Despite the promise of simplicity, the move to cloud comes with its own complexities. Just the idea of moving traditional workloads off legacy infrastructure while the business is still using critical applications, is enough to make even the most cloud-savvy IT team shudder.
“Organisations across every industry are facing increasing pressure on IT to deliver solutions that enable organisation success with speed, stability and scale. Cloud technologies are the way to achieve this, but the move needs to take into account the existing environment,” says Max McLaren, Red Hat’s regional vice president and general manager for Australia and New Zealand.
“While many customers are moving some traditional workloads to the cloud, they cannot do it all at once. They need to be able to use their existing technology, make sure that the applications they build today are going to be relevant in the future, and flexibly adapt those apps as business needs change. Customers also need the ability to run their applications on any footprint with a common development, operations, security, and automation environment.”
“In a range of sectors, IT teams working on development, architecture, and operations, must overcome challenges such as running workloads in multiple environments, dealing with disparate technologies and processes within the organisation, and data moving between footprints.”
Adopting an open hybrid cloud strategy
A well thought out open hybrid cloud strategy can enable rapid and robust digital transformation because it accommodates the organisation’s unique requirements and can help development, architecture, and operations teams accomplish their goals with speed, stability and scale.
The key word is ‘open’, as in open source and open standards that allow applications and data to consistently move from one environment to another. In a closed system, organisations have flexibility only with that system, while open hybrid cloud allows all of these systems and applications to talk to each other and move data freely, Max says.
The open hybrid cloud strategy helps organisations design and build infrastructure and applications using enterprise open source software that works across all IT environments. This means solutions can run in the exact same way on the public cloud as they do on bare metal, virtual, and private cloud environments.
Johannes Swanepoel, Red Hat’s principal special solution architect and public sector technologist, elaborates how Red Hat helps customers adopt the (open hybrid cloud) strategy.
“The specific products and consulting services of Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud strategy can be highly customised, yet share a common technological foundation, that include Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat OpenShift (our Kubernetes platform). Additionally, our open hybrid cloud strategy uses:
- Open platforms to run traditional and new cloud-native workloads anywhere—from the datacenter to the edge.
- Open development tools to rapidly build innovative applications that can be highly integrated and continuously deployed.
- Open management technologies and systems to offer automation across applications, teams and processes.
- Managed services to allow customers to innovate with technologies as services without worrying about operations.
Macquarie Bank and ANZ Bank reap benefits
The ultimate outcome for operations with an open hybrid cloud strategy is that teams are able to run and manage applications anywhere, which can help achieve the scale needed for sudden growth. Nowhere is this more important than the banking and finance industries, especially as open banking and mobile technologies are transforming the way banks interact with their customers.
Max highlights a couple of local examples that demonstrate the effectiveness of the open hybrid cloud approach.
“By working with Red Hat, Macquarie Bank in Australia deployed a cloud-based platform-as-a-service to speed up the development of new bank offerings. Macquarie Bank has seen great results, with reduced time to market for services and increased developer productivity by more than 50%,” he says.
In another example, ANZ Bank worked with Red Hat to develop a solution based on Read Hat OpenShift Container Platform to keep up with the pace of business growth.
“Their results have included accelerated development time by 98% with no downtime, improved productivity and collaboration that has saved 6000 work hours per year, and reduced cost of ownership,” Max says.
Security is baked in
While speed, stability, and scalability are hugely important in today’s IT environment, so too is security. It can’t be an afterthought — it has to be baked in, Johannes explains.
“Hybrid cloud computing has created the challenge of maintaining compliance and security across multiple, heterogeneous environments. Customers need to protect their data everywhere it exists by using a layered defense strategy,” he says.
“An open hybrid cloud strategy can help organisations build a hybrid cloud more securely using a layered, defense-in-depth approach.”
This approach is inherent across the full spectrum of what is widely considered good IT governance practice – securing and handling data in a hybrid environment, compliance and governance across hybrid environments, visibility and control, and securing the supply chain.
“Red Hat builds security into its products from the start and delivers tested, hardened, supported, certified open source software across bare metal, virtual, private and public cloud by following a documented supply chain security process. This process includes a static code analysis of source code, extensive quality assurance and regression testing, hardening, providing a security-focused distribution channel, and providing continuous security updates for all the packages included in Red Hat products.” Johannes concludes.
If you’re interested in knowing more about how to adopt an open source approach to your digital transformation journey, be sure to register and attend the upcoming Red Hat Summit 2021, a flexible conference series consisting of a 2‑part immersive virtual experience that will showcase business and IT executives, open source leaders, and some of the most innovative customers sharing present technology trends and shaping future directions.