March 25, 2016 | Written by: Kevin Green
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Enterprises are becoming increasingly hybrid. You can read all of the details here in the IT Service Management (ITSM) reference architecture for hybrid environments.
Two words from that first statement are the most important. The first is “hybrid” and the second, surprisingly, is “increasingly.” There is a lot of confusion around the word “hybrid.” In simple terms, hybrid means on-premises and cloud platforms coming together to deliver a solution.
Now, one of the main sources of confusion about hybrid regards what the solution entails. Is the solution the configuration of a system management vendor’s software to utilize both platforms? Or is it how a vendor’s software can be configured to manage a customer’s solution on both platforms? We call these solutions “manage from” and “manage to.”
We can agree that the customer’s solution is the most interesting. But let’s put this in perspective: You wouldn’t sell exterior paint to someone who rents an apartment, would you? Of course you wouldn’t. In the same vein, if a customer doesn’t have a hybrid environment, why would they need our solution to run a hybrid configuration? In other words, you must make sure you know the variables: first, make sure the customer is an “apartment owner” in need of our external paint services.
So your client doesn’t need hybrid solutions? I would contend that you are not looking holistically at your customer’s enterprise. They more than likely have both cloud and on-premises compute systems–we just need to look in the right places. For example, line of businesses (LOBs ) will understand what they are doing in the cloud and on premises to reach customers. If we are not extending out to the right LOBs we are working with blinders on.
Increasingly, cloud is becoming more important for our clients. Some organizations are born on the web, but most medium-to-large customers started on premises and are now adding cloud environments. However few customers are making a total move to the cloud. Again, we need to find the LOB that is leading the charge. That LOB will have an on-premises presence and a cloud presence. Typically that will consist of a server population in the neighborhood of 10 to a couple hundred, while the entire enterprise might have 100 to 50k servers. Over time, more and more of those 50k servers will be INCREASINGLY cloud-based. With IBM Performance Management, we only need to address, let’s say, 150 servers for one of the hybrid applications. That should be the approach to instrument one hybrid application at a time. That strategy complements any current in-place resource monitoring if it is already in place.
Finally, let’s discuss ITSM reference architecture. Of course, any key application can be afforded systems management to assure its availability and performance. The IT Service Management reference architecture explains how we can provide that management. To start with that reference architecture, we typically ask customers to start with monitoring. And the IBM Performance Management V8 solution fits the bill. It has the ability to work with on-premises, cloud or hybrid environments. If you need more information regarding how to get started with monitoring, we can help!
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