Hybridization of the Enterprise Compute Infrastructure

The State of Hybrid Infrastructure

From pets, plants in our garden, to the technology landscape, everything is getting hybridized. In the Information Technology world, the hybrid cloud (or compute infrastructure if you wish) is defined as interconnected on-premise, shared, and cloud resources, simultaneously using collective resources. As noted in a survey "Voice of the Enterprise" conducted by the 451 Research Group, nearly 60% of organizations indicate that they are establishing a hybrid cloud environment. This means they are leveraging existing data center assets (traditional and private cloud), colocation, and cloud resources to meet various performance requirements. What seems a bit surprising, based on anecdotal conversations, only 18% of the participants in the survey indicated that the public cloud would become their soul computing platform.

Hybrid Cloud investment predictions for 2019 according to 451 Research Group

• Enterprise data centers show 2.5% growth rate, which is down from 6% two years ago
• Colocation and Managed Service facilities are increasing 8.1%, surpassing enterprise owned assets
• Cloud infrastructure is growing by 18% which is expected, but showing signs of slower growth

Tracking data center growth and density the industry tracking sight datacentermap.com gives a great visualization of private, shared, and public cloud-based data centers.

Drivers and Demands for the Hybrid Cloud

Edge computing demand is driven by low latency/high bandwidth data demands from autonomous vehicles, on-line transactions, to IoT devices
• Cost management of applications where IT organizations are optimizing workloads based on infrastructure and networking costs, risk management, and performance demands
• Performance factors drive workload placement – distributed computing for high transactional requirements; traditional centralized infrastructure for compute intense batch reporting and analytics
• Security and compliance drive workload placement. Traditionally, it was believed that an organization’s own data center offered more security and auditability. However, as these facilities age, colocation and public cloud vendors are adopting modern and more sophisticated systems.

Colocation services have evolved over the years from the fortress style data centers to a highly connected internet exchange hub. We are now seeing that further evolve to host more complex physical and virtual infrastructure capable of supporting the workload mobility demanded by the Hybrid Cloud and Edge computing needs.

With this maturing or evolution competition among Colocation providers is increasing. They now need to add unique services to entice and maintain their tenants. This competition is good for both the customer and the colocation providers themselves. Enhanced services bring significant value to the tenant without paying for the high cost of innovation. Improved services help bring operating costs down while driving more customer demand.

Colocation vendors are starting to provide more services and transparency to support the tenant’s workload management. To manage workloads in this complex hybrid environment, organizations need visibility into the entire stack, where is it, where does it run best, where it is the best security profile, where does it cost least to run.

Complex environments have millions of inputs from devices and sensors daily. It is impossible to manually monitor and react to the valuable data that is available. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are being adopted to provide advanced to help innumerate all of the outcomes for smarter decision making and improve failure predictability.

The demand to optimize and tier workloads are demanding more in-depth management tools to assist. DCIM tools are proving the ideal solution for both tenants and the colocation provider to understand the nature of a workload and identify where it should move to, based on the parameters of cost, performance, and risk.

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