In my previous blog post, I discussed the current options available to build an enterprise cloud, and the limitations associated with each of them. In this blog post, we will look at what an ideal cloud strategy and solution for an enterprise constitutes.
What enterprises need is a software-based solution that addresses these challenges, one that delivers hyper-convergence that supports an ecosystem, so other entities are able to add new features and capabilities to the hybrid cloud offering via shared APIs.
They need an enterprise hybrid cloud platform that includes integrated computing, storage, and virtualization, and provides a management capability that enables organizations to manage, scale and operate clouds at the lowest possible cost.
Because enterprises computer and storage demands will likely continue to rise at a dramatic rate, such a platform needs to be highly scalable, with an architecture that has been tested to scale to tens of thousands of nodes with no downtime.
At a time when there’s a huge focus on deriving the most value from the enormous volumes of data companies are gathering, such a platform should be suitable for any type of workload: Web-scale applications, big data analytics, and real-time analytics.
Any new cloud platform today should also feature software-defined storage that provides an elastic data fabric to meet application-specific performance requirements. Ideally, the storage component should include hybrid storage support, policy-based data placement, at-rest encryption and data compression.
There’s also a need for flexibility in today’s IT environment—particularly with regard to virtualization—which means enterprises need to be able to plug into the cloud solution whichever hypervisor they’re using, whether it’s VMware, KVM or Hyper-V. With that versatility, they can leverage their existing investments in hypervisors.
This flexibility should also extend to public cloud services. There’s no doubt that many enterprises will continue to utilize services from the leading cloud providers, so any new cloud solution must be hybrid by design.
Enterprises will want to have seamless integration with public cloud services such as those offered by Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Google. This provides users with easy access to whichever cloud or on-premise service they need at a given time.
While easy access to multiple cloud and on-premises resources is important, however, so is good visibility of the entire IT environment. To that end, an effective cloud solution should feature a comprehensive management console that offers operational visibility and intelligence, integrated management of the full technology stack, role-based access controls and remote management.
Such management technology is available today that enables enterprises to analyze data in real time, monitor utilization rates and trends and add new capacity just before it’s needed. This kind of powerful solution gives enterprises the capability to know everything that’s going on within the platform so that they can maintain the highest levels of availability and user experience. They are able to proactively analyze, detect and communicate any system faults that might come up.
Finally, a solution that enables enterprises to leverage multiple clouds must have operational simplicity. Companies don’t want or need more complexity today—they need less. The simpler the solution is to deploy and operate, the more effective it will be and the less it will cost over time.