20 juin 2022

Article
7 min

4 Hybrid Cloud Trends You Should Be Aware of

In this panel from BTEX 2022, experts discuss app modernization, observability, consumption models and edge security.

Expert CDW

Contenu
  • How to prepare for application modernization

    How are you going to back up and recover an application in the new environment, how are you going to protect it and what tools are you going to use (which could vary between on-premises and the cloud)…

  • Why observability is more important than ever

    In the past, an application was probably running in one rack in your data centre, and all the components were probably in the same platform. Now, applications are relying on APIs running in clouds outside, and any one of those can cause problems.

  • What is driving the growth of hybrid cloud consumption models?

    Businesses need to think about transitioning from a capital expense, where they have to buy everything upfront, to buying just what they need, or consuming it as they use it.

  • How to protect workloads as they move to the edge

    The edge brings some interesting challenges because that’s where a lot of data processing is occurring and some of these data sets can be rather large. Backing up quickly and being able to restore quickly in those environments is pretty critical.

A panel of four experts sitting on a video call discussing about upcoming hybrid cloud technologies.

“As customers are looking to standardize the way they operate across locations and across clouds, more of the conversations we’re having are about IT systems that provide consistency around operations, processes and capabilities, regardless of where those workloads are located,” says Peter Hunter, Hybrid Cloud Architect Leader, CDW Canada, leading off a panel discussion on hybrid cloud infrastructure at CDW’s 2022 Business Technology Expo. The hybrid cloud requires tools to monitor and secure data and ensure workloads are protected when moving from one cloud to another, all while remaining compliant and offering consistent connectivity and a good user experience.

“That’s where the challenge is,” says Hunter. “It’s great to have the technology where you can just move a workload over or spin a workload up, but if you need to operate it differently, it’s very difficult to experience true hybridity.”

How to prepare for application modernization

How are you going to back up and recover an application in the new environment, how are you going to protect it and what tools are you going to use (which could vary between on-premises and the cloud)… These are all key questions that organizations should be asking, according to Jason Fiset, a Technical Solutions Specialist at NetApp. From the customer’s perspective, Fiset says he tries to understand what they’re doing with an application and what lifecycles they are looking to maintain, in order to recommend NetApp solutions that could help.

“We’re not looking at it from a server standpoint. We’re looking at it more from an application standpoint,” says Fiset. “What are the best pieces that would allow them to move that application and provide the same or similar capabilities that they’re used to using on-prem?”

“What is the business driver that’s driving that change?” adds Curtis Gunderson, a Partner Solution Architect at VMware. “Maybe a customer needs to modernize an application for a business process change, a cost competitive advantage or maybe they need to replace the application. So we typically walk through the ‘why’ of the application from the business lens.”

“And then we think about what is that application made up of,” Gunderson continues. “What components in the application can be easily swapped out or replaced, do we need to replatform or rearchitect, and then does your organization have the skills to do that or do you need to bring in expertise to rewrite that or extend some capabilities? Or, what kind of tooling do you need to bring those workloads closer to those modern capabilities?”

“These are complex discussions,” concludes CDW’s Peter Hunter. “They require knowledge of how applications are used and the components of them. And it requires a nuanced response. There isn’t a way to just wave a magic wand, and now you’ve got modern applications.”

Why observability is more important than ever

“Observability is about seeing what’s going on in an application and responding appropriately,” says Peter Hunter. “It’s scaling elements, moving elements and reconfiguring on the fly to address user experience.”

“In the past, an application was probably running in one rack in your data centre, and across one network switch internally, and all the components were probably in the same platform. Now, applications are relying on APIs of services running in clouds outside, and any one of those can cause problems. So observability has become more essential in operating well and much more complicated,” Hunter says.

“Observability is so critical, especially when we start looking at these new application types,” says NetApp’s Jason Fiset. “Being able to provide that end-to-end visibility, understanding all the different dependencies and requirements of that application to run effectively within the environment, being able to pinpoint or identify areas of concern before they really become a true problem, is so critical.”

“And then you couple that with the costs of the platform you’re running it on. If you’re running the application inside your data centre, what are the costs of running that application in the data centre, but also understanding what your cloud costs might be,” Fiset adds. Cost is a major factor that might influence whether you’re going to move an application to the cloud, or keep it running on premises.

“Observability can span across the entire real estate,” says Simon Copon, HPE Business Development Manager at CDW Canada. “It can mean everything under the sun that can allow organizations to make better decisions with insights. I think it’s really important to have that visibility, and for IT to have that information available for everyone else within their organization so that they can react to the needs of the business.”

What is driving the growth of hybrid cloud consumption models?

Businesses need to think about “transitioning from a capital expense, where we have to buy all that upfront, to buying just what we need, or consuming it as we use it,” says Curtis Gunderson of VMware. “It’s ultimately driven by a different operating model, using services as they’re consumed on demand, all very subscription oriented. The real key is you’re paying for what you’re using, not for that maximum you may ultimately need.”

“IT consumption has long been associated with hyperscalers and public cloud,” says Simon Copon from CDW. While hyperscalers have set the stage for what’s happening today, “throw in COVID, and a pandemic, and boom… We’ve got this big proof of concept that’s immediately upon us. So everybody’s now required to adapt and make these changes.”

Businesses are also looking to improve cash flow and control costs, which makes getting the most from their resources, without buying more than they need, essential. “If you architect things right, and you rightsize, now you’re at about 100 percent utilization, which is a lot more in line with what the new paradigm should be for on premises,” says Copon. “Cloud is not a destination, it’s an experience. So traditional procurement of IT assets is just not aligned with today’s modern digital business and the way that they need to operate.”

How to protect workloads as they move to the edge

“It’s critical to back up and protect applications, no matter where they’re located,” says Fiset from NetApp. “The edge brings some interesting challenges because that’s where a lot of data processing is occurring and some of these data sets can be rather large. Backing up quickly and being able to restore quickly in those environments is pretty critical.” The ability to replicate data from the edge back to the traditional data centre is also of key importance.

“It’s really important to understand all the different components that need to be backed up and protected. It’s maybe not just the core data set, but perhaps there’s other things like configuration information or networking information that needs to be preserved and protected in the event of an outage at the edge,” says Fiset.

“It’s amazing how the edge is really exploding and changing,” says VMware’s Gunderson. “The edge might be a data centre where compute is running, or it might be your home now, where you’re now running all your business-critical applications on a laptop through a remote connection. And how do you make sure that’s protected?”

“It’s about knowing what’s running, what should be running, what are known-good workloads,” Gunderson says. “It is about being able to detect a new pattern that isn’t known to this user or this workload. Detecting it is one thing, but preventing it from going farther, knowing what it touched. Those are the ties that we need to pull together.”