Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Progress Blog, Pat Romanski, LeanTaaS Blog, Kevin Benedict, Don MacVittie

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, @DXWorldExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

The Benefits of Hybrid IT | @CloudExpo @SolarWinds #AWS #BigData #AI #DX

Hybrid IT is today’s reality and its implementation may seem daunting at times

The Benefits of Hybrid IT: Expectations vs. Reality

Hybrid IT is today's reality, and while its implementation may seem daunting at times, more and more organizations are migrating to the cloud. In fact, according to SolarWinds 2017 IT Trends Index: Portrait of a Hybrid IT Organization 95 percent of organizations have migrated crucial applications to the cloud in the past year. As such, it's in every IT professional's best interest to know what to expect.

Certainly, every business has a varying expectation of what they'd like to gain by migrating applications or infrastructure to the cloud, but the most compelling incentives are by far the opportunity to achieve a simplified management process, faster deployment, or a cost efficiency that benefits their bottom line.

Unfortunately, for many organizations, achieving these benefits isn't always easy-or even the reality. As illustrated by the findings of this year's report, only one-fourth of IT professionals surveyed have received all expected benefits from migrating area(s) of their organizations' IT infrastructure to the cloud. Part of this may be because of too high of expectations for the cloud and not enough consideration prior to migration. Some realities IT professionals should consider follow.

The Cloud Isn't Cheap
IT departments around the world are being pressured by management to migrate to the cloud, as the cloud is often seen as a cheaper model when compared to hosting applications on-premises. But this isn't always the case; depending on what applications are being migrated and which additional services are selected, it could end up costing an organization much more than an on-premises deployment. By the time IT professionals architect and design their entire stack, the price will likely be higher than expected. With the vast amount of services available from companies like Amazon Web Services™ (AWS®), organizations can load up on additional features that offer a greater breadth and depth of application data, but they come at a price.

For example, one organization I'm acquainted with historically maintained their own data centers, but eventually decided to migrate some of their applications to AWS to save money. After all the additional services they added to their AWS solution, they were spending around $7 million a year, which was much more than they anticipated. The company ended up moving some of their services out of the cloud and into a co-location data center model, which cut their IT operational costs down to $2.5 million a year. This example aligns with the research and shows that although cost may be a driver, there are other important considerations-after all, 35 percent of IT professionals who migrated or attempted to migrate infrastructure to the cloud ultimately brought back or left some on-premises.

Continuous Management
What's most important to remember is that in today's on-demand environment, uptime and an acceptable end-user response time are expected no matter where the application is hosted. Application life cycles will also change, becoming shorter and requiring continuous integration and delivery. Once an application is in the cloud, the services become demand-as-a-service and need to be running at optimum levels constantly to meet SLAs.

Operational pieces of the cloud will be more than speeds and feeds. Back in the days of traditional IT, administrators would have to conduct spreadsheet exercises to plan for sizing out their data center. They had to consider current needs and determine what a few years of growth potential would look like before they could make a decision on data center size. Following the shift to the cloud, these services are on-demand, and IT professionals must now place their focus on ensuring SLAs for applications are being met, and work to keep the baseline in check.

One of the ways this can be achieved is by implementing a monitoring system that provides a comprehensive view across the entire hybrid IT environment. Such a system will allow IT staff to make informed decisions about what workloads belong on-premises or in the cloud. It will also show, at any given moment in time, when an application's performance is slowing down or underperforming, whether in the cloud or on-premises, and compare relative performance between these two to make informed decisions. By mastering hybrid IT monitoring tools, IT professionals will be able to understand of how their applications change over time, and track the actual requirements of that application and its workload.

Pre-Migration Considerations
Hybrid IT makes IT environments more complex. Now IT professionals have to face a number of moving parts that they are responsible for, many of which they don't control, but still have to manage. IT professionals may have their applications on somebody else's server and infrastructure, but once the application is there, it doesn't matter where it resides or is hosted-they're still responsible for that application's quality of service, ensuring that it is meeting the SLA.

A recent example is the Amazon® S3™ outage, which disrupted many websites and web applications that used AWS S3 region for storage. Even though organizations around the country had applications running on their servers, the IT professionals were still responsible for making sure their applications worked. This is why it's critical for IT teams to properly architect applications across various cloud services providers: it lowers the risk of downtime and poor performance. Of course, the tradeoff is that this also adds more variables and complexity into the hybrid IT environment.

