For a lot of organizations, the decision on where to host their data center has been quite binary: either on-premises or in the cloud. This either/or scenario was for a good reason, namely no IT department really jumped at the idea of managing two such distinct environments. But the cloud has come a long way in the past few years, and new solutions are making it easy for IT to create seamless, easily manageable hybrid clouds that span on-premises and public cloud.
The first major milestone that helps IT capitalize on hybrid clouds is that the cloud providers themselves are delivering additional solutions to help manage hybrid deployments. Microsoft Azure, for example, offers two cloud-based software packages which help IT easily bridge the management gap between on-premises and their Azure cloud platform:
- Operations Management Suite (OMS) helps IT centrally monitor and maintain servers in Azure and on-premises. It integrates with System Center Operations Manager and helps IT perform things like workload insights, security threat response, workflow automation, consistent control and compliance, continuous IT service delivery, application and data availability, and more. It even has support for Linux servers and an app that IT personnel can use to monitor and manage from anywhere.
- Azure Remote Server Management Tools (RSMT) gives IT the power to remotely access key processes within any Windows Server (2012 or higher) instance, regardless if it’s on-premises, in Azure, or even in another cloud (like Amazon AWS). This flexibility gives IT one management pane to remote into any server no matter where it’s located.
These Microsoft-provided tools are just two examples of cloud providers who are embracing the hybrid cloud mentality, that most organizations want to take advantage of the public cloud, but can’t simply turn off their data center and move it all to their cloud instantly. So, in the mean time they need a way to manage both as seamlessly as possible.
In addition to that, for a long time it just hasn’t been feasible to pull off a sizeable migration quickly, seamlessly, and safely. But that’s changing, too, with our second major milestone: the development of Velostrata’s streaming-based workload mobility solution, which gives IT several unique capabilities over previous replication-based migration methods. For example, with Velostrata’s solution:
- Apps can begin running in the cloud in a matter of minutes, while data either remains on-premises or is moved to the cloud in the background while the app itself is already running. This means a quick turnaround for the business, minimal disruption for the end users and no huge wait times for IT.
- Fast, realistic testing, where IT can clone a production workload into a cloud within a matter of minutes, while the production workload remains on-prem serving users. With that, IT is able to do real-life testing without risking their production workload and data, nor disrupting their end users or service.
- Quick, easy way to move workloads to the cloud, but also back on-prem, or to another cloud (or cloud region). This speed and agility is finally giving IT the solution they need to spread their workloads across whatever combination of clouds and regions works best for them.
- Seamless automation, which means things like cloud instance types and sizes, network settings, and other options are automatically prepared and configured. Velostrata also offers a REST API and PowerShell module which can be used with Azure’s OMS Automation to orchestrate (and further automate) cloud workflows. All of this means that IT can get workloads running in the cloud without a ton of manual preparation and configuration, saving them valuable time and effort.
The difference between today’s streaming-based techniques and yesterday’s replication-based are vast, and streaming-based is the clear path to getting to the cloud quickly and safely. And, when you couple solutions like Velostrata which make workload mobility fast, risk-free and simple, with hybrid management solutions like the new Azure OMS suite which spans on-prem and the cloud, it is easy for IT to bridge the gaps that have stood in the way of a cost-effective, powerful, dynamic hybrid clouds.
Curious to see Velostrata move a multi-tiered application with 750+ gigabytes of attached disk space from on-premises VMware into Microsoft Azure? Watch this short video, and see us migrate that workload in about three minutes! Got questions? Feel free to drop us a line.