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Hybrid IT: The Workload Factor

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May 16, 2017

Why has hybrid IT gained traction in the ever-changing IT industry? There are many reasons. The biggest has to do with applications or, more specifically, application workloads.

Workload refers to the type of application and its requirements. Logically, not all workloads will perform equally well – or at all – in all environments.”

That’s why there is a need for an IT strategy that encompasses the various environments in which a company’s workloads can achieve the best performance and efficiency and meet any compliance requirements in the most cost-effective way. If the company can also leverage the benefits associated with those environments, all the better. So how do you determine the appropriate environment for an application workload?

  1. Workload Inventory

    Document the applications and workloads used by your organization. As you go through the inventory process, pay attention to legacy applications that have become cumbersome or that don’t perform well. They may be candidates for a complete redesign that can include refactoring so they will be cloud-eligible and perform optimally in the cloud.

  2. Know Workload Types

    Identify the various types of workloads you have. There are several, ranging from traditional n-tier enterprise applications found in the typical data center to applications written specifically for the cloud.

  3. Take a Closer Look

    Assess the characteristics and requirements of each application. Note each application’s usage, business impact, dependencies, performance requirements and application lifecycle. Note considerations such as regulatory compliance and data privacy issues. This will help determine what makes sense in terms of the appropriate environments for your applications in terms of cost, performance, security and other criteria.

  4. Consider Colocation

    Chances are you’d like to include the cloud in your hybrid IT strategy. However, if you’re not quite sure about it yet, colocation in a third-party data center may make sense as your initial step beyond your on-premise environment. Colocation provides a predictable op-ex model rather than requiring you to keep up with the escalating capital expenses of building, securing and maintaining your own data center.

    Simply outsourcing to a colocation facility can help you develop a level of comfort in letting go of some of the day-to-day management of your assets. You can also take advantage of a number of benefits, such as the multiple layers of security data centers typically offer that are hard to come by in on-premise data centers. They usually also offer multiple high quality connectivity options, so you have the flexibility to choose the ideal solution for your needs in a carrier-neutral setting.

  5. Assess Your Cloud-readiness

    If you are set on incorporating the cloud into your hybrid IT strategy, determine if your applications are ready to migrate there. The cloud is appropriate for applications such as ones that:

    • Are used by mobile employees to manage their time and activity, and that contribute only limited information to the company’s broad management information databases.
    • Run in a time zone different from that where your company’s IT personnel are located.
    • Being developed, tested and prototyped, even if the final applications will be run on your own infrastructure.
    • Employ service-oriented architecture (SOA)
  6. Make Your Case

    Once you’ve determined the appropriate environments for your workloads and know how you want to structure your hybrid IT strategy, obtaining executive support will be critical. Getting buy-in early in the process will help alleviate potential issues down the line. Make sure you demonstrate the advantages of the proposed environment to not only reduce costs but to deliver meaningful business value.

For more information on hybrid IT, download these resources from Peak 10:

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