AUTHOR: Padmaja Vrudhula
Tomorrow VMware announces the launch of the VMware vCloud® Hybrid Service™ — a true hybrid cloud solution connecting and integrating on-site and off-site IT environments through a common management platform with a design that ensures all (new and existing) applications run the same way. This type of a hybrid cloud solution ought to make most IT personnel and leaders take notice for numerous reasons. (To join the live online event, register here.)
Different industries require different types of business agility. For example, a retailer undergoing aggressive expansion may require the ability to quickly set up new store operations. A financial services company pursuing an acquisition strategy needs to be able to assimilate new entities to quickly realize synergies and benefits. An online gaming company may need the ability to quickly set up a platform in anticipation of a wave of new gamers following the release of a new hit game. In the past few years, to accommodate these types of requests, IT has found itself in a de facto service broker role. The increased sophistication of end users coupled with the ubiquity of external cloud service providers has forced internal IT teams to meet the needs of application developers, QA testers, and even production users as quickly as it takes to enter a credit card number. Therefore, how can IT organizations, which still have the dual task of maintaining the physical environment and an existing virtual environment, transform to meet such expectations?
With vCloud Hybrid Service, VMware utilizes many of the same products our customers use to setup, operate, and manage their existing internal cloud(s). Migrating workloads into the VMware hybrid environment takes no additional process, people, or technology work on the part of customers. This design capability is in stark contrast to decisions to consume from other service providers. In those instances, assuming IT had a say in the matter, there is a completely different set of tools, processes, and skills utilized to manage the external cloud environment; further straining already constrained IT resources.
Yet, the more likely scenario for organizations running workloads in an externally hosted environment is that the decision was made by end users, while their IT organization suffers the consequences of supporting them, at costs often not readily apparent to the business. VMware vCloud Hybrid Service will provide a remedy to this scenario by allowing IT to proactively identify criteria for workloads to be migrated into an external environment. This results in several benefits for the overall enterprise: operational cost savings, ability to utilize existing processes (change management, incident management, help desk), leverage existing skill sets, meet customer SLAs, and provide agility to the business. This list is a small fraction of the outcomes of having a proactive approach to consuming external cloud services. Ultimately, IT can add vCloud Hybrid Service into its service toolkit to better execute on the service broker role.
An enterprise CIO I used to work with used the comparison that IT was like the electric company: no one noticed unless the lights went out. It was his way of highlighting the essential nature of technology services. However, in the era of cloud computing, the “new IT” provides a lot more than just “juice.” IT organizations are becoming one element of the competitive advantage companies seek in the marketplace. This is one of the reasons why hybrid cloud is such a key component the CIO’s toolkit. Leveraging a hybrid cloud solution empowers IT organizations to continue to rise to meet the challenges of their business users, eliminate the “cowboy” mentality of end users making IT decisions, and continue to meet the quality standards for day-to-day operations.
Padmaja Vrudhula is a strategist with VMware Accelerate Advisory Services.
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