Technology has gone through significant and rapid changes with the transition from in-house managed data centers to virtualized infrastructures. Now, next generation cloud-native applications, built and delivered using DevOps methodology, are moving to the cloud. These virtual environments have evolved as enterprises have moved their IT into a cloud offering, enabling a scalability and flexibility of on-demand resources, but, do you ever wonder how your virtualization initiatives stack up against those of your peers?
The Cloud Evolution Model
Over time, we’ve created an evolution model, based on observations of the most successful organizations, along with the relevant features and metrics of similar models from leading industry analysts. This model describes the natural path from the tactical use of virtualization all the way to the optimized use of private and public clouds within the enterprise.
By examining such a model, it’s easy to see from the individual criteria how an organization is progressing in their path to hybrid or multi-cloud consumption. Keep in mind that this is an average model, and you may find yourself with criteria and indicators in more than one phase but looking at where you cluster will give you an idea of where you stand.
Ensuring Cloud Adoption Success
So why is this important to the hybrid or multi-cloud adoption message? To be successful, you must have reached a level of standardization and optimization that allows you to govern and automate your technology process. This is where a cloud management platform that is agnostic and that can be integrated into any solutions becomes imperative.
The speed at which you are able to adapt, however, is related to the ability to change internal processes to adopt the technology of today, rather than trying to recreate what you have been doing over time. Thus, a platform that can bridge these gaps and is cognitively simple is critical for adoption.
So, What’s the Difference Between Hybrid and Multi-cloud?
There can be confusion between the terms hybrid cloud and multi-cloud, which gets compounded because the terms frequently get used interchangeably. Hybrid cloud is a deployment strategy where private and public clouds are always used to accomplish a single task or workload, and where data and processes tend to intermingle and intersect across this hybrid environment. The data may intermingle between your on-premise cloud and the public cloud, but it remains with the same workload. On the other hand, a multi-cloud strategy uses several providers to accomplish multiple tasks with differing workloads, typically to achieve best-of-breed results, or avoid a single vendor lock-in. If an organization is utilizing a multi-cloud strategy, that strategy may have hybrid cloud as a component within it, but a hybrid cloud solution doesn’t always mean a multi-cloud one.
When you move workloads to a public cloud, using a cloud management platform can help to reduce your public cloud spending. Many workloads don’t need to be running continuously, but, because you must pay an hourly cost for running any public cloud instances, the costs can quickly add up. Using a cloud management platform to automate power schedules, out of hours, at nights and weekends, and decommissioning instances when they’re no longer needed, can reduce your public cloud spend significantly.
The Resource Challenge
While moving to private or public cloud reduces the number of physical servers, the number of server instances typically increases, and that will inevitably require admin time and systems to help manage the entire services stack, from operating systems, and applications, to network and storage.
Cloud vendors (both public and private) provide their own management consoles, which can be effective to manage their own stack, and also to manage single hypervisor virtualized environments. There still exists a gap in managing multi-hypervisor environments and multi-cloud infrastructures. Most organizations find that vendor-supplied tools don’t provide the vision needed to effectively run the environments, making it difficult to manage change and isolate problems.
But the answer here isn’t to simply throw more bodies at the task, that is neither a practical nor a viable solution for most organizations. What needs to be done is to provide supplementary tools to help with the management, and to implement automation and streamlined processes to standardize the environment and allow IT teams to manage the virtual infrastructure more effectively and proactively.
By enabling self-service provisioning through a customizable service catalog and an on-demand user portal you can empower your business users and DevOps teams to quickly benefit from your private and public cloud infrastructure. Defining permissions such that users can manage their own instances means that they are able to complete simple tasks themselves, giving the IT team the time to focus on more complex problems.
Beyond implementing the technology and automation, management and process integration are also required to resolve the resource and complexity challenges within the organization.
New policies and procedures may be required, along with potential organizational changes to complete the process integration. Without a plan, there is a real danger of spending so much time looking at what has to be changed that nothing actually gets done, resulting in “paralysis by analysis”. And at the other end of the scale, a “Ready, Fire, Aim” approach is likely to fail as well, resulting in more risk than most organizations can accept.
Successful multi-cloud implementations have tended to follow a more pragmatic approach, where customer experience and trial and error are blended. For this approach, the whole plan doesn’t have to be embarked upon all at once. Just taking the first few steps will move you in the direction you want to go, and, as you begin the journey, other steps become clear.
Researching about CMPs, talking to VM users in your organization to learn about their requirements, and starting an inventory list of all the VMs in your environment are all good first steps towards adopting a more time and cost-effective cloud management strategy.
And if you would like a customized demonstration of vCommander, so you can see how you can begin your journey with single-pane-of-glass visibility into your infrastructure, whether it's private cloud, hybrid cloud or multi-cloud, click on the link below and schedule time with one of our solution architects.