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The Challenge of Hybrid Infrastructure – Pick Your Partner Carefully
IT is being challenged to rapidly reallocate resources in response to unpredictable fluctuations in demands for services. Demands to increase the quality and quantity of IT services while at the same time having to speed up the development cycle for evolving those services are not new. The problem is the speed and scale of response now necessary to satisfy these demands.
The demand comes from some 8 billion existing devices, expected to exceed $10 billion in 2 years; these overwhelm traditional resource allocation and operations control techniques. Those resources just cannot deliver the predictable response, nor maintain the dynamic flexibility in capacities necessary to assure predictable performance to an exploding number of applications.
Faced with this dilemma, today’s data center is radically changing its configuration, management, and provisioning methodologies. The cloud, a mix of virtual and physical servers – often including mainframe, distributed servers, and devices – operates as an anonymous pool. Software-defined infrastructure is increasing in the data center. Software defined storage and software defined networking are increasingly combined with virtual computing infrastructures into software defined environments. Hybrid clouds mix public cloud operations with traditional data center infrastructure and private cloud architectures. These are successfully meeting the demands.
Solution providers including BMC, CA Technologies, Compuware, HP, IBM, Google, etc. are betting on hybrid clouds as IT’s path into the future. However, building and operating a hybrid environment requires preparation and specialized knowledge. Enterprises, as well as mid-range companies paying the price of early adopters, have stumbled badly in the move to a hybrid environment. A growing number of public cloud services, educational and commercial, are available from an increasing number of major, as well as lesser known players. Caution needs to be taken in moving into this space.
Be aware that preparation and partnerships are key to successfully making this move. Not all of the players are prepared or even capable of providing the support (educational, business, and technical) to assure a smooth implementation of a hybrid environment. Make sure your partner has implementation experience AND has products designed for a hybrid environment. Expanding into the cloud should be undertaken only with a well-qualified and vetted partner.
Rich Ptak is founder and managing partner of Ptak Associates, an IT analyst and consulting firm. See our research and reports at http://www.ptakassociates.com/ or visit http://ptakassociates.blogspot.com/.