Software-Defined Helps Tackle Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Challenges

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As hybrid cloud deployments enfold, organizations can expect to encounter some long-term challenges. In a recent podcast, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions and John Abbott, Vice President of Infrastructure and Co-Founder of The 451 Group, discussed the growth of hybrid cloud and the challenges enterprises are facing.

Solving the complexity problem 

As organizations seek a mix of hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructure, they are implementing cloud in a way that wasn’t anticipated years ago. “CAPEX to OPEX, operational agility, complexity, and costs have all been big factors,” explained Abbott. “Also, on-premises deployments continue to remain a critical function. You can’t just get rid of your existing infrastructure investments that you have made over many, many years.”

Gardner suggested that technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) could help solve the hybrid cloud complexity issue. Abbott agreed both present a huge potential. “IT tools are in a great position to gather a huge amount of data from sensors and from usage data [and] logs, and pull that together. We can then more clearly see patterns and optimize in the future.”

Control costs

Gardner and Abbott discussed the growing challenge of controlling cloud costs. “Cloud models can significantly reduce cost, but only if you control it. Sizes of instances, time slices, time increments, and things like that all have a huge effect on the total cost of cloud services,” Abbott explained.

To gain control over your spending on cloud, Abbot said IT admins need better management tools. “They need a single pane of glass -- or at least a single control point -- for these multiple services, both on-premises and in the cloud.”

The skills gap

Both analysts mentioned the current skills gap as a concern for today’s enterprise. Gardner wondered who in the enterprise has the knowledge and expertise to oversee all of the financial functions involved with multi- and hybrid cloud deployments. This person needs to understand the technology, and also the economic implications, such as forecasting and budgets. Gardner doesn’t believe the typical IT director or admin has those skills right now.

Abbot said this role is evolving with a new generation of IT admins. “There are skill shortages, obviously, for managing specialist equipment, and organizations can’t replace some of those older admin types. So, they are building up a new level of expertise that is more generalist.”

Abbot believes that organizations should look to a more experienced partner to help them in this rapidly changing and complex environment. “The experts in data analysis and in AI and the data scientists coming up are the people that will drive this. And they need partners with expertise in vertical sectors to help them pull it together,” Abbot said.

Get more information about simplifying your hybrid cloud experience using modern technologies and software-defined solutions. 

You can also listen to the full podcast here.

Gary Thome is the Vice President and Chief Technologist for the Software-Defined and Cloud Group at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). He is responsible for the technical and architectural directions of converged datacenter products and technologies.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.