By Luke Fitzpatrick
Hybrid cloud infrastructure allows an enterprise to split workloads between public clouds, private clouds, and on-premise resources.
Reasons for doing this often include the need to split dynamic workloads from less dynamic ones so they can be processed in a public cloud at a more cost-effective rate. Another common reason is to separate out sensitive data and store it securely on-premise while storing the remainder in a public cloud.
Public cloud vs on-premise
A public cloud is operated by a service provider who charges users according to the computing resources they consume. The provider manages and maintains the resources being shared across the network. Because of their relatively low cost, public clouds are often used by an enterprise to address peaks in workflow demand, to develop and test software, and for big data analysis.
A private cloud is a cloud used by a single organization either on-premise or through an offsite provider. Because it offers greater control over the infrastructure than a public cloud, it is often used for running compliance sensitive workloads without compromising on security.
On-premise resources are those which are deployed in-house within an organization’s infrastructure. The organization is responsible for maintaining the resources and all of its related processes. By allowing workloads to be split between these different solutions — a hybrid cloud infrastructure offers flexibility, scalability, and cost savings with minimal risk of data exposure.
How to split workloads
If your company is looking to adopt the Microsoft Azure tech stack, here are some best practices and methodologies that will help you to split up your workloads. The steps include qualifications, assessment, execution, and optimization:
- Qualification: Software is used to analyze the data to identify utilization and workload patterns, technical requirements, and specific data types. This allows you to characterize workload profiles and determine the best candidates for cloud or on-premise.
- Assessment: You then assess which environments are most suitable for your candidate groups by analyzing different hosting providers and models (i.e. public, private, or on-premise). You can then group workloads to be moved together during the execution phase based on size, complexity, and budget considerations.
- Execution and optimization: This involves migrating your workloads to their various destinations and assessing them to ensure they arrive safely. This should be followed by ongoing analysis to ensure optimal use of on-premise or cloud resources.
Using Azure Stack to split workloads
Microsoft’s Azure Stack takes the headaches out of splitting and migrating workloads by giving you the power and flexibility of a public cloud right inside your own data center.
A hyper-converged platform, Azure Stack brings Microsoft’s public cloud, Azure, on-premise, with no integration or compatibility issues, as their infrastructures are identical.
Azure Stack gives you all the benefits of a public cloud (speed to market, flexibility, integration with new technologies) along with the security of a private data center, where you have full control of infrastructure, governance, and physical access.
It aggregates, classifies, and groups your resources and allocates them as much capacity as each one needs. It also lets you import VMs (Virtual Machines) into the environment and operate them with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS) plan.
With Azure Stack, you can easily migrate, manage, and share data across workloads in your public, private and on-premise resources — and all from one user-friendly management interface. Common enterprise uses for Azure Stack can include:
- Ensuring compliance and security: Provides easy access to industry-specific compliance, data sovereignty, and security services.
- Maximizing performance: Delivers the performance for large processing tasks like analytics, without the upload time and latency issues of a public cloud.
- Connecting disconnected apps: Lets you run applications that are disconnected from the data center and upload the results once re-connected.
- Accelerating app development: Provides a consistent set of tools for developing applications and easy deployment to a cloud without any changes.
Who can benefit most from Azure Stack?
If you aren’t quite ready for the move to a public cloud or if you’re already using Microsoft’s Azure public cloud but want greater control over your costs and data security. then Azure Stack could be just the solution your organization needs.
Azure Stack delivers a truly hybrid solution that combines the agility and power of a public cloud with the security and data sovereignty of a private cloud. And if you want the flexibility of having some resources in the cloud, some on-premise, some in an IaaS environment, and some in a scalable PaaS environment, then Azure Stack has all of your business needs covered.
Using Azure Stack, you can quickly adapt to business changes, adjust processing capacity as needed, move sensitive information securely, and scale your cloud presence at your own pace.
Its seamless integration and ease of use free your organization up from complex IT operations and allows you to focus on your true goals, which are serving your customers and growing your business.
About the author
Luke Fitzpatrick has been published in Forbes, Yahoo News and Influencive. He is also a guest lecturer at the University of Sydney, lecturing in Cross-Cultural Management and the Pre-MBA Program.