Optimizing the Hybrid Cloud

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1 Judith Hurwitz President and CEO Marcia Kaufman COO and Principal Analyst Sponsored by IBM

2 Introduction Hybrid cloud is fast becoming a reality for enterprises that want speed, predictability and flexibility to support workloads. There are many reasons why companies are looking at a combination of different deployment models. Companies are delivering services to customers through a new generation of applications. To be nimble and proactive, this hybrid cloud model has to be designed to use a combination of deployment models in the right way to create predictability. The hybrid cloud must have a combination of maximum agility and cost-effective deployment. If implemented correctly, the hybrid cloud becomes a business game changer. There are significant challenges associated with hybrid cloud deployments including performance issues, security, and service levels. When it comes to choosing the right platform for your hybrid environment, it s important to understand that not all IT infrastructures are the same. Your IT infrastructure must be designed to manage big data challenges. It must be able to easily scale to meet requirements for your hybrid cloud workloads in an economical way. In addition, selecting an open platform for your infrastructure will help to improve your flexibility and ensure continued innovation. Hybrid cloud is a combination of on premises and public cloud services intended to work in unison to deliver value to customers, suppliers, employees, and partners. In this paper we will describe three key hybrid cloud use cases and how selecting the appropriate architecture can help you better address your IT infrastructure challenges. These use cases will explore the enterprise requirements to architecturally bring together the foundational internal systems needed to support day-to-day financial and performance management; with the systems designed for customer engagement. These use cases will demonstrate the need to integrate these systems with mobile workloads in a dynamic development and operational computing environment. All use cases have a common characteristic: Customers need to be able to rapidly respond to changing business needs. Definition of Hybrid Cloud Hybrid cloud is a combination of on premises and public cloud services intended to work in unison to deliver value to customers, suppliers, employees, and partners. The hybrid environment provides customers with the flexibility to select the most appropriate service for specific workloads based on critical factors such as cost, security, and performance. For example, a customer may choose a public cloud service to test and develop a new application and then move that workload to a private cloud or traditional IT environment when the application becomes operational. Enterprises that need to support a variety of workloads can leverage the flexibility of a hybrid cloud approach to ensure they have the ability to scale up and scale down as needed. The hybrid cloud isn t only an internal company resource; it is the way that the business provides revenuegenerating services to customers and suppliers. Page 2

3 Hybrid Cloud Use Cases Companies need the flexibility to vary deployment models that match changing business opportunities. Customers increasingly expect their suppliers to support whatever deployment models they need. For example, many customers are taking advantage of mobile platforms and therefore expect that their suppliers will provide a seamless interface to this model. The hybrid architectural platform needs to treat all deployment models equally. In addition to mobile support, customers expect their business partners to support private clouds, public clouds, and services provided by managed service providers. IBM Power Systems, with POWER8 processor-based technology, were specifically designed to support all of these models. The architecture was designed with an emphasis on efficiency, security, performance, and capacity regardless of the deployment model. When these capabilities are built into the architecture it is easier to create a hybrid cloud environment that brings together the right services no matter where they originate. This allows the user to balance workloads based on need. Three of the most important hybrid cloud use cases are described below: 1. Integration.The organization needs to integrate data stored and managed in a hybrid environment across traditional IT and public and private cloud services. Typically, the organization needs to integrate Systems of Engagement applications such as social media and customer management systems hosted in the public cloud with mission critical applications and databases stored on servers in its internal data center. 2 Brokerage/Management (workload balancing). The organization needs to determine where its data should reside based on workload requirements and economics. For example, if customers require immediate confirmation of transactions from a mobile device, speed is essential. The business must be able to easily migrate data and virtual machines supporting revenue-based workloads across cloud deployment models. 3. Portability. In order to manage costs and effectiveness, IT management needs to be able to move workloads to whatever platform matches changing customer demands. The hybrid architectural platform needs to treat all deployment models equally. In addition to mobile support, customers expect their business partners to support private clouds, public clouds, and services provided by managed service providers. Integration The reality is that most organizations have a myriad of data siloed across business units. Each business unit manages data that is critical to a set of product offerings and customers. Increasingly, organizations are also managing critical data in Software as a Service (SaaS) environments. These same organizations make use of industry-specific data services hosted in the cloud. Often these business units make independent decisions to leverage public cloud services for a variety of applications. As a result, organizations must be able to integrate data across these platforms in order to innovate and service customers. To accomplish this goal it is essential that companies solve the integration challenge to fully realize the cost saving and long-term benefits of the hybrid cloud. Data integration is Page 3

