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Ivan Pavlov was a Russian physiologist, famous in the 1890s for introducing the concept of a conditioned response – the theory that our brains can be trained to associate certain stimuli with a response.
In today’s enterprise data center, public cloud is a stimuli that has conditioned developers and lines of business to expect immediate availability of resources using a simple, self-service, on-demand infrastructure. IT is expected to respond by transforming on-premises infrastructure into a comparable experience, as well as managing workloads on multiple public clouds – without adding more complexity and cost.
Yet, is this goal of simple hybrid IT infrastructure management even possible with the tools available today?
Managing costs, security, and compliance amidst growing complexity
In the past, enterprise IT provided a private infrastructure to developers, complete with a tried-and-true command and control structure. Processes and approval workflows were optimized for cost, security, and compliance. (Of course, it’s well-known that these processes were/are typically slow and can delay product development by weeks or even months.)
In today’s enterprise, multiple cloud platforms are routinely used, each with their own toolset focused on maximizing the value of each vendor’s cloud platform. And most enterprise IT environments embrace a mixture of deployment models (on-premises infrastructure combined with multi-cloud), causing even more complexity.
In the midst of these challenges, IT’s operational workload is increasing, while the operations budget is decreasing. The enterprise’s highly distributed, siloed environment becomes complicated as there is no centralized management view. IT needs to find a way to deliver self-service public cloud and private infrastructure that empowers developers – while providing the tools and accountability for everyone to easily manage cost, security, and compliance.
What’s needed for better hybrid cloud management?
In a nutshell, an effective hybrid cloud management tool needs to provide the following:
Self-service infrastructure for low operational burden on IT
Developer enablement for rapid application development and deployment
Visibility and governance into infrastructure costs
“One approach is to deliver a hybrid cloud, self-service infrastructure platform as a collection of standalone cloud infrastructure options,” the report explains. A majority of enterprises today are using this method, yet it has a significant downside. “While this can deliver self-service resources from each infrastructure, it fails to unify and simplify the implementation of cost management, security, and compliance across the infrastructures via a consistent developer and operator experience.”
The report goes on to discuss another tactic – delivering cloud management tools via a cloud management platform (CMP). The report points out, “These platforms are good for automating cloud-native development and operations with cloud-based self-service infrastructure provisioning, but they have a few common limitations that result in only a partial solution for IT’s needs.”
These limitations include:
A focus on container-based, cloud-native applications, rather than on applications migrated into operation on cloud infrastructure.
An adoption by only parts of the organization – as different leaders prefer different platforms and tools.
A focus on unifying developer tooling and operations across infrastructures instead of a focus on unifying enterprise-wide management of cost, security, and compliance.
Can we effectively manage a complex, hybrid IT environment?
Recent breakthroughs in hybrid cloud management software lets IT achieve their goal of delivering all their infrastructure simply, regardless if it is on or off premises. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) recently introduced HPE OneSphere, a hybrid cloud management solution that enables IT to easily manage data and applications distributed across multiple clouds and inside data centers.
With HPE OneSphere, IT can build and deploy clouds in minutes and provide ready-to-consume resources, tools, and services faster. Developers get easy access to tools, templates, and applications in a cross-cloud service catalog, so they can quickly use the tools they know. Consumption and cost analytics across the entire hybrid cloud environment is always available, providing real time insights into cost and governance.
Immediate availability, simplicity, and speed
Enterprises want to empower their developers by giving them the tools they need to be successful. That means embracing both on- and off-premises infrastructures – public cloud, private cloud, bare-metal, and containers. Yet they must also be able to manage it all simply, securely, and cost-effectively.
With HPE as a partner, IT can now better meet everyone’s expectations of availability, simplicity, and speed – no matter where applications are deployed.
Gary Thome is the Vice President and Chief Technologist for the Software-Defined and Cloud Group at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). He is responsible for the technical and architectural directions of converged datacenter products and technologies.
To read more articles from Gary, check out the HPE Shifting to Software-Defined blog.