How Hybrid Cloud Helps Get the Most from Your IT Investments


Organizations across the world are continually relying on the latest technology, such as hybrid cloud, as the foundation for rapid innovation and growth. This constant focus on innovation and growth has changed the landscape of many industries overnight and has developed a new status quo for customer experience, agility and accessibility. As a result, the need for robust business systems and IT infrastructure that enables this innovation and growth has exponentially increased over the last few years.

Cloud-based technology has acted as a catalyst for businesses to make dramatic transformations with relatively small capital investments. However, as a business stakeholder, how do you navigate the need to adopt modern technology solutions while also managing critical business requirements and legacy applications?

The solution to this dilemma could be adopting a hybrid cloud model, which allows organizations to identify the business systems that will be best suited in a public cloud environment based on both technical and business factors. Other business systems that may not make sense to move to a public cloud platform can remain on premises or in a private cloud and continue to operate as the business requires.

3 factors for building a modern data centre with hybrid cloud

As businesses readily adopt this hybrid cloud model, it becomes important to maintain the ability to manage these resources across platforms. The agility and accessibility required by modern business operations require modern technology solutions. Here are 3 technology considerations to provide a modern data centre for your business:

1.Classifying your applications

As an early step of building out a hybrid cloud strategy, it is important to determine the complexity factors that will dictate where an application will be best suited to run in its future state. This exercise is key in classifying your applications to relevant buckets that will start to build out a map for the future state of your IT environment. Many organizations begin with a “Cloud Readiness Assessment.” This assessment applies a multifaceted review of the important technical factors such as application performance requirements, interdependencies and utilization.

However, it is important to also review the business factors related to each application such as end-user interaction, remote access and application lifecycles. By combining a technical review and contextual business factors you can begin to paint a very accurate picture of where each application may be best suited in its future state. Here are some common examples of application classifications for a hybrid cloud strategy:

  1. Rehost: The application is best suited in the cloud and does not require any major technical requirements to make it cloud ready. A lift and shift approach can be used to rehost this application in the public cloud.
  2. Replatform: The application is best suited in the cloud but will require some minor technical changes to run effectively. A migration plan should be built for this application to ensure proper future state performance.
  3. Rearchitect: The application will provide long-term value by being hosted in the cloud. However, there are major technical changes required including application rearchitecture. A more thorough review of this application is required to build out a future state architecture and migration plan.
  4. Retain: This application does not make sense to move to the cloud for several technical or business factors. It should remain on premises or in a private cloud.

2.Choosing hybrid cloud infrastructure

The key goal of most hybrid cloud strategies is to provide the highest level of performance and accessibility of your IT resources while maintaining security, ease of operations and cost control. As a result, it is very important to ensure the on-premises infrastructure you choose in your future state hybrid architecture is designed for an integrated approach.

Many modern data centre architectures rely on the integrated benefits of hyperconverged infrastructure to accelerate new services across multiple clouds. Leading technology platforms, such as NetApp’s disaggregated hybrid cloud infrastructure, allow independent scaling of compute and storage, adapting to workloads with guaranteed performance. NetApp helps meet storage requirements with operational efficiency, data security and effortless cloud integration. Its system architecture allows users to run block workloads effectively and efficiently, supporting multiple protocols to help consolidate multiple applications onto a single system.

3.Automation and orchestration

Managing IT resources across multiple platforms and data centres can be a challenging task. However, making a shift to modern automation and orchestration principles allows your business to have the agility and flexibility of a hybrid cloud model without sacrificing security, cost management and operational efficiency. Many toolsets today enable businesses to have central management of their IT resources and, by using some basic principles, they can operate these resources with relative ease:

  • Standardization and reference architecture – Design and catalogue standardized IT resources that ensure security and cost controls are automatically incorporated into the architecture. These preapproved resources allow agile provisioning and management while also enabling proper governance.
  • Modern orchestration – Once your organization has developed standardized IT resources and automation processes, modern orchestration is required to manage these processes effectively. A suitable enterprise orchestration system reduces human intervention in automation tasks, which saves time, money and human error. It also provides the ability to leverage robust identity and access management to ensure only users with proper permissions can access automation systems, keeping the data and infrastructure safe.

Modern orchestration also delivers the ability to have comprehensive monitoring and support. This provides real time data on performance, security, and cost, allowing operations to not only react quickly when something goes wrong but also have a more proactive approach to limit downtime.

With hybrid cloud becoming the ‘new normal,’ CDW technical resources are well versed in both leading-edge cloud technology and on-premises environments. Our solution architects, professional services and managed services teams are highly certified and have a proven track record of building, deploying, integrating and managing environments that span across cloud and traditional infrastructure. By working with CDW on your hybrid cloud projects, you’ll gain a trusted partner, who will help you build a robust solution that delivers an exemplary experience for your customers supporting the growth of your company.

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