Hybrid Cloud Implementation Challenges Find Answers in HCI

Christine McMonigal is Intel’s Director of Hyperconverged Marketing.

Never before has the need for companies to advance their digital technologies has been greater – with more options to evaluate, urgent actions to respond to, and difficulty understanding in a complex environment. Changing demands, driven in part by the covid-19 pandemic, have led businesses to make the leap towards digitization at an unprecedented rate. IDC estimates that 46% of enterprise products and services will be delivered digitally by 2022, prompting companies to continue new ways to accelerate digital transformation… Visionary leaders started this journey by pioneering massive migration to the cloud, which is at the core of digital transformation and lays the foundation for future innovation.

But if digital transformation were easy, every organization would be doing it. Instead of, three common problems occur and often can stand in the way of the development of the organization:

Multiple cloud architectures. Apps and data continue to grow and reside in different clouds. Managing them to reduce latency, availability, and data independence remains challenging.

Balancing old and new. In some cases, it was costly to move quickly and quickly to the cloud. Applications or workloads that have been migrated to the cloud may have been better suited for on-premises. Companies need more flexibility to update their legacy apps so that they become cloud-based over time. At the same time, on-premises infrastructure needs to be modernized to make it more productive, scalable and efficient – in fact, to make it more like the cloud.

Security. The modern workforce is more decentralized, which increases the attack surface for organizations. This requires a new and holistic dynamic security strategy.

So how can businesses solve these problems? The pragmatic foundation of modern digital infrastructure is hybrid cloud… It optimizes application deployment across multiple locations, providing the maximum level of flexibility to meet changing business requirements. The on-premises side of a hybrid cloud is best deployed through a hyper-converged infrastructure, or HCI, which allows for upgrades that ease the transition by combining old and new.

By combining virtualized compute and storage resources with intelligent software on off-the-shelf server hardware, this approach creates flexible building blocks to replace or optimize legacy infrastructure while providing greater flexibility. In this approach, many parts are combined to offer a version of the cloud infrastructure that is dynamically scalable and simplified operations.

Achieve agility with a hybrid cloud

Achieving high levels of performance is a requirement for IT environments that use mission-critical databases and latency-sensitive applications. This is especially important in dynamic environments where the volume of data is constant and constant access is a requirement, often exacerbated by the demand for new analysis and insight. The ability to easily meet these performance and scalability requirements is essential for any business deploying HCI.

Microsoft and Intel are working together to take the best of software and combine it with the best in hardware technology to provide organizations with a flexible infrastructure that can flexibly cope with today’s demands and set the pace for digital transformation.

Flexibility combined with flawless control

Addressing navigation and optimization across multiple cloud architectures requires a control plane that offers simplified management of both on-premises and public cloud resources. The hybrid offering, available through Azure Stack HCI (delivered as a service), provides a comprehensive answer to this problem. With Azure Stack HCI and integrated services like Azure Arc, you can easily manage on-premises resources along with Azure public cloud resources from a single management plane.

Any viable hybrid cloud must reduce complexity through simplified management while increasing flexibility, scalability, and performance. You can support existing operations and scale them at the pace that best suits your needs with optimized on-premises hardware and legacy features, and improved workload virtualization. Azure Stack HCI effectively blends old and new, supporting the evolution of on-premises operations to become part of your cloud operating model, from the main datacenter to the edge to the cloud.

Good governance also includes maintaining a holistic and comprehensive security framework that allows you to manage associated risks without sacrificing efficiency. As computational complexity increases in the data center, at the edge, and in the cloud, these risks can increase if not addressed. Security must go hand in hand with digital transformation. Intel and Microsoft are leading the way by building a solid foundation, from software to silicon. We will soon be announcing several new technologies to protect the data that is stored and used, and in the next article in this series, we will take a closer look at security and compliance issues.

A hardware base for digitizing everything

Semiconductors continue to grow in importance as we continue to see a growing reliance on analytics and artificial intelligence tools for data analysis to manage operations and customer touchpoints. This digital surge increases the need for additional computing power – suddenly the organization’s infrastructure has gone from tactical to the epicenter of new strategic business opportunities.

Building a hardware infrastructure that adapts to business needs is one of the keys to unlocking the potential of a flexible hybrid cloud that can quickly and easily move workloads across different environments. Intel’s mission is to provide the best technology foundation with built-in performance, AI and security capabilities that will unlock new business opportunities today and in the future. This foundation is built on 3rd generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors.

Intel and Microsoft are working together to reduce the time it takes to evaluate, select, and purchase, optimizing the time to deploy new infrastructure with fully integrated, tested, and off-the-shelf technologies. Proof of this is the recent testing of Azure Stack HCI on the latest Intel technologies by Microsoft and Intel, showing 2.62 million new SQL Server orders per minute, one of the most popular workloads among enterprises. These optimized configurations are available as standalone Intel® Azure Stack HCI solutions from multiple server OEMs and scaling partners.

Meeting the needs of a dynamic IT environment

It has never been a more dynamic time for business; It’s time to use a hybrid cloud. Azure Stack HCI is blazing a new and easy path to hybrid manufacturing, using Intel as the technology foundation to modernize and turn infrastructure into a strategic advantage.

If you’re ready to optimize manageability, performance, and cost while integrating your on-premises datacenter and edge infrastructures into a hybrid and multi-cloud environment, learn more about Azure Stack HCI today.

Check out the latest Intel-powered Azure Stack HCI systems and ongoing innovation in… While there, download the software that Microsoft has provided for a 60-day free trial.

This content was created by Microsoft Azure and Intel. This was not written by the editors of the MIT Technology Review.

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