02 February 2020

Hybrid Cloud, enabling business

As seen in Computer World.

Hybrid cloud is a rapidly maturing realm where agility, scalability and performance of diverse IT infrastructure, systems and applications are paramount to effectively delivering technology-driven business enhancements. By their very nature, Hybrid architectures are bespoke and complex. They are a balancing act performed on the tightrope connecting old ways of conducting business to new ones accelerated by technology.

Debate about deployment options is no longer focused on ‘if’ you need to use a combination of public and private platforms. Instead, deliberation is now about ‘how’ and where the best place is to locate the components of your physical and cloud-based infrastructure.

Many choose to keep some of their infrastructure on-premise but that does have an array of hidden costs which you should be aware of. Others are embracing the diverse benefits derived from relocating legacy and private infrastructure into specialist, colocation data centres. So, how do you build a Hybrid Cloud architecture that actively helps to minimise cost, optimise performance and productivity and enhance customer experience to enable business strategy?

Reining in complexity

The past decade saw an unprecedented shift in cloud, so much so that in 10 short years it’s become a critical element of driving customer and business value. With the proliferation of cloud services being widely adopted within every organisation, one thing is certain – hybrid architectures are here to stay.

With the acceleration of trends and opportunities that 21st century technology continues to uncover, new layers of complexity to the organisation are added and the struggle to keep sprawling hybrid components integrated, manageable and in close proximity to each other is an escalating challenge. This includes critical legacy infrastructure scattered across the enterprise, public/private cloud applications and increasingly high-density workloads that process large amounts of data in real time.

Sweating down the cost of maintaining legacy is a great example. Every organisation has a broad range of IT hardware and applications which, over the years, have organically found their way into the broader technology landscape to meet an immediate departmental or enterprise requirement. At the heart of many business processes, much of this legacy infrastructure is still running critical business operations such as customer databases, inventory management, and other irreplaceable back office systems. However, fundamentally it is not as agile in terms of scalability and flexibility as the cloud platforms.

Some of the infrastructure that sits at the edge may never move to the cloud for quality and performance reasons, but they can be managed in a more stable data centre environment that is built specifically to support high performance, hybrid environments where they are colocated next to the clouds and other IT and networking services that are supporting transformation objectives across the business.

Additionally, consolidating legacy with the above mentioned infrastructure, so it’s positioned next to the cloud environments you’ve deployed, will drive drastic changes across the business, such as reducing latency, improving IT performance and helping reduce the carbon footprint of IT within your business.

Agility to move quickly

In a highly competitive world, improving speed to market for new initiatives and innovations as well as the ability to transform quickly are key objectives of an organisation’s enablement strategy. Should the need for rapid scaling up of infrastructure, the decommissioning of obsolete technologies or accessing new public cloud infrastructure arise, the process of executing change needs to be nimble and affordable.

Organisations need to be able to respond quickly to changing market conditions, seasonal or unplanned demand variations and evolving or emerging competitive threats. They want the flexibility to access additional infrastructure as required and make new connections between old and new workloads as they need it without locking into long-term commitments or investing upfront capital.

Similarly, in a world that continues to change and evolve rapidly, there is now supplementary pressure to ensure costs can be streamlined and predictably forecast to maintain an agile stance in preparation for future requirements. Similarly, if there is a need to scale back infrastructure, you will not be burdened with ongoing costs for maintaining infrastructure that is no longer being fully utilised.

With technology taking over as the lead driver of business process, hybrid architectures – integrating critical legacy, colocated private infrastructure, a range of third-party services and public cloud platforms – will fast become an essential when building holistic, integrated and optimised hybrid environments that are designed to accelerate performance and profitability.

The great news about transitioning infrastructure management from an inhouse, large-scale capex investment to an opex-based, utility model is that you don’t have to do it all at once. Instead, you regain full control in carefully staging an incremental and controlled transition. Furthermore, your infrastructure is secured to the highest international standards, more resilient to unplanned interruption and future-proofed to support near and longer-term requirements of the business.

Talk to us at NEXTDC to learn more about how you can accelerate your journey to a resilient hybrid cloud architecture.