hybrid configuration wizard

Why you should think about hybrid cloud

ByVivek Malhotra, Director – IBM Cloud, India/South Asia

Most CIOs have their heads in the cloud these days. But if they are leading substantial, established enterprises, they also have their feet in a well-designed, carefully secured data center. From big companies to small, CIO’s are feeling pressure from their CEO, employees, customers, partners and from the general shift in the market to implement the latest cloud based IT technology for efficiency, agility and economy. More importantly, they are feeling the need to leverage more the existing IT infrastructure to maximize return on investment.

Since the last few years, cloud computing has been the go-to source for CIO’s to align the enterprise business requirements with that of technology. Within the cloud computing model, CIO’s are realizing that hybrid clouds provide the best of both worlds. An example is of storing critical information in a private cloud vis-à-vis storing voluminous amounts of unstructured information in public clouds. Sophisticated data analytics algorithms can be developed to run and find key information nuggets for the business and to help the two private and public cloud data sets to seamlessly interact when needed.

Identifying the data set that requires private or public storage, interaction modules, management of the hybrid environment all require careful analysis and planning. However, given the huge benefits, many established businesses with large IT investments are opting to go the hybrid route.

Three models of computing are favoured by organizations today:

·        Private servers for critical applications in the corporate data center
·        Pooled resources in a private cloud in the corporate data center
·        Data in public cloud, accessed over the internet

The blending of the above three deployments creates the hybrid cloud.

Creating a hybrid cloud environment will need to take into consideration the various compute systems in play in the organization. Well entrenched and established enterprises have legacy systems that are too fragile to move as it might disturb systems running for more than 30 years. The downtime of the ERP system, running and tuned over the course of the past three decades might threaten corporate viability. Such scenarios call for effective legacy system management on isolated specialized servers rather than private clouds.

Regulatory compliance issues too might prevent complete transfer of data from the company over to a public cloud. For example, certain rules in the BFSI segment specify that the CIO has to be aware of where each and every critical information is stored at any point of time.

But building a private cloud in the corporate data center will cut costs and increase flexibility. In a private cloud, virtual servers can handle hundreds of workloads on a single physical server.  Data center architects don’t need to dedicate storage devices to a single application. While some jobs still run on dedicated computers CIO’s treat most of the computing capacity in the data centers as a pooled resource — in effect, a private cloud that is allocated on demand.
The symbolic heart of the CIO’s domain has always been the data center. In the past, the trend was to add on to the data center as the requirements of the business. With the virtualization revolution, extra capacity and wastage was drastically reduced. Applications that required multiple servers now worked in tandem on a single server.

Aside from private clouds, many a company nowadays also takes advantage of the public cloud to run applications and processes on the vast amounts of unstructured data generated daily. Cloud has become all pervasive and embracing it has allowed the IT department to become champions of a new era at work. While in the past, setting of the IT infrastructure used to take ages, nowadays with just a swipe of a card one can purchase the necessary resources and set up accordingly.

However, what one needs to keep in mind is that Cloud Computing offers multiple avenues of adoption. The hybrid cloud model offers organizations a comfortable and cost-efficient system for large enterprises with long established IT departments and data centers.

 

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