Every workload in IT involves a complex blend of computational requirements, data storage needs, and networking performance. Proper placement of a workload comes down to analyzing its components and determining the business and technical requirements to drive the decision-making process. Whether you choose on-premises or public cloud technologies depends on the specific details of your workload and the prioritized needs that will create the best business outcome.
Taking a hybrid approach to workload placement solves this problem by providing unprecedented flexibility and customization on a company-by-company basis.
To understand Hybrid IT, let’s start by distinguishing traditional on-premises datacenters from cloud infrastructure. The traditional approach involves buying the necessary equipment, installing it on-site, and maintaining it to meet expected SLAs around performance, capacity, and uptime. The public cloud offers infrastructure-as-a-service—meaning someone else provides and manages the underlying infrastructure. In this model, workload capacity can be scaled as necessary, and specific requirements may be met without investing in infrastructure.
Benefits of Traditional Infrastructure:
Performance Locality – Traditional infrastructure resides in a local datacenter, which may be a requirement for interfacing with immobile, specialized systems that require low-latency, high-bandwidth connections.
Local Connectivity – Public cloud services generally require a reliable, high-speed connection to the internet. For situations where this is not feasible, on-premises infrastructure may be the preferred solution.
Predictable Demand – Although larger upfront capital expenditures may not be reasonable for all organizations, those with the available resources and a predictable, consistent level of demand can realize higher cost efficiencies by purchasing on-premises hardware.
Benefits of Cloud Infrastructure:
Increased Value – Using a cloud infrastructure model frees personnel from performing low-value work, and empowers them to pursue innovation – resulting in increased value to the company.
Scalable Infrastructure – Many organizations struggle with workload capacity planning and don’t have the necessary resources to meet fluctuating demand. Cloud computing allows these organizations to quickly scale their infrastructure to meet the day-in-day-out changes in workload.
Cost Benefits – With scalable infrastructure comes a scalable cost structure. Cloud infrastructure reduces upfront capital investment (a major benefit for small and mid-level organizations) by letting organizations pay for their actual workload, and only for the features they require.
Access to Information – Storing data in the cloud means employees can gain access from anywhere, enabling new opportunities for remote work. Ease of access to information promotes collaboration and improves work-life balance.
Unique Cloud Features – Cloud computing companies offer a diverse suite of features and applications to increase productivity and efficiency. Further, new, more advanced apps, features, and updates are consistently being developed.
Why You Should Choose Hybrid IT
Choosing between Traditional and Cloud Infrastructures is difficult. Fortunately, the decision is a false dichotomy. Hybrid IT is about evaluating infrastructure requirements on a per workload basis, and making intelligent decisions about placement.
Companies may now choose which aspects of their IT will live in the cloud and which will be managed on-site. This lets organizations mitigate risk while taking advantage of a wide range of customizable benefits.
The only drawback? More options lead to more considerations, and more complex decision-making. But that’s where we can help.
The first step is to begin asking the right questions. To get you moving in the right direction, we developed some starter questions to help you begin identifying and assessing your organization’s IT needs. This will help you better understand your organization’s workloads and requirements, thus enabling you to devise the most appropriate Hybrid IT configuration for your business.
Hybrid IT Starter Questions:
- Which stakeholders are affected by your IT?
- How do users engage with your organization (from a workload perspective)?
- How important is data visibility to your business?
- What resources (i.e. time, labor, capital) do you have available for investing in IT?
- What degree of workload-flexibility do you require?
- How accessible do your employees need (or expect) your data to be?
When reviewing your IT infrastructure needs, remember to consider these two main facets: workload and requirements. Every organization is different, so don’t approach your IT with a copycat mentality. Carefully consider the pros and cons of traditional and cloud infrastructure. Allocate resources to understand your specific organizational needs. Use this knowledge to determine the ideal Hybrid IT configuration for your business. And don’t be afraid to consult the experts at Anexinet.
Director, Cloud Solutions and Microsoft MVP: Cloud (Azure/Azure Stack) & DC Mgmt