In this edition of Voices of the Industry, Tom Prosia, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at LightEdge Solutions, explores the hybrid solution center model and what’s behind hybrid cloud environments’ popularity among today’s business leadership.
As cloud technology and its users’ needs continue to transform, hybrid cloud environments have become increasingly top of mind from the c-level down. Enterprises are looking at optimal ways for leveraging cloud technology to further their growth and innovation. While no two definitions of hybrid cloud are alike, one thing is certain: the move to cloud isn’t a matter of “if”, but “when”.
The definition of “hybrid cloud” differs amongst individuals, and can be used to describe multiple deployment scenarios. While an on-premises environment with connections to public cloud is probably the most commonly seen today, there are many emerging variations out there. Despite its variable definition, hybrid cloud deployments are growing rapidly throughout numerous models. In fact, Gartner Group recently reported that 90% of enterprises will operate some form of hybrid cloud by 2020.
Melanie Posey, Research Vice President for 451 Research, defines the new normal hybrid cloud as “a delivery model that consists of two or more distinct cloud infrastructures that remain unique entities, all coordinated by standardized technology, and integrated for seamless business delivery. Hybrid cloud is evolving to be an IT infrastructure, not just a workload specific solution.”
As enterprises continue to further explore hybrid clouds, they’re learning that implementation of these solutions isn’t quite cut and dry. The level of difficulty they usually entail explains why 60% of recent IDG survey respondents say defining a data center platform strategy is one of their most challenging issues. Effectively inventorying existing applications and their specific performance, security, compliance, storage, latency, and compute requirements is a significant and unchartered effort.
Introducing the Hybrid Solution Center Model
The emergence of complex hybrid cloud deployments demands a different kind of partner than ever before. Businesses are looking for someone that offers turnkey options for on-premises, colocation, and hybrid cloud planning, implementation, and management. This partner should become an extension of the customer’s IT organization, and act as a trusted advisor that can develop and guide solutions to meet their unique requirements both today and in the future.
A full-service Hybrid Solution Center should come with a skilled team of individuals that can architect, orchestrate, and manage the customer’s hybrid cloud environment every step of the way from beginning to end. Think of an ideal Hybrid Solution Center like a full technology ecosystem: the Edge should meet the backbone, public cloud still means private security, compliance is visibly tangible, and consulting professionals and engineers are available to help customers architect and integrate each component to meet their specific business needs.
The fundamental goal of this new hybrid model is to provide an easy path to public cloud resources, while keeping customer’s more sensitive or compliance-restricted data secure in a private cloud environment. Customers can keep each type of data and application in its perfect place, plus they have a partner that will manage it entirely. Thus, relieving stress and offering peace of mind.
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So what should you look for in a Hybrid Solution Center and cloud partner? Hardened and secure colocation solutions are the first step to ensuring security and compliance. From there, you want a complete portfolio of high speed, secure, redundant local cloud services and managed gateways to public clouds to choose the right, custom-fit for your business. Here are some key features to look for to ensure your partner can meet and exceed all hybrid solution requirements.
Hybrid Solution Center Checklist:
Facilities & Infrastructure
- Hardened facilities for physical security, natural disaster protection, and state-of-the-art power, cooling, and management systems
- Geo-diverse, Tier III compliant data centers with intra and inter-data center redundancy
- Broad range of cloud solutions that can be deployed in multi-tenant or private configurations
- Very high-speed connectivity to enable peak application performance, low latency, redundancy, and customer-specific disaster recovery
- Turnkey hybrid cloud management from a single provider that manages all aspects of deployments, including 24x7x365 single contact points for support, trouble shooting, and problem resolution
- Colocation options ranging from racks & cages to private suites
- Options to easily access and consume cloud solutions and/or public cloud resources, if and when desired
- Secure, scalable mobile computing solutions that enable your workforce without compromising proprietary and protected data
- Audited compliance for all major industry standards to the level that compliance risk can be assumed by the partner on the customer’s behalf
- Audited and controlled processes that ensure every operational action is documented and adhered to, thereby greatly minimizing the potential for human error
- Hardware and software resale, along with cloud software license compliance services
- Leading partnerships with national and global corporations with expertise in applications, data, compute, security, and network products
- Skilled consulting with the breadth to perform workload profiling, create hybrid cloud roadmaps, and optimize network setups to achieve the highest possible performance
- The know-how to help customers configure and implement custom hybrid deployments
- The technical DNA to stay a step ahead of new technology
Biggest Thing to Remember? Network is Everything in a Hybrid Cloud Deployment.
Network latency, redundancy, and bandwidth are vital for any application. The networks that an application uses impact its performance tremendously, especially for mobile and cloud-based services. Inconsistent bandwidth, high jitter, and packet loss all degrade application performance. Since application performance drives user experience, network performance is overwhelmingly the most important factor impacting the end user. One of the original fears of public cloud was the potential degradation of end user experience due to network latency.
How do you guarantee network is top of mind for your Hybrid Solution Center partner? Careful planning of the network and proper workload placement is essential to meeting the needs of mission-critical applications. Any Hybrid Solution Center should leverage many different layers of interconnectivity from on-premises to Edge, Edge to public cloud, and intra and inter-data center connections—all with management and QoS visibility throughout.
Want to Learn More?
With over 20 years of experience in the network arena, LightEdge prides itself on our ability to architect the right hybrid cloud network for customers’ individual business requirements to enable true digitization. Contact us today at 877-771-3343 or visit www.lightedge.com to learn more or setup a tour of LightEdge’s leading Hybrid Solution Centers.