The hybrid cloud, whereby data and workloads can exist, be migrated and orchestrated across on-premises private and off-premises clouds, is by and large the end goal of most IT organizations today. One size does not fit all when it comes to meeting varied application service level agreements (SLAs). At the same time, data and workloads cannot be isolated and require the ability to be easily migrated as their requirements change, and as innovation and pricing from infrastructure vendors and cloud service providers changes cost and functionality dynamics of infrastructure resources.
The future is hybrid, but getting there is not an easy task for IT professionals. As a first step to simplifying the transition to the hybrid cloud, IT professionals may consider leveraging a select few services to start. Each cloud service provider has its own unique set of functionalities, such as application programming interfaces (APIs) and authentication methods, as well as their own pricing and way of doing business. This creates a learning curve, just like shifting to a new on-premises infrastructure provider does. Rather than immediately diving in with critical line of business applications, like databases, that need to run continuously to support business operations, IT professionals may consider an alternative. They may first start by migrating ancillary workloads such as backup, disaster recovery, a cluster quorum, or monitoring.
As a second step to simplify the migration process, IT professionals should look for compatibility between on-premises infrastructure and the public cloud service. The ability to migrate applications from on-premises systems to a cloud service, for example in a disaster recovery scenario or to provide more compute cycles to an application experiencing a spike in demand, is the core objective of the hybrid cloud, after all. Software compatibility, particularly at the hypervisor level, provides this foundation.
Equally as important is simplifying and consolidating the on-premises infrastructure environment as much as possible. Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) promises a path to simplicity largely through the ability to “just add a node” to scale out the environment. The problem, though, is that most HCI architectures to date were designed to be deployed on general purpose hardware. Consolidating multiple workloads on HCI requires a hardware infrastructure that can first scale up, in order to avoid node and virtual machine sprawl and improve hardware utilization for cost efficiency.
Interested in learning more? Access our on demand webinar with Axellio, “Simplifying the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud with Azure Stack HCI”.