“It is a journey to a mix of IT — traditional, cloud and edge,”Santhosh Rao, Senior Director Analyst, during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Dubai.
Walking into 2020 all companies across the board are relooking into their IT mix. Most of the professionals know that cloud will be part of the future, at the same time they believe that hybrid solutions will help to address the challenges of IT environments. Enterprises today have to decide the most appropriate mix of cloud solutions to manage the integration of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) or blockchain.
By 2022, cloud shift across key enterprise IT markets will increase to 28%Gartner
As cloud computing becomes mainstream, public and private clouds are driving digital business.TD Web Services did a survey of various enterprises in North America and Europe. 72% of the enterprises mention that they have already adopted a Hybrid IT strategy. Same survey concluded that most of these enterprises face the challenge of selecting the right mixture of cloud and traditional IT.
What is Hybrid IT?
Hybrid IT is an enterprise infrastructure model where an organization manages a mix of resources whether it is on-premise, co-location or cloud mix. A hybrid approach allows an enterprise to maintain a centralized approach. Hybrid IT encompasses Hybrid cloud, but both these terms are not interchangeable.
Hybrid IT is no longer a matter of “if” but rather “when”. Enterprise when they move to Hybrid IT it lowers the risk of provider lock-in, and can provide service resiliency and the core cloud benefits of agility, scalability and elasticity.
Hybrid IT Infrastructure Mix
When we deploy a Hybrid IT Infrastructure mix – on a macro level there are only a few aspects to this. But, choosing these options will have a direct impact on your budget and how the top leadership of enterprise foresee their IT Infrastructure.
It is not just about CapEx vs OpEx budgets but what also contributes to a good part of the IT budget is Unmanaged Services vs Managed Services. Here I will be talking of each component taking in consideration of Managed and Unmanaged services.
On Premise: Is where enterprise will set up their own Data Center within their office space. This is a very heavy CapEx. Barring a very few exceptions most of the On-Premise infrastructure are unmanaged. Which means that this is not only heavy in CapEx but also in OpEx.
Co-Location: is the practice of renting space for your IT Infrastructure in a data center facility. Colocation services include the space, networking, physical security, redundant power and redundant cooling components. Relying on a colocation data center allows you to eliminate the CapEx of building and maintaining your own facility while allowing you to retain ownership and complete control of your physical servers. Colocation can also be mixed with remote hands and some providers also provide fully managed colocation services.
Private Cloud: are single tenants cloud environments, usually within the enterprise firewall. Although private clouds traditionally ran on-premise, organizations are now building private clouds with Co-location. Most of the CTO that we speak to prefer Managed Private cloud i.e. when the underlying IT infrastructure is dedicated to a single customer with completely isolated access but managed by solution providers. TD Web Services can build and manage private clouds within its infrastructure or the client’s infrastructure.
Public Cloud: a pool of virtual resources deployed from hardware owned and managed by a third-party and is automatically provisioned among multiple clients. Public Clouds are usually unmanaged, but there are managed service providers who can help enterprises to get managed public clouds. Some of the public clouds are TDWS Cloud, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform etc. TD Web Services is one of the only players who offers both Managed and Unmanaged public clouds.
Infrastructure-As-A-Service (IaaS): Is similar to public cloud on IaaS level bare metal tends to be unmanaged. In simple terms IaaS is when dedicated servers and infrastructure is provided to enterprises on demand.
Platform-As-A-Service (PaaS): is a cloud computing model that provides enterprise a complete platform hardware, software, and infrastructure for developing, running, and managing applications without the cost, complexity, and inflexibility of building and maintaining that platform on-premises. PaaS providers will host everything: servers, networks, storage, operating system software, databases at their data center; the customer uses it all for a monthly fee based on usage and can scale resources on-demand. TD Web Services are one of the few PaaS players that are there delivering enterprise the capabilities that are required.
What are the considerations for shaping an enterprise Hybrid IT Infrastructure mix?
It has been predicted by Gartner that 95% of enterprise workloads will be running in off-premise cloud solutions. The rest of the 5% of the workloads are on-premise when public/hybrid clouds are deemed inappropriate or inadequate. Most internal IT will be set up to serve a specific internal use case.
Rise of Public Clouds: Public cloud is popular due to cost savings, and a belief that everything will eventually shift to the cloud.
Purpose of Private Cloud: Private cloud is best for organizations with dynamic or unpredictable computing needs or it is required due to regulatory compliance.
When I meet with a new customer or prospect for a new hybrid IT strategy, three fundamental topics that define solution design process:
- management rigor (orchestration etc)
- solution agility (Automation, PaaS, K8 etc)
The Great Debate: Capex vs. Opex
The ability to convert CapEx to OpEx propelled the growth of cloud. Bulk of IT expenditure is already on OpEx based cloud infrastructure – but this is not suitable for all cases. Adoption of a Hybrid IT infrastructure strategy allows enterprise to model in CapEx intensive solutions like on-premise or Co-Location being fully integrated with their cloud infrastructure that is deployed.
Hybrid IT Infrastructure mix will allow all enterprise to answer the following questions while moving towards cloud:
- Where and how the organization should opt for Cloud Computing Services
- How will organization access, secure, manage and integrate across hybrid environments
- How does cloud computing factor into our IT workloads
- How will your existing infrastructure adapt to technological changes?
How much time & resources does an enterprise want to put into an infrastructure solution?
This is not a simple question to answer. Hybrid IT can impact enterprise applications across various dimensions. The starting point was replacing the old software with SaaS and moving up the ladder you will need to factor in IaaS (Infrastructure-As-A-Service) and furthermore PaaS (Platform-As-A-Service).
Application development strategies must evolve a move to CI/CD is inevitable
As the application strategy evolves towards CI/CD, an enterprise whether managed or unmanaged solutions fit better for them. 87% of CXO agree that time, money and resources that are spent on routine maintenance could be saved, they can create more value for the enterprise itself. Most IT professionals are frustrated with the time spent on such routine infrastructure management tasks. Depending on how much the organisation expects the IT team to move the needle forward Managed Solutions for Hybrid IT is a better way.
How important is Infrastructure Agility?
Application, Data and hence the IT workloads are constantly changing. The volume and velocity of data generated today will force organizations to deploy cloud first strategy.
“Organizations without a cloud-first strategy — where the cloud is primary, prioritized and promoted — will likely fall behind competitors,”– Santhosh Rao, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner
Agility will not arise from application or data needs. It will also arise from the fact that business priorities have changed or there is a merger and acquisition or simply the IT leadership has changed; the reasons demanding for agility are countless. It’s important to have a trusted service provider who can help you successfully navigate these changes.
A trusted managed solution provider will always help you to shift your existing contracted services to other service offerings while staying at the same level of spend and improving the overall IT Infrastructure workload. For example, existing expenses of Co-Location may be shifted to hybrid cloud solutions and giving you flexibility in your billing based on your workload requirements. This makes an enterprise Hybrid IT Infrastructure more agile and can adapt to unexpected changing needs.
Cloud computing has become the new normal for modern IT environments – cloud adoption rates among enterprises have jumped from 68% in 2017 to 85% in 2019 forcing CTO/CIO to adopt Hybrid IT infrastructure model. Are you ready to embrace Hybrid IT strategy? Or if you are thinking about how to navigate through such complexities, reach out to experts at TD Web Services who will put your enterprise first.