Hybrid Cloud Requires a Transition from IT Service Builder to IT Service Broker


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Hybrid Cloud Requires a Transition from IT Service Builder to IT Service Broker

  1. 1. white paper CIO LinkedIn Hybrid Cloud Requires a Transition from IT Service Builder to IT Service Broker Executive Summary Even as enterprise IT shops are deploying private clouds to increase agility and reduce costs, they are also steadily increasing the number of workloads being run in public clouds to meet the ongoing, dynamic needs of the business. Whether they realize it or not, they are transforming into cloud brokers who act as intermediaries between their companies and cloud service providers—managing workloads and moving data among multiple clouds. These newly created cloud brokers find themselves managing across private clouds within their own data centers, among hyperscale cloud providers like Amazon (AWS), Google and Microsoft, and across large public cloud service providers such as AT&T, Orange Business Services and Verizon. Their companies benefit because the competition among these market-leading companies is creating a broad range of new options and price points for the delivery of IT services. However, this is a challenging and rapidly evolving environment that requires the cloud brokers to bring extensive IT experience, cloud knowledge and well-honed negotiating skills to the table when they hammer out deals that include such major issues as data control and management, consistent SLAs, governance and security. Global Survey Confirms Hybrid IT is the New Normal According to a worldwide survey of IT executive members from CIO LinkedIn Forum, respondents’ organizations are already deploying multiple cloud models, and expect that more than half of all IT services at their organizations will be delivered via cloud three years from now. For example, the majority of respondents expect to have Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) deployed within three years, while more than two-thirds (71 percent) expect IaaS will be Forum deployed within 18 months. They also expect that the use of all cloud models (public, private and hybrid) will increase at their organizations over the next 18 months. Respondents further report that nearly one-third of their total data will be deployed to either public or hybrid clouds within 18 months, a precipitous 100 percent increase over the amount of data they say is currently being housed in either a public or hybrid cloud. Not surprisingly, a majority of respondents plan to employ public cloud platforms based on VMware or Microsoft technology with a smaller but growing number opting for hyperscale and open source cloud alternatives. Turning to benefits, the study, which was commissioned by NetApp and conducted by IDG Research Services, reveals that more than two-thirds of respondents report their organizations have seen reduced provisioning times, increased efficiencies and lower costs, which they directly attribute to cloud deployments. Hybrid Clouds, Serious Challenges Moving from managing existing internal private clouds to integrating with public clouds is not a simple process. As noted by ESG Senior Analyst Wayne Pauley, “There are some organizational and governance changes which have to occur on the business side of the house. If the organization is going from a fixed and very static allocation scheme to a more dynamic usage model, they have to come up with ways of forecasting consumption and being accountable for serving large numbers of people across their distributed enterprises.” From an IT point of view, the challenges are significant as well. Traditionally, senior IT leaders in the data center have maintained control over their data, period. However, certain key functions pose a challenge to that—migrating that data to the public cloud, shifting it to and from the cloud, and adapting to new tasks such as changing cloud providers on the fly. The majority of respondents consider it highly important to offer consistent SLAs across cloud environments (83
  2. 2. 2 white paper: H ybrid C lou ds Figure 1. Ways in Which Organizations Have Benefitted from Cloud Deployments To-Date Reduction in provisioning times/ increase IT efficiencies/lower costs 67% Scale-up/scale-down to accommodate business needs 59% Able to buy and use resources on a per-need basis 52% 47% Less downtime/planned outages 35% Improved SLAs 22% More reliable security Drive revenue 16% Source: IDG Research Services, October 2013 percent), and to manage and control data among multiple private and public cloud resources (82 percent). However, more than three-quarters indicate that their organizations are encountering challenges in meeting these objectives. Seventy-eight percent consider it highly important to be able to manage data seamlessly across multiple cloud environments. Data protection and data governance are most often cited as the aspects of control and management that will be difficult to maintain when moving to a hybrid cloud environment. Just 40 percent of respondents rate their organizations’ current ability to move data across cloud environments as excellent or very good. Alarmingly, roughly the same proportion has a high confidence level that their organizations will be able to master this critical capability 18 months from now. CIO Concerns According to Brad Nisbet, Marketing Manager, Cloud Solutions for NetApp, “What CIOs really want is the ability to choose among cloud services, knowing that, for whatever reason—change in business needs, policies, location, etc.— they can make adjustments with minimal pain and impact to the business.” Their issues include: n Minimizing downtime with fewer planned outages n Having the flexibility to buy and consume resources on a per-need basis Allowing users to react to changing business needs n by scaling IT resources up and down n Achieving cost reduction and faster provisioning times An overarching concern, and a key to resolving these issues, is maintaining control over data performance, protection, governance and security—which is particularly challenging in heterogeneous cloud environments. Complexity is another inhibitor for CIOs who are considering a tighter integration of public cloud services into their IT environments. For example, many organizations are perplexed about how to manage elements of IT across a blend of private and public cloud resources, especially the intricacies of managing data across disparate locations and platforms in a hybrid environment. The Need for a Common Data Platform Hybrid cloud environments can lead to some very innovative combinations of resources. To achieve the IT agility promised by a hybrid model, however, it must be possible to adjust the mix of cloud services and service providers in response to changing business needs. At the compute layer, a high degree of agility and portability can already be achieved by using server virtualization technology and applications designed for stateless, cloud-based computing. At the data layer, it’s a different story. Once user data or application data is generated, the IT organization is bound to manage, protect and control that data, regardless of its location. When data is moved between different clouds, the challenge is to do so efficiently while maintaining the desired policies for data security, performance and data protection. Indeed, it is this burden of data management and control that has become the primary
