Hybrid Strategies and Microsoft Azure

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Hybrid Strategies and Microsoft Azure

Working with our customers in recent years, it goes without say that we’re always creating or on the pathway to create a cloud strategy. Whether this has been consuming Azure IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) features or more recently SaaS (Software as a Service) products like Dynamics 365, these have been the real entry point for instigating a shift. The term “hybrid cloud” sometime is lost depending on the audience and for me coming from an Infrastructure background it calls out “tunnels” and “point to point”. Though the definition of hybrid can vary, my view is that the hybrid cloud is a means taking advantage of the benefits of public cloud without having to move everything over. The decision to move applications and services should be based on business value, and a hybrid cloud model creates a platform allowing our customers to make that decision. One common theme to our conversations with customers is that they are still unclear where to start or, more importantly, how to maintain momentum. Maybe simplify this to “The vast array of choice and flexibility can sometimes hinder progress, rather than support it.  After all where do you start?”. Organisations want to seize the opportunity that the cloud brings but breaking this down can present challenges that can easily swept away by not doing anything. These challenges will always exist and plotting how we can address these are just as important as adoption and migrating.

Through recent engagements with customers we’ve seen that the need to migrate services “as is” is still a real necessity. For various reason whether this is, exit plans from Data Centers or planning for SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 End of Support. This approach has been the typical starting point for many when building their hybrid strategies. eBECS approach as depicted below is more around working with our customers to ringfence and assess services for migration using native and ISV solutions and toolsets to present and validate, build, migrate and manage.

There’s a need for a sensible and accelerated approach so customers can realise the value of their cloud environments without a drawn-out migration phase. Therefore, we really to think through building blocks of Identity, Network, Security, Logging and Monitoring which are the foundations of the platform. These foundations are vital and need to be scoped in the initial phases but remember these are continuous task that we must undertake.

eBECS “Path to Hybrid” is about an agile journey to adopt Microsoft Azure as a flexible landing zone which is a mechanical process. But then to layer application innovation with approaches PaaS (Platform as a Service) capabilities that Azure has to offer. The Azure ecosystem is ever evolving as seen on the Azure updates page.

Other key considerations when thinking hybrid strategy include:

  • How much is too much cloud, where do we draw the line and control costs?
  • What is the best cloud for your workloads, what services will we be consuming? (Virtual Machines, data, APIs, micro-services)
  • End user experience, I still want my internal customers to have the feel and experience as if the services are still in the same building?
  • How are we going manage, optimise and report on this platform?
  • Find the right responsibility and control for your organisation, we don’t have to do it all?

The option to go hybrid has always been available but the message is a lot clearer and we don’t have to move everything. Our customer stories tell us that the hybrid approach and delivering at “cloud speed” gives them options that they would not have achieved if they stayed on-premise.

If you would like to know more about our approach and schedule a workshop, or just share your thoughts on this topic, please contact us at cloud@ebecs.com.

Author: 
Harsharn Puar

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