Managing the Hybrid Cloud Doesn’t Have to Feel Impossible

It is a familiar story. Company X has a large IT presence on-premise. Despite their mastery of traditional IT operations and the comfort level they have with datacenter technology, they want to migrate some of their stuff to the cloud. After all, everyone knows that the cloud is cheaper. The plan seems simple enough. Start by lifting and shifting the low hanging fruit to the cloud, then leverage the cost savings and steadily move everything else.

What’s that saying? The best laid plans….

Here lies the problem. You can move that first part, but it still must talk to the old stuff, which means you must manage both sets of technology. Suddenly, Company X finds themselves with twice as many processes, twice as many tools and nearly twice as many personnel as it is hard to find people that know on-premise and cloud equally well. Whatever anticipated cost savings there was has now been more than negated by the complexity of this new hybrid mesh.

Then there is the challenge for internal IT who must now build a network that has commonality between them. They also must ensure both networks and other configurations such as storage, server and database are compliant, which means twice as much reporting. All this new responsibility makes internal IT feel like they have been saddled with changing the tires on the bus while driving at the same time. For upper management, you may want to pick up and go home.

Infrastructure is Now Code

Except you can’t give up and go home. Yes, it would be easier to just leave things as they are, but IT has a responsibility to adapt to new technologies that the business needs to use because your competitors are. The global business environment is highly dynamic and often unpredictable. That’s why your organization needs the agility and scalability of the micro-services model that the cloud offers. Innovation is being driven by our code writers. Their pipelines are continually delivering new applications and new approaches to authentication and resilience. Thanks to their efforts, infrastructure is now code. It’s a whole new world, and IT operations must learn how to manage it just as effectively as they presently do for on-premise. The good news is that they can and will.

What We Mean by Hybrid Cloud

Despite the complexity of hybrid cloud, it is easy to define it. Hybrid cloud is anything cloud plus your on-premise. We say anything cloud because the cloud is not a place. We mean cloud like. The cloud gives you the ability to consume IT. IT doesn’t matter whether those IT services are provided by a public cloud provider or a colocation service provider. Your cloud could even reside on-premise beside your legacy equipment. Where it resides is irrelevant. What the cloud has done is transformed the expectations of how users interact with technology.

Why You Need the Cloud

From an IT perspective, the cloud represents the ultimate laboratory. Unsure of how many servers you will need in the end for your application environment? The cloud makes it easy to find out. With a few mouse clicks you can allocate resources one day and fine tune them the next. Try out a new cost-cutting idea and see if it has merit. Even in the case of a virtualized datacenter, you still must take a best guess at what type of host server capacity you will need for the next product cycle. In the era of digital transformation, the idea of having a server shipped to you on a palette where you will unbox it, rack it, connect it and configure it seems almost archaic.

Thanks to the growing application of generative AI platforms such as ChatGPT, every organization will soon demand that this intelligence be integrated into their everyday decision making. To be effective, an AI engine must have access to near unlimited data, which is where the cloud comes in. In the end, the greatest asset of the cloud may not be the technology itself but its ability to empower imagination in regard to your business.

The Three Greatest Challenges of Hybrid Cloud Management

For many organizational leaders, a primary challenge is the reality that you can’t walk into the datacenter and see your stuff there. There is a comfort in being able to kick the tires. That’s the purpose of observability, however. Observability gives you complete visibility into the vast underlying layers of complexity that support your applications. Having real time insights into your environment enables you to perpetually contour your infrastructure to the dynamic nature of business today and experiment.

The toughest challenge is integration. It took years if not decades to get all this legacy equipment scattered across your datacenter to work in conjunction with one another. Hybrid cloud means you are operating with two completely different architectures that approach most everything differently. Take resiliency as an example. Resiliency on-premise means two or more servers with some type of backup system that you assign an operational window to. Resiliency is at an entirely different scale in the cloud.

And then there is the personnel challenge. Finding people with expertise in both architectures is rare. When you consider that Microsoft doesn’t even offer certifications in their on-premise products, you begin to realize that we have hit peak talent for on-premise technology. The inflow of new talent is focused on the cloud.

How We Can Help

At Evolving Solutions, we are adept at melding the two architectures of hybrid cloud into one seamless unit. We understand operational resilience, stability, availability, and reliability as they relate to both worlds. That is because we eat and breathe this stuff every day and have for decades. As a result, our team has maturity in both architectures. We understand the challenges of transitioning to this new world. It is how we’ve been able to bring the skills, capabilities, and experiences with multiple clients to ensure that the journey is as smooth as possible for them. We can introduce automation to standardize your provisioning in the cloud and intelligent observability tools to give you full control over on-premise and cloud. Let us show you how we can reduce the complexity of hybrid cloud so you can release the imaginative power of your business.

Michael Downs

Chief Technology Officer

Michael is the Chief Technology Officer at Evolving Solutions and joined the company in 2014. Connect with Michael on LinkedIn here.

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