In continuation of my first blog Hybrid Cloud Has Arrived where i spoke about the importance of planning for a hybrid cloud, this next one looks at building and running an efficient hybrid cloud.
With Agile methodology, the gap between business users & the SW engineering team has been bridged. Given the emerging tools in the cloud era and the need for getting new products and capabilities to market more quickly, the need arises to bridge the gap between the SW engineering team and the IT operations team brought in DevOps.
In the hybrid cloud environment, IT should have the ability to:
- Provision environments during the software development cycle:
- Performance testing
- Promote code from one environment to another with some checks and balances; these promotions could either happen on the premises/in the private cloud, or across clouds, from private to public or public to private.
Running IT operations is not going to make for a very different experience either; it’s just that everything needs to be looked at from the hybrid cloud perspective. Some of these capabilities are:
- Incident and Problem Management: Hybrid grants the ability to isolate the systems responsible for the incident, and quickly, be they on the premises or in the cloud;
- Service level management: Hybrid offers visibility into the critical SLAs that are important to business; the visibility should be at the business process level, so some parts of this could be running on the premises and some in the cloud;
- Financial management: With hybrid, you can manage the cost of operations consistently (the on-the-premises cost and the cost of cloud);
- Capacity management: While cloud gives one the flexibility to scale up and down, this still needs to be managed well.
If these capabilities look similar to those of an ITIL framework, this is no accident. The point is that every IT organization needs all the capabilities listed in the ITIL framework applied in the context of hybrid cloud.
Some of these capabilities are offered by traditional ITOM (IT Operations Management) tools like IBM Tivoli and HP OpenView. They are now adding additional capabilities and creating new Cloud Management Platforms. Some of the emerging platforms like ServiceMesh, Cloudbolt, etc., that are designed with “cloud first” thinking, are much more complete in providing these capabilities. There are also open-source options like Scalr and OpenNebula that could be considered. It is important to note, though, that most of these tools are primarily focused on “Build” & “Run” phases, and not on the “Plan” phase. This is a glaring gap that needs to be filled in.
With the emergence of these cloud management platforms – and Amazon and Microsoft launching their own products to support the hybrid cloud model – it is time for enterprises to get their hybrid cloud strategies in place and start delivering business capabilities at a much faster pace. With the cloud ecosystem getting ready, hybrid cloud has finally arrived, and we will soon see many enterprises embracing this model.