With the current economic uncertainties, competition fuelled by globalisation and the Internet enabling new business models, companies need to address the cost-efficiencies and scalability of their IT infrastructure now more than ever.
For many of them, it makes sense to move their infrastructure out of internally managed environments and into managed hosting facilities to fully exploit the benefits of virtualisation and cloud services. Outsourcing technology infrastructure management, be it in database, storage, security or networking technology, enables companies to focus on their core IP and critical business deliverables. The combined benefits of focusing internal resources on driving business performance versus, managing the demands of maintaining both the broad-skill set needed for a robust IT organisation and the day-to-day demands of managing the infrastructure - make outsourcing the obvious answer.
Or is there a broader view? What ControlCircle believes to be the future of outsourced IT since the evolution of cloud is the concept of a blended infrastructure, or hybrid cloud.
The hybrid cloud represents the ability for enterprises that outsource to have the mobility of workload from dedicated environments to shared cloud-based services. This enables them to take full advantage of outsourcing and the richness of cloud capabilities but in an integrated and controlled environment. This is not a ‘one size fits all’ model, but an approach that enables companies to utilise the best technique to delivering their IT systems and applications across a number of deployment models.
Key to the hybrid cloud model and workload mobility is the ability for customers to have a single management and monitoring view of their full IT estate, no matter where or how it is deployed.
A management tool set should provide both the outsource partner and the customer the ability to deploy workload to any combination of platforms (physical, private cloud, datacentre utility or public cloud offering) and manage it through a single view. Through a managed service provider, companies can benefit from offerings that provide them with a model that allows for the right level of management support to be selected (fully managed and monitored, monitored only, etc) within a single operational view, or control centre. Both client and partner can manage the IT infrastructure via one framework, allowing for the customer to manage its delivery lifecycle and IT landscape from legacy systems, proof-of-concept, development, test, staging and production across a unified platform.
Advantages to a hybrid cloud approach:
· Using a hybrid cloud model is a valuable approach to architecture, in that it’s possible to mix and match the resources between physical dedicated infrastructure, which is typically a sunk cost but difficult to scale, with infrastructure that's scalable and provisioned on demand. You place the applications and data on the most appropriate platforms and then span the processing between them to achieve the best results.
· A hybrid cloud by definition means that specific aspects of existing IT infrastructure occur in public cloud environments, and the remainder of the IT infrastructure stays in dedicated or private cloud environments. Take the case of business intelligence in the cloud – although some people promote the migration of gigabytes of operational data to the cloud, many others find the hybrid approach of keeping the data local and the analytical processing in the cloud to be much more practical.
· The use of hybrid computing acknowledges the fact that not all IT resources should exist in public clouds, and that some may never exist in public clouds. Considering regulatory compliance issues, performance requirements, and security demands, the need for a private cloud will always be present for some organisations. This experience with the hybrid model helps us all get better at understanding what model is the most appropriate for various workloads and use cases.
So it is not a cloud for cloud’s sake approach but from a capex, opex, resource flexibility and management point of view, this model allows for an organisation to benefit from a pragmatic outsourcing partnership. It provides reassuring control and visibility of the estate and its assets for optimum management of business operations. Additionally, it offers a joint management interface coupled with the experience and capability of a managed service partner, enabling the customer to deliver an effective and agile IT infrastructure. It could very well provide the best of both worlds.
For more information on the topic of cloud download our guide, 10 questions to ask your cloud service provider, http://ow.ly/bfiIj, or attend our Cloud in Control seminar by registering here (http://bit.ly/KkhRMl).
Tags: Private Cloud, Public Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, Cloud Security, Service Providers, Software-as-a-Service