4 not a one-time process. Data integration requirements will change depending on the volume and complexity of the data and the speed at which it needs to be delivered. Many companies choose to manage mission-critical systems such as transaction management and customer-facing applications on premises. However, the information from these internal systems is required to support mobile and other cloud-based applications. Many of the mobile applications are customer facing and require real-time responses to deliver results. If you want your customers to be able to select and buy products using mobile applications, you need the ability to quickly access customer and product information from traditional IT systems. Therefore, there is an increasing need for rapid and secure integration between mobile environments and back-end systems for customer and transactional data. The architecture of the POWER8 system is designed to support a variety of workloads. For example, it can be used as a public cloud infrastructure, such as IBM SoftLayer, to support systems of engagement such as mobile or customer transaction systems. At the same time, POWER8- based systems can manage mission-critical applications and databases in the data center. POWER8 improves the I/O and memory bandwidth to make the integration between cloud and on-premises systems faster. POWER8 improves the I/O and memory bandwidth to make the integration between cloud and onpremises systems faster. The need for integration is always changing depending on the workloads and type of analysis. As companies begin to incorporate analytics into business processes, data integration requirements are becoming more complex. The volume and variety of data included in big data analytics workloads require systems that can scale to manage the required data integration and management. Companies need the flexibility to move between cloud-based Hadoop environments and traditional IT database environments depending on the economics. For example, when analyzing social media data to gauge customer reaction to a new product, a cloud-based Hadoop infrastructure may be the most cost-effective approach. It is easy and quick to create the Hadoop clusters required to search for patterns in large volumes of data. After the first phase of your analysis is complete, you may choose to bring a subset of the data into an internal NoSQL database to answer different types of questions. Each new analysis requires a different approach to data integration. You may need to correlate data across different sources that are managed in a Hadoop environment, the internal data center or a private cloud. You need to trust your supporting infrastructure will provide the ability to integrate multiple sources of data across platforms and deliver results at the point of impact. For example, IBM POWER8-based servers have the performance and parallelism to ensure that data integration takes place fast enough to support real-time analysis and customer interactions. POWER8 servers are designed with 4 times more threads per core and up to 6 times more memory bandwidth than X86-based systems. Increasing the threads and memory bandwidth means you can reduce the number of cores and still get the same efficiency and flexibility. Additionally, fewer cores reduces the number of systems leading to less complexity and lower prices. Page 4

5 Brokerage/Management Different workloads have different requirements for security, speed, energy, and storage. Many organizations are driven to hybrid cloud because they want the option to place data and applications in environments based on workload requirements. One typical use case is to use the public cloud for application development and a private cloud or a traditional IT environment for production. The economics of the public cloud are favorable for the development process. You pay for the capacity and services you need and can easily scale up or down as required. For the long-term operation of the application, many companies will want to move the workload to their private cloud or datacenter. Managed Service Providers (MSP) are facing increasing demand from customers who require faster and more robust platform technologies for their varied workloads. Innovative MSP s are also responding to customer concerns about security and privacy. To meet market demands and help scale their businesses, MSPs are leveraging IBM s POWER8 technology. Companies want the ability to optimize cost, performance, and agility while maintaining the flexibility to easily move workloads between public and private clouds and the data center. Companies want the ability to optimize cost, performance, and agility while maintaining the flexibility to easily move workloads between public and private clouds and the data center. For example, certain workloads such as gaming or big data analytics make significant demands on the capacity of a system and need to be placed where performance can be optimized. IBM offers its customers options that help support a heterogeneous environment while enabling the placement of workloads. SoftLayer services can be used to increase the flexibility and scalability of the platform to support placement of workloads on X86 or POWER8 based on requirements or preferences. The advantage of using POWER8 systems is that you can leverage the massive parallelism, increased memory, and I/O bandwidth needed for data intensive workloads. Portability A third major use case for hybrid cloud is the need to ensure portability of applications and data. You need to be able to run the same application in different clouds and move between public and private clouds depending on the workload. You may want to move your workload if you encounter capacity constraints. With the diversity of current workloads including big data analytics, capacity planning can t always be done. As a result, it helps to have the capability to easily burst to a public cloud and retain capacity in your private cloud for mission critical workloads. Docker, a container technology, is gaining traction as a preferred approach to ensuring portability across clouds. Docker for POWER is used to create an encapsulated environment for applications making it simpler to deploy the application in either public or private clouds. An open platform is essential to ensure portability. IBM has opened the POWER architecture through the OpenPOWER Foundation. The 100 plus design partners that have already joined this open source community are innovating in ways Page 5

6 that benefit the market, customers, and the POWER platform. The OpenPOWER Foundation provides free access to POWER in the cloud for developers. Partners can customize the platform as needed to meet customer demands. IBM Power systems enables you to build only once and then port across public and private clouds for workload optimization. Docker on POWER Systems enables developers to maximize the simplicity, efficiency and portability of their application development and deployment with lightweight and flexible Docker containers. Organizations can quickly and easily build big data and analytics applications that can then run at least twice as fast as compared to X86-based systems. Conclusion Hybrid cloud environments are becoming increasingly important to organizations that demand speed, flexibility, and lower costs to leverage market opportunities to become more competitive. Some of the most common use cases for hybrid cloud include integration, brokerage/management, and portability. Mobile and big data analytics workloads demand speed and performance. IBM Power Systems, with POWER8 processor-based technology, are designed to support these data-centric applications. There can be significant improvements in price/performance ratios because POWER8 can run concurrent queries in parallel faster, across multiple cores with more threads per core. Having the right infrastructure to support requirements for performance, capacity, innovation, and security, will make a difference in business outcomes. IBM has opened the POWER architecture through the OpenPOWER Foundation. The 100 plus design partners that have already joined this open source community are innovating in ways that benefit the market, customers, and the POWER platform. Page 6

7 About Hurwitz & Associates Hurwitz & Associates is a strategy consulting, market research and analyst firm that focuses on how technology solutions solve real world customer problems. Hurwitz research concentrates on disruptive technologies, such as Big Data and Analytics, Security, Cloud Computing, Service Management, Information Management, Application Development and Deployment, and Collaborative Computing. Their experienced team merges deep technical and business expertise to deliver the actionable, strategic advice clients demand. Additional information on Hurwitz & Associates can be found at Copyright 2015, Hurwitz & Associates All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the copyright holder. Hurwitz & Associates is the sole copyright owner of this publication. All trademarks herein are the property of their respective owners. 35 Highland Circle Needham, MA Tel:

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