451 Research report explores various approaches to hybrid IT management

Schneider Electric, a global specialist in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, disclosed a newly commissioned 451 Research study, which explored various approaches to hybrid IT management. In particular, the authors of the report conducted in-depth, 90 minute interviews with infrastructure leaders from enterprises generating over $500 million in the U.S., U.K. and Asia-Pacific to shed light on emerging trends across multiple verticals and industries.

Hybrid IT infrastructure has become an attractive option for companies that want to take advantage of the cloud, but are not ready to abandon their legacy infrastructure. The technology provides a mix of conventional infrastructure, private and public cloud, allowing users to transfer workloads from one environment to the next. According to 450 enterprise respondents in the 2017 global study, by 2019, approximately 46% of organizations expect enterprise workloads will run in on-premises IT environments, with the remainder off-premises.

Among the key takeaways of the interviews, the report found the widespread adoption of cloud services has significantly impacted how businesses meet their data center infrastructure needs. These complexities are expected to be compounded as new distributed IT, cloud and edge computing workloads emerge. Moreover, the migration to hybrid data center environments is challenging conventional infrastructure management and oversight methodologies.

The study also found that although the details of the interviewees’ experiences, strategies and use of budding technologies for IT management differed, they also shared some common themes. One mutual insight the interviewees shared was to determine the best execution venue for workloads, including cost, data sovereignty and governance, security, latency and control. An U.K. based retailer advised factoring the best execution venue, security, performance and latency requirements into the total cost analysis, in addition to data transit and application license expenses. Even with these variables factored in, the retailer said the public cloud is not always more affordable.

Another common theme was driving visibility across a hybrid environment. One retailer said they greatly benefited from treating workloads equally by using the same management, security and tools wherever they were running. They said creating an ongoing review process for public cloud capacity was pivotal to this process.

Managing costs without compromising performance was also a common theme. With the proper foresight, the study found it is possible to minimize data center capital and operating costs, while ensuring or boosting high levels of availability with a hybrid IT environment.

Finally, the report underscored the importance of unifying operational procedures across hybrid IT environments. One vendor said making these requirements part of service-level agreements (SLAs) and operations-level agreements (OLAs) with colocation and cloud service providers is crucial. “You have to know [off-premises] is not going to be cheaper… and you lose a huge amount of control. To gain some of that control back, all you can rely on are your SLAs and OLAs.”

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