatically cheaper or even necessarily more efficient depending on the application or purpose of the deployment.
Other major topics included how to find digital talent, as the management of human capital and IT teams continues to evolve alongside the industry, as well as one of my favorite presentations, “Are You Maximizing Your Security Operations Center,” which had a ton of great information around security.
With the symposium still fresh in mind, here is my list of where enterprise IT operations are heading in 2020 and beyond.
Hybrid cloud management spans beyond setting up your IaaS environment. The majority of enterprises use a mix of on premises infrastructure (both legacy and newly deployed) and cloud-based resources. Often a major hurdle remains: applications that are not ready to connect to the cloud.
Enter Integration as a Service. We know, we know. Everything as a Service overload! This emerging field involves a vendor who can help architect enterprise IT apps to work across on premises and cloud environments, complete with real-time exchange of data.
How does Integration-a-a-S work and what should you expect from a cloud integration provider?
We recently launched a survey of IT professionals to see how multi-cloud adoption is progressing among members of the community. While we packaged it as a fun quiz to “Learn Your Cloud Animal” based on what results were chosen, the results offer some great insight.
Most crucially, we discovered that while 72% of respondents were currently using multiple cloud providers, a whopping 56% of them had no multi-cloud strategy or long-term roadmap.
We dug in deeper to learn how these IT pros were using external service providers to manage multi-cloud workloads, whether they were using multi-cloud management tools, if containers entered the equation, and much more.
Read on to learn the rest, including the top challenges faced in a multi-cloud environment.
Whatever your cloud or virtualization platform of choice, you can implement tags on your resources in order to easily apply configuration changes or search by group.
As multi-cloud environments continue to become more and more popular and your virtual servers, storage, and associated components sprawl across various providers, efficient governance becomes even more critical.
By implementing a cloud resource tagging policy, you lay the groundwork to consistently apply automated or manual actions relating to allocation, reporting, chargeback, compliance, security, patching, software installation, and even decommissioning or scaling resources when required.
One key concept to master when dealing with cloud, containerized, or otherwise software-defined infrastructure is Infrastructure as Code. This may seem strange at first. After all, your code runs on top of infrastructure, right?
Infrastructure as code (IaC) works in practice by managing your computing resources — virtual machines, storage, networking, and all the associated policies for security and such — in the same manner as you treat your code. This packages everything necessary for your application, from the code and assets to the underlying infrastructure itself, together into what works functionally as a single deployment.
Just as DevOps combined development and operations into one entity, IaC combines code and infrastructure as one.
Kubernetes has been kicking around since Google made it open source in 2014. Like many technologies it has taken some time to go mainstream, but with the rapid adoption of containers by many enterprise organizations, Kubernetes (or k8s) has become extremely popular as a method to manage, scale, and deploy containers across host platforms.
If you aren’t very familiar with Kubernetes, here’s why you might be interested in the platform and why it has proven essential to large scale containerized IT applications.
You may be familiar with Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) — a management system that works to simplify your IT processes. Troubleshooting, change tracking, and updates are just a few common IT tasks that OMS could handle. OMS components brought together backup services, site recovery, log analytics, and automation and are available for hybrid, multi-cloud, and on-premises environments.
Microsoft deprecated OMS as of January 2019, moving all functionality into the Azure portal. Learn more about why OMS and the new Azure portal are useful for your IT workflow and what has changed with the migration to Azure.
Cloud-native automation and orchestration tools make IT administration easier — at least once you know what you’re doing. While there is also some concern among the ranks of cloud technicians that automation could lead to job losses, by mastering the tools available you make yourself more valuable, while also finding and executing on efficiencies. Cloud automation is a win-win.
But where should you begin when it comes to automating your cloud environment? There are many moving parts in an enterprise cloud deployment, even within specific application clusters.
These are the three easiest targets for automation and orchestration.
Multi-cloud is the IT service model du jour, but it comes with a set of challenges that many IT departments aren’t yet ready to tackle. There are many reasons to go with more than one cloud provider, including the use of specific services or abilities, backing up storage across various vendors, maintaining availability or minimizing latency, and even using different cloud vendors as bargaining chips for pricing negotiation.
A managed services partner might be the best way for you to take advantage of multi-cloud IT infrastructure and services, especially if you face the all-too-common cloud skills gap that many organizations encounter.
Read on for statistics on multi-cloud adoption and cloud skills difficulties, as well as ways in which a partner can help you alleviate the top multi-cloud obstacles.
As cloud adoption rates have increased and cloud models for enterprise IT mature, multicloud deployments have become more and more popular. They happen for a variety of reasons: some cloud platforms are better suited for specific applications, others may have security or compliance measures that are necessary. They might be located in different physical sites, fostering failover and disaster recovery or serving satellite markets. For many users, avoiding being locked in with a single vendor is huge for negotiation and data sovereignty.
Going multicloud isn’t a simple task, however, especially if you want to manage everything with a simple workflow. Here are the biggest stumbling blocks companies are facing when implementing multicloud.