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There are so many conversations around cloud, moving to various types of cloud services, and how to leverage the power of hybrid. But, it’s important to note just how much cloud services – and hybrid, in particular, have been growing and where they are impacting your business. A recent WSJ article points out that CIOs are knitting together a new IT architecture that comprises the latest in public cloud services with the best of their own private data centers and partially-shared tech resources. Demand for the so-called hybrid cloud is growing at a compound rate of 27%, far outstripping growth of the overall IT market, according to research firm MarketsandMarkets.
Here’s the big factor to consider: The cloud will be distributed with 60% of IT done off-premises and 85% in multi-cloud by 2018.
So where are you on that journey? And how ready are you for a multi-cloud environment? Most of all, do you fully realize what the biggest benefits of moving into a hybrid architecture are?
Today’s data centers aren’t always built around efficiency. Fragmentation and infrastructure complexity can lead to downtime and management challenges. Hybrid cloud systems not only integrate with underlying virtualization systems, but also allow you to create a more efficient data center management environment. You’re combining network, storage, and compute into the management layer to control your most critical resources and optimize your users. The beauty of the modern cloud and data center architecture is that you can create intelligent network and management policies that scale on premises systems and into the cloud. This kind of seamless cloud delivery allows the user to be continuously productive while still accessing either on premise or cloud-based resources.
So, with this in mind – let’s look at a few ways to prepare and deliver a hybrid cloud ecosystem.
- Get the full benefits of hybrid – involve your business! A great way to prepare for the age of hybrid is to make sure your business actually knows what this means to them. Don’t just forklift your business processes and put them into the cloud. Make sure to understand where cloud services fit in and where they can be leveraged. To get started, work with internal managers, business unit leaders, and IT champions to establish areas of concern or inefficiency. From there, leverage hybrid cloud services and partners to offload those services into a cloud model. By involving your business with the hybrid cloud architecture, you design a platform that’s continuously evolving with the market and your organization.
- Make sure to leverage hybrid cloud services where you need them. An amazing part of the hybrid cloud is being able to scale on demand. Furthermore, you can use consumption models that allow you to leverage only the services that you require at a given moment. So, if you’re deploying a new application or even an entire call center, look to hybrid to help you offload those functions. That’s the beauty of cloud and hybrid cloud in general – where you’re able to leverage the services that you specifically need to a group of users, applications, workloads, and much more.
- Empower IT by integrating virtualization, apps, and data. Believe it or not, you may already have a lot of the necessary components for a solid hybrid cloud initiative. In fact, you can further empower your IT systems by integrating hybrid cloud into your virtualization and application delivery ecosystem. Remember, today’s virtualization platforms are designed to integrate with various types of cloud services. For example, if you have new VDI initiatives, or are trying to work with things like big data – a hybrid cloud platform can absolutely help. Or, maybe you have a cloud initiative – OpenStack, for instance. There are powerful, Ready Solutions, part of a Ready Bundle from Dell and Intel, which are specifically designed for Red Hat OpenStack and the hybrid cloud. So, not only are you able to leverage cloud resources, you can do this from an OPEX cost perspective.
- The future is multi-cloud – make sure you keep your cloud agile. A major part of working with hybrid cloud is the agility this architecture brings. However, you truly do need to involve your IT and business units to make this a successful endeavor. To make your cloud and business more agile; you’ll need to ensure that you keep pace with the evolution of technology. Remember, digital transformation can absolutely include a migration into a hybrid cloud platform. However, you don’t have to go through this journey alone. Great partners and ecosystem solution providers like Dell-EMC and Intel are ready to help you on this path and enable powerful levels of business and IT agility. These types of partners are committed to simplifying the path to delivering hybrid cloud services by developing the foundational technology that powers high-performance, energy-efficient, highly available, and secure cloud environments. Working with the right team, you can create a cloud model that’s right for your business and helps create real-world competitive advantages.
As you explore your own cloud options, know that hybrid cloud allows organizations to create powerful agile environments; enabling better business economics and faster responses to the market. However, as with any technology, planning, execution, and management are always critical.
Hybrid cloud options give organizations the ability to deliver rich content to the very mobile and digitized end-user. Most of all, these types of cloud environments create new kinds of business and IT economics impacting various technologies, data center real estate, and even how new strategies are developed. As you create your own hybrid cloud architecture, make sure to take planning, management, security, your users, and – most of all – your business into deployment considerations.