As cloud technology has evolved, the term “workload” has increasingly become abstract. Applications run in the data center, in the cloud, or across both. And “across both” is becoming increasingly common, sometimes happening passively or organically, as different parts of an IT organization deploy different technologies to match their business objectives. The end result is that you may find yourself managing hybrid infrastructure. And as things turn out, hybrid infrastructure can be difficult to manage. Hybrid management can be a challenge even when you pursue a hybrid strategy from day one.
It would seem that since hybrid infrastructure includes a mixture of public and private cloud environments, you should be able to administer them with a mixture of public and private cloud management tools. Unfortunately, managing hybrid infrastructure is more complicated than that, and it therefore requires specialized instruments.
What’s So Difficult About Managing Hybrid Infrastructure?
Administrators often try to manage hybrid infrastructure using any or all of the following methods:
- Tabbing through separate management consoles
- Basic DCIM tools
None of these methods are likely to be successful. To the degree they work at all it’s because the administrator is yoked to them to the exclusion of almost every other task. The reasons they aren’t successful are numerous.
First, almost all enterprise spreadsheets contain errors. Up to 90% of spreadsheets used in professional environments contain errors that affect their results. If you use a spreadsheet to track your inventory and cloud volumes, it’s going to go out of date quickly—unless you spend almost all your time managing it.
Next, tabbing through separate management consoles isn’t going to work well for you either. This comes down to the limits of human psychology. Every time you switch tasks, you lose some of your attention span in a way that adds up. If you’re constantly switching between applications, you may lose up to 40% of your productivity. Also, your management team wants a single set of information, so your only recourse is to spend time manually combining the results. Viola, you're back to spreadsheets.
Lastly, you might be tempted to use free, open-source, or built-in DCIM tools in order to manage and catalogue your hybrid infrastructure. Unfortunately, these tools are built with simpler Windows environments in mind. This means they won’t work with significant parts of your hybrid infrastructure, especially virtualized and containerized environments.
Solving Hybrid Infrastructure Management with Full-Stack Hybrid IT Discovery
So, if the methods above don’t work, what does?
- Agentless discovery: You’ll never get anywhere by trying to install a DCIM agent on each of your cloud volumes and servers. Agentless discovery is faster, easier, and more accurate.
- Application dependency mapping: When applications sprawl through both cloud and on-premises systems, you need automatic mapping tools that are speedier and more cost-effective than spreadsheets
- Data center visualization tools: Understand which servers are mounted in which racks, which VMs are hosted on which servers, and which applications are mounted to which VM.
- Inventory management: At a time where you can spin up dozens of VMs or containers in the time it takes to type this sentence, you need inventory management tools that can update automatically.
- Software licensing audits: The scalability of hybrid infrastructure means that it’s easy to have more copies of an application than your license allows for. You can avoid costly fines by performing audits yourself.
- Storage discovery: Once you start pushing your data storage to the cloud, it’s easy to end up with on-premises storage that you never use. Consolidate as necessary with storage discovery.
- Integration: Your DCIM should not stand alone. The data from your DCIM is valuable for other applications, such as ITSM. So full-featured APIs are a must-have.
In summary, traditional hybrid infrastructure management practices will fail to encompass the full complexity of hybrid infrastructure, and may leave administrators overwhelmed and underproductive. Meanwhile, Device42 offers the full stack of features necessary for seamless, low-effort hybrid infrastructure management. Contact us today for more information.