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Maturity around cloud computing has allowed organizations to focus on their specific cloud strategies and deployment models. Currently, hybrid cloud architectures is one of the most dominant models and offers the most benefits for IT, your data center and the business.
Plus, there are real-world numbers to back this up. According to IDC, the big drivers for increased implementation of hybrid clouds are: IT’s continuing quest for optimized infrastructure, and the ability of solution builders to source application and infrastructure components from multiple providers to construct a hybrid cloud-based solution. Consider this: By the end of 2018, 40 percent of IT spend across hardware, software, and services will be for cloud-oriented technologies. By 2020, 45 to 50 percent of all spend will be for cloud delivered models.
However, there are some challenges as organizations shift into a hybrid cloud model. “With increasing cloud spending, many enterprises will have begun use of hybrid solutions without IT’s direct involvement,” said Chris Morris, vice president of Cloud and Services at IDC. “With the business unit managers increasingly buying their own cloud solutions, hybrid cloud architectures can proliferate, and sometimes not be aligned with the enterprise architecture.”
So, how do you align your hybrid cloud strategy with the goals of your business? Here are three key planning considerations that will help you bridge your data center with the cloud.
1. Work with a provider that can support your IT and business goals. Recently, the very much anticipated Microsoft Hybrid Cloud product, Azure Stack, experienced a few issues. In fact, the architecture will be a bit more limited than developers were expecting. According to an article in GeekWire, customers have strongly indicated that simplicity and speed of development are paramount, trumping the ability to customize at the infrastructure level. Currently in TechPreview, the architecture (to be released officially mid-2017) will combine software, hardware, support and services. However, until further notice only Dell, HPE and Lenovo configurations will be available.
All of this translates to working with a provider that can support your business and IT needs. If you’re looking for greater levels of infrastructure customization, work with a provider who can support it. Otherwise, if you’re standardized on specific hardware models, some hybrid cloud vendors can specifically support your use cases.
2. Develop data center technologies built around scale, efficiency, and predictability. New types of converged and hyper-converged systems allow for greater integration with virtualization and cloud resources. Most of all, teams across the organization can leverage hybrid cloud services for their specific needs. By creating a powerful, underlying data center ecosystem – able to couple with a hybrid cloud – you enable an architecture that can scale seamlessly between in-premise and cloud data points. These converged infrastructure technologies such as the Dell Hybrid Cloud System for Microsoft, allow you to aggregate critical resource points and create greater levels of multi-tenancy, infrastructure control, security, and user experience optimization.
3. Ensure that management remains elastic throughout public and on-premise systems. You must be able to control those systems spanning cloud and on-premise resources. This is especially critical for IT managers controlling applications, desktops, and other types of workloads being delivered to the user. Remember, we’re working with more mobility, more data, very rich experiences, and more cloud services. All of this translates to requirements around proactive, cloud-ready management. Hybrid cloud systems must be properly planned out and managed. In some cases, this requires granular control over underlying server systems. If that’s the case, it’s critical to work with providers that can support those types of services. Most of all, these providers must be able to extend management between their cloud and your data center. Remember, lost resources are expensive, and poor user experiences can cripple productivity.
“As the use of cloud services matures and broadens, the emphasis for enterprise IT has moved from technology management to service management and the optimization of workloads. The impact of digital transformation projects on the service delivery infrastructure necessitates that CIOs re-architect their delivery processes to ensure the IT environment is flexible and agile, yet secure and resilient,” said Mayur Sahni, senior research manager for Cloud and Service, at IDC.
Moving forward, powerful hybrid cloud systems will provide elasticity and agility for your data center and the business. You’ll be able to create better go-to-market strategies while still supporting advanced IT initiatives. Finally, a good hybrid cloud ecosystem will help create new kinds of business economics that fuel innovation.