Blame IT on the Cloud

In the good old days, when there was a problem with IT (i.e. latency or downtime), blame would be placed on (pick any one or combination of): hardware, software, network and/or wetware (people). With the emergence of cloud — public, private and the ‘blame game’s’ bete noire, hybrid — finger pointing has been raised to a whole new level.

Ultimately, IT used to be able to blame the users, but that’s no longer the case, said Leon Adato, the Network Management Head Geek, SolarWinds, a provider of IT management software. “It’s more of an us-against-the-world when you bring in cloud into the mix.”

It’s tough enough trying to keep your own IT infrastructure up and running, what with 24×7, anywhere operations, big data, analytics, cloud, mobility, IoT and social. Throw in somebody else’s cloud, and the complexity — i.e. what Gartner breaks down into four broad categories: consumption & operations, administration & delivery, budget & optimization and comparison & selection — becomes even more challenging.

The lack of robust cloud management tools may slow the adoption of the public cloud and could potentially expose enterprises to out-of-control costs and security risks. While IaaS platforms have reached maturity, the tools that manage and monitor public cloud deployments are lagging behind, according to Gartner Research Director Mindy Cancila. “Cloud deployments are set up for failure if you don’t develop a management strategy upfront,” she said.

With the world moving to cloud, and increasingly hybrid cloud, finger-pointing has become much more complex. Currently valued at $33 billion, the hybrid cloud market is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 22.5%, and is expected to be worth $91.74 billon by 2021.

More than 43% of organizations expect that within five years, the majority of their IT capability will be delivered through public cloud services, and that within three years, they will access 78% of IT resources through some form of cloud — public, private, or hybrid, according to recent data from IDC. ‘Hybrid cloud architectures will continue to dominate enterprise cloud strategies (more than 80% of enterprise IT organizations will commit to hybrid cloud architectures by 2017; by 2018, at least half of IT spending will be cloud based, reaching 60% of all IT infrastructure, and 60–70% of all software, services, and technology spending by 2020). Increasingly, the need to integrate traditional noncloud systems with modern cloud infrastructure and cloud- native application will create friction and analytics tools will help optimize integrations and maintain service levels.’

IT staff productivity, infrastructure cost savings, and the ability to improve resource utilization are the primary drivers among enterprise-scale heavy hybrid cloud users, according to a recent survey of 409 customers located in North American. The IDC survey reported that these organizations are achieving increasing levels of automation, orchestration, and provisioning maturity, but gaps still exist across technology and governance.

Another survey (257 IT practitioners, managers and directors in the U.S. and Canada from public and private sector small, mid-size and enterprise companies), from SolarWinds, found that the top three hybrid IT benefits were:

-infrastructure cost-reduction;

-increased infrastructure flexibility/agilit; and,

-relieving internal IT personnel of day-to-day management of some infrastructure.

The benefits are compelling, but so are the barriers, Adato told IT Trends & Analysis []. Only 27% are certain their IT organizations currently have adequate resources to manage a hybrid IT environment. Most (62%) say security (and compliance concerns) is the biggest challenge of managing current hybrid IT environments, followed by the need to support legacy systems and budget limitations.

At the heart of embracing the cloud and eliminating the blame game is recognizing that monitoring matters, he said. “Monitoring is quite honestly the thing that will save your company.”

Organizations no longer have the luxury of finger pointing. “You need people now on your staff who understand failure mode wherever it occurs… up and down the stack…”

Top 5 Skills to Manage Hybrid IT Environments:

-Hybrid IT monitoring/management tools and metrics

-Application migration

-Distributed architectures

-Service-oriented architectures

-Automation and vendor management

Author: Steve Wexler

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