By making the right decisions and following best practices, leading organizations can easily combine the best of on-premise and cloud in order to reap significant benefits in faster delivery, improved reliability and savings on IT costs.
Through on-premise virtualization infrastructures, businesses gain a number of benefits in ease of management, improved ability to provide services and applications to the business, and increased security. Additionally, with public cloud, organizations gain fast service deployment capabilities, reduced infrastructure costs, unlimited flexibility, and the ability to grow capacity as needed with the click of a button.
Many organizations today want to have the ability to combine these two infrastructures in order to gain the best of both worlds but fear the cost and complexity of properly implementing a hybrid cloud infrastructure. But by making the right decisions and following best practices, leading organizations can easily combine the best of on-premise and cloud in order to reap significant benefits in faster delivery, improved reliability, and savings on IT costs.
Why it Makes Sense for On-premise and Public Cloud to Get Together
Looking from the outside in, building IT infrastructures using virtualization and cloud should be a well-established and mature process. After all, public cloud has been around for many years now and server virtualization for at least twice as long. But while both of these technologies are in some ways “mature” both are also completely new. That’s because each has been transformed by other emerging technologies.
Virtualization and cloud have been transformed by software defined data centers, big data, the Internet of Things, converged systems, and each other. All of this has added improved capabilities but has also, in some ways, added to the complexity of deploying these technologies.
In our research into IT cloud and virtualized infrastructures, we asked businesses about the top hurdles they were facing when it comes to these technologies. And, as one would expect, the number one challenge is concern about security, data privacy, and regulatory compliance.
Actually of a bit more interest, is the fact that the number two challenge is around integration with existing infrastructure. This clearly shows that businesses aren’t just looking to move from traditional on-premise data centers to a 100% virtual and cloud- based system. Ability to integrate with their existing data center and get the most out of on-premise and cloud are of major importance to these organizations.
The Best of Both Worlds
When it comes to choosing cloud platforms, integration isn’t just a challenge, it’s the main criteria that businesses will use to decide just what solutions they will choose to implement.
When Aberdeen Group asked organizations how they evaluate cloud solutions, integration with existing infrastructure was the number one criteria.
Another key factor in the importance of integration between on- premise virtualization and public cloud is the value businesses see from the adoption of hybrid cloud. With hybrid cloud, organizations can take advantage of the security and high-speed access of their on-premise systems while also benefitting from public cloud’s fast deployment capabilities, reduced infrastructure costs, unlimited flexibility, and the ability to grow capacity as needed with the click of a button.
As we’ve seen, organizations that are able to take a hybrid approach that integrates their on-premise infrastructure with the public cloud gain a number of advantages. However, this move needs to be done correctly.
It isn’t just a matter of having both on-premise and public cloud. To get the most out of these infrastructures, businesses need to ensure that their systems will not only integrate well, but will set them up well to improve performance, reliability, and the capability to grow.
To effectively deploy a hybrid on-premise and public cloud infrastructure, organizations should:
- Understand their current IT infrastructure. Step one in any major IT infrastructure process is to fully understand all of your applications, services, and servers (both virtual and physical). Knowing where your current infrastructure is today makes it possible to get it ready for tomorrow.
- Build a strong on-premise virtualization infrastructure. If your virtualization infrastructure is poorly configured or managed, with lots of VM sprawl, orphaned systems and poor utilization, it’s likely that all of these problems will be replicated in the cloud. Leading organizations leverage strong virtualization management and monitoring tools to ensure that their on-premise infrastructure is a solid base for the added cloud capabilities.
Map out your public cloud needs and the required capabilities. Cloud can be easy but it’s not simply a matter of throwing servers and applications into the cloud. Some services work well in the cloud and some don’t — public cloud adds value in some areas while not in others. Take the time to understand everything that will be used in the cloud and map out those processes to ensure an effective public cloud deployment.
Look for strong integration between on-premise and cloud. As stated earlier, ability to integrate with on- premise infrastructure is the number one criteria when businesses evaluate public cloud. With strong integration, organizations can seamlessly get the most out of both infrastructures.
Build for the future. New technologies will continue to challenge businesses and bring additional complexities to IT. Those organizations that have used the right systems to build their infrastructure will not only be able to overcome these challenges, they will be able to effectively leverage them to gain key advantages.
It’s great to have a strong in-house IT infrastructure. And the public cloud can bring powerful abilities to scale and be agile. But like a sports team that can win at home or away, leading IT organizations are able to leverage both on-premise and public cloud to be a winning organization.
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