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Hybrid Cloud: mid-market ready

I’ve read a number of articles recently about “Hybrid Cloud – it’s the future”, which reminded me of a conversation with an IT Ops manager whose global business has, over the past two years, shifted everything into the Cloud. It works, no downtime, execs happy, job safe. Except for the “d’oh!” head-slap moments when the requirements stipulated by the business don’t match what the application usage patterns turn out to be, leaving £’000s of unused capacity. In one case a project stalled and no one told IS, resulting in a £25k cost and plenty of “discussions” over whose budget it came from. Yes – this could and should be managed better, but in the real world it not always is. If they’d maintained their internal infrastructure he’d have kept the start-up local – and expanded into the cloud when capacity and usage patterns were clearly defined, measurable, manageable and fully costed. Which is why he’s removing 35% of his workloads out of the Cloud this month. Strangely, it’s a lot easier to get into the Cloud than it is to get out.

Hybrid Cloud: balancing innovation and effectiveness

Hybrid – the balancing of on-premise and Cloud (private Cloud or public) is the answer. The goal is a world in which workloads can be moved from on-premise to Cloud and back as demand dictates. This could be as part of the general cadence of business or triggered by a specific action (Disaster Recovery – Delta Airlines?). However, unless you’re building infrastructure for a large enterprise, with in-house skill sets to build the scripts, provision the VMs, define the workflows and manage the orchestration, true hybrid is still some way off. Which is not to say you can’t start planning now, as the mid-market hybrid infrastructure will be “standard” within the lifetime of today’s server purchases.

Take a look at the big players in Cloud and their readiness for mid-market. Microsoft’s Azure Stack has been pushed out to mid-2017, which is fine – we’d rather see it working well from day one. Working with Windows Server and System Center 2016 to deliver Cloud scalability, the typically recommended hardware specs (16 cores/128GB) are well within the capabilities of Dell’s bestselling mid-range servers. When it launches, customers will have a tightly controlled list of hardware that must be purchased at the same time as the OS. Specific builds from Dell, along with HP and Lenovo will be the only platforms supported on day one. Openstack continues to excel in the large scale deployments, especially when deploying SaaS solutions – or where the customer has a natural tendency towards open source. Mid-market is not the natural audience here.

VMware dominates in mid-market virtualisation, and through vRealize can manage any public cloud that supports vSphere. The need for expertise does not diminish, with monitoring, log analysis and process automation requiring significant knowledge to truly deliver on the dream.

We only deliver solutions via the channel – never direct – and with our award-winning Cloud team and expertise in Dell infrastructure solutions, Ingram is ideally placed to help you scale out hybrid solutions for your customers. Please contact to discuss your customers’ hybrid Cloud infrastructures.

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