The Value of Hybrid Cloud Management

5 min read

Managing hybrid cloud IT environments can be a daunting task, and organizations need the right tools to tackle the challenges.

Organizations are seeking to deliver innovative capabilities faster with existing enterprise applications. However, a significant portion of IT budget is consumed by maintaining these existing applications. As organizations embark on application and data modernization, most land on a hybrid cloud strategy with application and data workloads balanced across both public cloud and private cloud. Organizations need a robust management solution that works across infrastructure and application suite to keep all the systems running smoothly.

What is hybrid cloud management?

Hybrid cloud management (HCM) refers to the management of an organization’s infrastructure deployments and services — either on-premises or off-premises. Hybrid cloud management helps organizations design, deploy and manage IT infrastructure and services across clouds, data centers, containers, virtual machines (VMs) and hardware platforms. It is often implemented through software that integrates on- and off-prem infrastructure into a management platform that allows administrators to view and control resources.

Why utilize hybrid cloud management?

As businesses adopt a hybrid cloud IT model, operating that environment becomes increasingly difficult with all the different platforms and operating systems. Businesses need consistent VM management across on-prem, off-prem and platforms — ideally, all in one single pane of glass.

Organizations are also lacking a consistent way to perform automation across the enterprise and an easy way to track cloud spend.

These challenges call for organizations to do the following:

  1. Efficiently support and manage environments across hybrid multicloud landscapes.
  2. Enable consistent enterprise automation across hybrid applications and infrastructure.
  3. Modernize cloud-native applications and enhance traditional systems to accelerate digital transformation and improve operational efficiency.

Hybrid cloud management capabilities

These challenges can be addressed by software capabilities from IBM that are deeply integrated with IBM Power Systems and IBM Power Systems Virtual Server. We’re going to look at some of these capabilities and how they promote a consistent experience across on-prem, off-prem, various cloud providers, traditional apps and new cloud-native apps.

Managing virtual infrastructure

Organizations need a convenient way to view and manage existing applications across the hybrid cloud landscape. With most organizations heavily relying on virtual machines to run their enterprise apps, they need a robust tool to manage the platform.

IBM Cloud Pak for Watson AIOps integrates a virtual landscape into a consistent user experience, greatly simplifying management of your hybrid cloud resources. Cloud Pak for Watson AIOps not only enables teams to easily understand the health and performance of applications and infrastructure, but also delivers insights to recommend and leverage automation, delivering efficiencies and results for your business.

Here are some of the benefits of the Cloud Pak for Watson AIOps:

  • Diagnose problems faster: Correlate a vast amount of unstructured and structured data in real time with AIOps tools.
  • Build and manage securely: Build policy at the microservices level and automate across application components.
  • Automate provisioning: Continuously discover the latest state of your environment and implement self-service for your IT team.

Enterprise observability

As organizations increasingly adopt a hybrid cloud architecture and its many benefits, having visibility into what's going on within the environment from infrastructure and application perspectives can be difficult. It is essential to provide enterprises a comprehensive observability platform that covers not only what's in their data centers, but also across public cloud providers and across all platforms.

IBM Observability by Instana provides enterprise observability and monitoring. Let’s delve deeper into these capabilities:

  • Enterprise observability: Automates monitoring, tracing and profiling for all applications and services. Drives intelligent actions to minimize troubleshooting and optimize performance.
  • Automatic application performance monitoring: Automatically observe, monitor and fix any application, service or request.
  • Hybrid and multicloud monitoring: Automatically visualize and monitor containers, hosts, middleware and Kubernetes.

Instana provides a broad set of use cases and deep integration with major enterprise applications, language runtimes and software across all hardware platforms. Instana supports AIX, IBM i, Linux from a VM perspective, OpenShift on Power (as well as x86) from a cloud-native perspective and the IBM Power Hardware Management Console (HMC) from an infrastructure layer.

Resource optimization

In the new IT landscape, there is a tremendous opportunity to correctly select and assign the right resources to a workload or application. When workload performance, compliance and cost are correctly and continually balanced against the best-fit infrastructure in real time, organizations achieve efficiency. However, this cannot be done manually at an enterprise scale because the environments are too large and complex. IT operators need an analytics engine that can plug into different infrastructure and applications to continuously optimize.

IBM Turbonomic Application Resource Management provides ongoing resource optimization across any cloud infrastructure. The software continuously makes resourcing decisions that ensure applications get the compute, storage and network they need, while automatically accounting for business constraints.

Turbonomic provides the following:

  • Continuously assure performance with AI-powered software: 60% of customers say they improved application performance with Turbonomic.
  • Increase IT productivity: 90% of customers say they can focus on more strategic projects when Turbonomic is assuring application performance.
  • Unite application and infrastructure teams: Customers can enjoy true full-stack visibility.

Turbonomic receives metrics from a variety of sources, such as virtualization management software, Kubernetes and OpenShift clusters. Turbonomic provides unique AI-powered automation tools capable of running on Red Hat OpenShift and across any hybrid cloud environment. It also has tight integration with Instana, which allows Turbonomic to understand how applications are performing and how its actions affect performance.

Application modernization at enterprise scale

Organizations are looking to extend their existing apps with new cloud-native technologies to gain a competitive edge. Applications are moving from monolithic architecture to a cloud-native approach — built with multiple components spanning multiple clusters and cloud providers. Operating in a multi-cluster environment has its challenges, such as how to manage the lifecycle of multiple clusters — regardless of where they reside (on-premises or across public clouds) — using a single control plane.

This is where Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes comes into play. Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes aggregates the management of multiple Kubernetes or OCP clusters into a single management framework. From there, you can easily see all your clusters and apps from a single place. You can even deploy new applications and define policies to ensure every cluster is adhering to organizational standards and best practices.

Some of the benefits of Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes include the following:

  • Accelerate development to production: Speed up application development pipelines with self-service provisioning.
  • Increase application availability: Deploy legacy and cloud-native applications quickly across distributed clusters.
  • Central management automatically: Free up IT departments with self-service cluster deployment that automatically delivers applications.

In summary

Many enterprises continue to work in hybrid cloud environments as they host a lot of the core business workloads on-premises while creating or migrating newer workloads to public cloud environments. Managing these environments can be a daunting task, and organizations need the right tools to tackle the challenges posed by these heterogenous environments to accomplish their objectives.

Collectively, the capabilities discussed in this article work extremely well together to create a consistent management platform between client data centers, public cloud providers and multiple hardware platforms (fully inclusive of IBM Power) — providing all the necessary elements for a comprehensive hybrid cloud platform.

If you have any questions, please contact an IBM Representative at 1 866-872-3902 or drop a note using this link.

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