Transforming IT, a subject of many discussions within organizations today, was a major topic at EMC World 2015. Lynn LeBlanc of HotLink and Edward Haletky spend some time discussing transforming IT into a hybrid cloud landscape on this Virtual Thoughts video podcast. We look not only at HotLink technology, but also at what it really takes to transform your existing environment into a hybrid cloud environment.
Lynn LeBlanc brings up some good points about what is needed to migrate to a hybrid cloud. Whether to do so is still a question for the business. Once you make the decision, it is not an all or nothing process, but one that should be planned carefully.[youtube video=https://youtu.be/QWVMaqoCCm0?list=PL5Z20q6GOMmvs2o5gTBaUooQFX8RyqfGW maxw=480 autohide=1]
Transforming IT usually includes many people and process changes, but very few technology changes. So, anything that minimizes people and process changes is a huge win. The goal of HotLink’s technology is to limit those people and process changes by using a homogenous management framework within a heterogenous hybrid cloud environment. The cloud you are using should not matter; neither should the hypervisors involved. Instead, it is all about preserving your current administrator’s way of doing things. This reduces training and process changes to only what the technology requires.
Lynn states that those companies that look at transforming IT as a massive collection of complex changes or that want to include all aspects of IT end up biting off more than they can chew. Therefore, they end up moribund instead of transforming IT. She further states that starting slow with smaller projects is a way to build up experience so that IT can be transformed fairly easily. The steps become more technical than process:
- Choose a cloud, such as Amazon or Azure
- Choose a small project to transform
- Set up the cloud as yet another resource within your existing management infrastructure, such as vCenter for a VMware virtual environment deployment
- Migrate workloads from your existing virtual environment to the cloud
- Run the workloads in the cloud.
Steps 1 and 2 will end up being more about politics than technology, which makes this a business decision unless IT itself has a small project to transform. Even then, politics are needed, as well as a resource to act as the cloud administrator whenever it is needed (which should not be all that often). Steps 3 through 5 are purely technical. However, Step 4 is an important step. It is a step that should require no knowledge of the hypervisor and networks that live within the cloud. A true transformation of IT requires the hypervisor and network to be agnostic. This is where an underlying transformation engine is required, as well as software-defined networking. Both of these tools will ensure the hypervisor and networking are agnostic.
Once you have to start worrying about the underlying hypervisor of a cloud or the networking involved, your transformation of IT may come to a standstill until all these things are worked out. It is far better to understand but not worry about the underlying substrate of IT infrastructure, which is now the hypervisor and cloud-based networks.
It is important to realize that Step 4 can also take some time, as it takes time to seed a cloud with terabytes of data. However, updates to that seed should be rapid. Once you have one project transformed, you can look at any process steps, procedures, and perhaps additional training required to transform bigger and bigger projects. An IT transformation does not need to be all or nothing. Starting small is often just what you need to get over a hurdle.
Please watch this Virtual Thoughts episode and let us know how you transform IT.