IT teams should also consider their level of experience with security before migrating applications to the cloud, especially a public cloud. They should start with a non-mission critical application and graduate to migrating more critical applications. To ensure data is appropriately protected in the cloud, IT organizations must be very clear about risk mitigation when working with their cloud services provider, and take steps to deploy careful use of security monitoring and management tools.

Best Practices
With the increased migration to the cloud, IT professionals need to be armed with best practices to keep pace with the changing landscape. They should consider the following:

  • Collaboration: Not only is it vital that IT professionals stay connected with colleagues in their industry, but they also need to take advantage of the communities that are being built around new technologies. If they are able to connect and collaborate with other users and share case studies and discuss what worked best for them, they will be in a good spot to both understand and to reap all the benefits of hybrid IT.
  • Communication: IT professionals need strong communication skills. Being able to communicate successes and issues to their management team is very important. They also have to be able to clearly communicate with their cloud services providers, especially if there are applications spread across multiple locations.
  • Comprehensive Skillset: As the hybrid IT landscape continues to change and evolve, IT professionals need to develop a comprehensive skillset to cloud-proof their jobs. If IT professionals can gain the skills needed to gain visibility and troubleshoot issues that come along with the hybrid IT environment, they will have the skills needed to transition into this era of IT.

If an organization hasn't started migrating to the cloud, chances are it's coming very soon. IT professionals need to set expectations with management when it comes to hybrid IT, and communicating those expectations and realities will be vital to prove the success of any deployment. As the IT environment becomes more complex, IT professionals need to continue mastering new skillsets and cloud-proof their jobs for the future.

More Stories By Kong Yang

Kong Yang is a Head Geek at SolarWinds with over 20 years of IT experience specializing in virtualization and cloud management. He is a VMware vExpert™, Cisco® Champion, and active contributing thought leader within the virtualization community.

Yang’s industry expertise includes performance tuning and troubleshooting enterprise stacks, virtualization sizing and capacity planning best practices, community engagement, and technology evangelism. He is passionate about understanding the behavior of the entire application ecosystem — the analytics of the interdependencies as well as qualifying and quantifying the results to support the organization’s bottom line.

He focuses on virtualization and cloud technologies; application performance; hybrid cloud best practices; vehicles for IT application stacks such as containers, hypervisors, and cloud native best practices; DevOps conversations; converged infrastructure technologies; and data analytics. Yang is a past influencer at Spiceworks SpiceWorld and VMworld events.

He is also the owner of United States Patent 8,176,497 for an intelligent method to auto-scale VMs to fulfill peak database workloads. Yang’s past roles include a Cloud Practice Leader at Gravitant, a hybrid cloud software startup, and 13 years in various roles at Dell.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, discussed how given the magnitude of today's application ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...
As you move to the cloud, your network should be efficient, secure, and easy to manage. An enterprise adopting a hybrid or public cloud needs systems and tools that provide: Agility: ability to deliver applications and services faster, even in complex hybrid environments Easier manageability: enable reliable connectivity with complete oversight as the data center network evolves Greater efficiency: eliminate wasted effort while reducing errors and optimize asset utilization Security: imple...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
The past few years have brought a sea change in the way applications are architected, developed, and consumed—increasing both the complexity of testing and the business impact of software failures. How can software testing professionals keep pace with modern application delivery, given the trends that impact both architectures (cloud, microservices, and APIs) and processes (DevOps, agile, and continuous delivery)? This is where continuous testing comes in. D
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve f...
The dynamic nature of the cloud means that change is a constant when it comes to modern cloud-based infrastructure. Delivering modern applications to end users, therefore, is a constantly shifting challenge. Delivery automation helps IT Ops teams ensure that apps are providing an optimal end user experience over hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud environments, no matter what the current state of the infrastructure is. To employ a delivery automation strategy that reflects your business rules, making r...
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone in...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Michael Burley, a Senior Business Development Executive in IT Services at NetApp, described how NetApp designed a three-year program of work to migrate 25PB of a major telco's enterprise data to a new STaaS platform, and then secured a long-term contract to manage and operate the platform. This significant program blended the best of NetApp’s solutions and services capabilities to enable this telco’s successful adoption of private cloud storage and launching ...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.