How IT Can Use the Hybrid Cloud to Win in the Application Economy

BrandPost By DD Dasgupta, Vice President of Product Management for the Cisco Cloud and Compute organization
Apr 13, 2022
Hybrid CloudIT Leadership

Accelerate your hybrid cloud strategy with full-stack observability, cloud-native services, and flexible consumption models.

Credit: Cisco

Application economy and hybrid cloud have been around for about a decade as part of the technology lexicon. For IT infrastructure and operations teams, the intersection of these two terms reflects both the immense opportunity and challenge they face in helping their businesses succeed in the digital era. There is no question that applications are the key interface between businesses and their customers, partners, employees, and other key stakeholders. Thus, application experience and the velocity of development and innovation often equal business success.

The IT infrastructure and operations teams play a critical role as the services they provide directly impact application performance, reliability, and experience. Standing in their way is a mishmash of highly distributed and diverse set of technologies that are resident in enterprise data centers, colocation facilities, network edge, and many different public clouds and software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms. Collectively, this environment is known as the hybrid cloud.

The challenge for IT is determining the best ways to make different applications and their underlying workloads work seamlessly together across the highly distributed hybrid cloud. The opportunity is for IT to combine and unify the best available on-premises and cloud technologies to optimize application experience and performance. The top three tools that IT should closely examine are full-stack observability, cloud-native services, and flexible consumption model.

Because these tools already exist in public cloud and SaaS platforms, some might consider the solution of simply lifting-and-shifting every application and workload to the cloud. But this is not a practical solution for many reasons, including cost, compliance, governance, operational efficacy, ROI, etc. Instead, the better solution will be to leverage the relative strength of each of different hybrid cloud elements while balancing the expected payoff against costs, skillsets, compliance, and time-to-value. Here’s how that might look with the three tools mentioned above.

Full-stack observability: Every public cloud already has observability tools that tell users and administrators what is happening in that specific environment. But for IT infrastructure and operations, they must be able to extend visibility to everywhere in the hybrid cloud, from every single hardware component inside data centers all the way to containerized microservice workloads in the multiple cloud and SaaS platforms they use today. This will require the ability to orchestrate, collect, and analyze telemetry and data on a massive scale.

Cloud-native services: Public cloud and SaaS platforms have revolutionized many areas of operations and management such as automated configuration, advanced analytics, and highly elastic and reprogrammable infrastructure – use once, reuse for another purpose. At the infrastructure level, IT must be familiar with and then readily adopt cloud-native technologies including application programming interface (API)-led management of hardware, software, containers, microservices, and service meshes to maximize their agility. To help further reduce complexity, IT should evaluate technologies for managing multiclusters (e.g., Kubernetes clusters) and multicloud environments at scale.

Flexible consumption model: Perhaps the most revolutionary aspect of public cloud and SaaS is not technological but transactional. Cloud and SaaS have conditioned users to accept the value of being able to pay for resources and services as they are used, thereby accelerating time-to-value and converting fixed costs to operating costs. Now IT leaders can bring this consistent and efficient operational model to the hybrid cloud without being locked into any single software or hardware platform.

Sound like a pipedream? Happily, it’s not and there are hybrid cloud operations platforms such as Cisco Intersight available today that can arm IT with full-stack observability, cloud-native services, and flexible consumption models end-to-end in their hybrid cloud.

Intersight is also an open platform that is highly extensible through APIs to provide continuous innovation and all the benefits of a cloud operating model. In other words, it is the platform at the crossroads of the Application Economy and Hybrid Cloud that IT can use to navigate their company’s digital journey.

Ready to get started? Request a free demo of Cisco Intersight today.

About the author: DD Dasgupta is the Vice President of Product Management for the Cisco Cloud and Compute organization. DD brings more than two decades of experience in the cloud, data center, and software industries in a variety of roles including engineering, marketing, and product.