Tips for Optimizing Hybrid IT Environments

In the IT world, “hybrid” refers to an approach to enterprise computing wherein an organization supplies and maintains some information technology resources on an in-house basis, yet utilizes cloud-based services for others. An approach from a hybrid perspective essentially allows an enterprise to maintain what is known as a centralized tactic in IT governance, all while experimenting with cloud computing.

Confusingly so, there have been a plethora of terms thrown around as of late that have muddied the waters even more for those just getting their feet wet in “the cloud.” These include hybrid cloud computing, hybrid cloud environment, hybrid servers, hybrid IT, etc. We’re going to attempt to cut through much of this white noise and clarify exactly what a hybrid IT environment is, the benefits of using a hybrid environment, elements to keep in mind and how TechPulse is changing the game when it comes to setting up, managing and maintaining your hybrid computing environment.

Product of the Environment

A hybrid IT environment can be essentially defined as a “cloud computing environment” – or “hybrid cloud” – which takes advantage of a mix of on-premises, private cloud and third-party public cloud services with coordination between the two platforms. What does this mean for those not knee-deep in the IT environment? With workloads able to move between private and public clouds in response to computing needs and costs, hybrid cloud provides businesses enhanced flexibility and additional data deployment options.

Here’s a good real-world example: An enterprise deploys an on-premises private cloud to host sensitive or critical workloads, but chooses to use a third-party public cloud provider such as Google Compute Engine to host less-critical resources, such as test and development workloads. When it comes to holding customer-facing archival and backup data, a hybrid cloud approach could also take advantage of Amazon Simple Storage Service (or Amazon S3), while a software layer such as Eucalyptus can facilitate private cloud connections to public clouds – including Amazon Web Services (AWS).

But here’s the thing: If your organization is dealing with dynamic, highly-changeable workloads – such as a transactional order entry system that experiences significant demand spikes around the holidays – the hybrid environment approach can prove particularly valuable; similarly, if you’re involved with big data processing, hybrid environments make sense because hybrid cloud storage can be used to retain accumulated business, sales, test and other data before analytical queries are run in the public cloud domain.


Focusing on the Details: Benefits of Using a Hybrid Environment

The hybrid environment approach boasts undeniable benefits; indeed, it can be considered a game-changer in every sense of the term.

TechPulse Fun Fact: A study by Rackspace, in conjunction with independent technology market research specialist Vanson Bourne, discovered that 60 percent of respondents have moved or are considering moving to a hybrid cloud platform because of limitations placed on operating solely in a dedicated or public cloud environment.

Let’s take a brief look at the primary benefits a hybrid environment brings to the table:

  • Cost Benefits Hybrid environments are easily quantifiable; according to TechPulse research, connecting dedicated, on-premises resources to cloud components enables businesses to see an average reduction in overall IT costs of approximately 17 percent. The bottom line? Your business can reduce overall cost of ownership while improving cost efficiency by leveraging the benefits of hybrid cloud environments.
  • Improved Security Ready for the next step in IT security? Through hybrid environments, businesses can place their secure customer data on a dedicated server and fuse the high-performance and scalability of the cloud, enabling them to conduct business and transact payments online – all within one agile, seamless and secure environment.
  • Future-Proofing/Innovation Driving Making the switch to hybrid environments could be the most significant step a business takes toward future-proofing and remaining innovative; hybrid cloud approaches provide businesses access to formidably vast public cloud resources in addition to the ability to have new capabilities and technologies tested quickly and the opportunity to get to market faster – devoid of massive up-front investment.


Tips for Optimizing Hybrid IT Environments

Okay, so now we get to the core of what this post is all about – tips for optimizing hybrid environments and making them work for you. We’ve already established that hybrid clouds offer a range of benefits, which in turn has enabled more and more enterprises to jump on board; now we’re going to suggest you follow these quick and easy tips so you too can join the hybrid crowd.

  • Take Into Consideration Application Destination Choice within the Hybrid Environment Unfortunately, the mix of public and private cloud environments often approaches each of those as a separate, unique resource set rather than viewing it as one. The result? A subdivided resource pool that can decrease efficiency and ultimately drive up costs. Avoid this circumstance by understanding that IT teams need to categorize applications according to their resource requirements and then create a minimal number of standard hosting models to meet those demands. What’s the bottom line here? The risk of fragmentation within the hybrid environment is reduced in this way.
  • Continuous Monitoring A proactive environment in which workloads are dynamically controlled and resources are optimized can be achieved by integrating infrastructure automation with cloud-layer automation; into this foray come APIs (application programming interfaces), which provide critical links to hybrid cloud management tools that yield a “pane of glass” across different cloud environments.
  • Dynamic Cloud Bursting The promise of so-called “cloud bursting” lends itself to analytics applications in which jobs can be divided into smaller workloads, and results do not need to be instantaneous in nature. In these cases, it’s more about the management and coordination layers that are in place to detect spikes and drive automatically into the public cloud.


How TechPulse Can Help

From assisting with setting up, managing and maintaining your hybrid environment to a plethora of other managed IT services, TechPulse is always on the leading edge of network solutions. Our expert technicians can create a dedicated server room on-site or prepare a virtual private cloud, the goal always being to virtualize your company’s treasured data; indeed, cloud services can prevent data loss, ensure redundancy and ultimately lend your business more processing power.

For more information about how we can take your operations into the hybrid environment, click here. Give us a call at 1-800-656-3144.