From Hyper-Converged to Hybrid Cloud – Four Key Success Factors
I’ve been learning about customers who have kicked off their hybrid cloud efforts by using HyperFlex with CloudCenter—which is the Cisco UCS based hyper-converged solution that includes Cisco CloudCenter. Register for this Sept 26 webcast to find out what other customers are doing with HyperFlex with CloudCenter. And learn what you can do to jump-start your hybrid cloud initiative with Cisco.
HyperFlex is an industry leading hyperconverged solution. And CloudCenter is an application-centric management layer that spans HyperFlex and various public cloud environments. So all you need to get started with hybrid cloud are HyperFlex, a public cloud, and CloudCenter.
Throughout these interviews, I’ve identified several common adoption patterns that are not specific to company size, industry, or geography. Studying trail blazers exposes key success factors as you chart your hybrid cloud journey.
Key Success Factors
1. Start somewhere. It may sound obvious, but I’ve found IT organizations get analysis paralysis. If you have experience managing workload deployments in datacenters and now the cloud, and are looking for a common management framework across them all, taking the next step forward shouldn’t be a massive undertaking.
Everyone has their own business problems they are looking to solve with hybrid cloud. Some of the organizations have very critical workloads they want to choose where to deploy, such as a university IT department that deployed end of semester testing environments, or a retailer that stood up temporary marketing sites in either on-prem or cloud environments. Others want to influence those who are already deploying dev and test stacks in the cloud, and offer self-service to their choice of environment. One customer had a rapidly growing cloud bill because it was easier for their users to tap the cloud than go through IT’s internal help desk system. So, they wanted to simplify and automate the process by bringing the cloud user experience back to their data center.
Remember, you don’t need to solve for everything cloud and have a soup to nuts strategy to be able to move forward with hybrid IT. HyperFlex with CloudCenter give you an easy onramp with a common automation and governance layer that provides a single self-service on demand deployment experience to any supported public cloud environment.
2. Involve the organization. Many HyperFlex buyers are on the infrastructure team. But, even if you are using HyperFlex with CloudCenter to add cloud capacity to existing infrastructure, this new level of automation involves multiple parts of the IT organization. Deploying workloads in data centers often involves the VM, networking, security and IT ops teams. When adding cloud, a cloud architect or even compliance team may have responsibility as well. You don’t need to turn your IT organization inside out when moving forward with hybrid cloud. However, a solution that is built on a solid HyperFlex foundation may impact existing processes and roles. So, it’s better to build awareness and socialize a hybrid cloud solution with key stakeholders at the beginning of the project rather than the end.
3. Keep your options open. Cloud strategies are still evolving. And technology advances within containers and serverless computing are coming on fast. So, it’s important to avoid solutions that are cloud-specific that can use automation and orchestration to lock your processes to a specific cloud or environment.
The good news is, CloudCenter works with vSphere that is part of the HyperFlex system, and any other supported public clouds. So, by utilizing HyperFlex with CloudCenter, your options stay hybrid and open, even as your cloud strategy changes.
4. One tool stack. Your hybrid IT footprint may be intentional. Or it may be the result of different groups trying different approaches and ending up with different tools. But having unique, environment-specific tool stacks can drive up costs and reduce agility. And even introduce compliance and security risk. This is especially true if you want to have a single view of usage and spending, or have a set of policies and rules applied consistently across user groups and deployment environments.
Additionally, be sure to watch out for vendor-specific tools that are optimized for one environment. A better approach is to use a single automation and orchestration layer that abstracts the underlying cloud APIs and provides a single user interface and policy engine across environments.
Watch this webcast to find out more about these four key success.