  3. 3. 3 white paper: H ybrid C lou ds Figure 2. Importance of IT Controls for Hybrid Cloud Offer consistent SLAs and services across both public and private environments 28% Manage and control data among multiple private and public cloud resources Control data growth in the cloud and the associated storage and network service fees 13% Switch between cloud service providers as needed 2% 11% 5% 2% 55% 18% 42% 16% 21% 5% 6% 22% 43% 11% Critical 11% 4% 48% 34% Easily move data among different cloud providers Leverage legacy on-premise systems as part of a hybrid cloud 55% 43% Very important Not very important 8% 29% 29% 10% 9% 3% 11% 6% Somewhat important Other Source: IDG Research Services, October 2013 obstacle to more effective utilization of the public cloud. The ability to seamlessly manage data in a hybrid cloud environment can provide IT organizations with new degrees of freedom for balancing and fine-tuning data services across cloud resources. Just as operations teams already benefit from managing virtual machines in the same way across both private and public clouds, having a common set of storage services will enable them to more effectively provision resources and manage data across multiple cloud environments. The Data ONTAP storage operating system from NetApp is designed to provide that common data platform and serve as the data management foundation for a hybrid cloud environment. The Three Pillars of the NetApp Cloud Strategy ➊ Universal Data Platform NetApp’s Data ONTAP storage operating system is at the heart of the company’s Universal Data Platform, which is one of three main pillars supporting a multi-cloud strategy. As part of its plan to create a standardized data fabric that homogenizes on-and off-premises connectivity, NetApp has enhanced Data ONTAP and is working closely with its cloud provider partners to deploy the operating system across hybrid cloud environments. With Data ONTAP, organizations can solve one of the more complicated aspect of brokering services between private and public cloud resources—storage and data management—with a platform that offers a common data format and familiar management between resources. ➋ Dynamic Data Portability The second pillar of the strategy is Dynamic Data Portability, which provides the ability to move data between instances of Data ONTAP via the company’s replication and data movement technology. By providing this capability between cloud resources, users can create innovative cloud solutions and avoid vendor or cloud-provider lock-in. ➌ Extensive Customer Choice The third pillar is Extensive Customer Choice, which focuses on best-of-breed technologies and a broad ecosystem of cloud providers. In this area, NetApp provides a multitude of options for IT organizations looking to deploy a multi-cloud environment. NetApp technology options for private clouds span all major virtualization frameworks, such as those from VMware, Microsoft and Citrix, and virtually all of the major cloud management options, such as those from Cisco, BMC and CA, as well as open source initiatives like OpenStack and CloudStack. On the public cloud side, NetApp enables over 175 cloud service providers with infrastructure and solutions built on Data ONTAP. In addition, NetApp’s partnership with Amazon Web Services allows organizations the benefit of
  4. 4. 4 white paper: H ybrid C lou ds hyperscale cloud flexibility and economics while preserving tight control over sensitive data. ESG’s Pauley praises NetApp Data ONTAP for its ability to move data seamlessly between on- and off-premises locations. “That takes a lot of the hard work out,” he says. “Everything that they do has been very easy for infrastructure and operations people to deal with and manage. That’s the beauty of NetApp. There’s a lot of simplicity built in, which is very hard to do.” “What CIOs really want is the ability to choose among cloud services, knowing that, for whatever reason—change in business needs, policies, location, etc.— they can make adjustments with minimal pain and impact to the business.” —Brad Nisbet, Marketing Manager Cloud Solutions, NetApp Adds Bill Tohtz, Chief Architect at technology service provider Sayers Inc., “NetApp’s vision enables seamless cloud management across any blend of public and private cloud resources. Through our partnership with NetApp, we’re able to help organizations respond instantly to everchanging demands while enhancing IT services with flexible and agile solutions.” Start Preparing Today for a Hybrid Cloud Future As cloud environments increasingly evolve into a blend of different types with multiple vendors, the role of IT as a cloud broker will continue to grow in importance. This means that IT’s purpose, more than ever, is to align with the business and become a trusted advisor. IT must learn to hide the complexities of hybrid clouds from business users while supporting an agile, best-of-breed approach that optimizes their investments in both private and public cloud resources. In the rapidly evolving world of cloud computing, there are many opportunities to demonstrate leadership by developing a roadmap that employs advanced cloud infrastructures to support business objectives and carve out competitive advantage. The first phase in this process includes assessing your short- and long-term IT goals. In the next phase, a cloud broker must evaluate competing cloud offerings to determine which services are compatible with user requirements, including such important criteria as performance, SLAs and governance. The third phase entails interviewing potential cloud providers, checking customer references and negotiating business terms. Of course, this is an iterative process that will need to be repeated as needs evolve and new options become available. The payoff will be a more agile IT organization that is well-positioned to hike the performance of the business to unprecedented levels. ■ To learn more, visit us at www.netapp.com/cloud © 2013 NetApp, Inc. All rights reserved. No portions of this document may be reproduced without prior written consent of NetApp, Inc. Specifications are subject to change without notice. NetApp, the NetApp logo, Go further, faster, and Data ONTAP are trademarks or registered trademarks of NetApp, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. All other brands or products are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders and should be treated as such.