Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Derek Weeks, LeanTaaS Blog

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, @DevOpsSummit

@CloudExpo: Article

Getting Hybrid IT Right | @CloudExpo #AI #DX #SaaS #ITaaS #CloudNative

The tech industry is a buzzword-creating machine, but the truth is that all of these buzzwords serve a purpose

Getting Hybrid IT Right
By Charles Araujo, Intellyx Principal Analyst

We define Hybrid IT as a management approach in which organizations create a workload-centric and value-driven integrated technology stack that may include legacy infrastructure, web-scale architectures, private cloud implementations along with public cloud platforms ranging from Infrastructure-as-a-Service to Software-as-a-Service.

At Intellyx, we have a mantra that goes something like this: "We love confusion in the market. It gives us something to write about."

Well, if confusion is what we like, Hybrid IT delivers it in spades.

The tech industry is a buzzword-creating machine, but the truth is that all of these buzzwords serve a purpose. As an industry, we are in a constant struggle to distill, comprehend and communicate new and complex ideas that are arising at a dizzying pace. So the industry coins terms to help simplify the process (and maybe sell some stuff along the way).

Hybrid IT is the latest entrant to go mainstream. And like its counterparts, it is rife with confusion, conflicting definitions, and outright abuse.

Unlike many of its fellow buzzwords, however, this one deserves serious attention from any business and IT executive who is trying to navigate their organization through the travails of digital disruption and transformation.

You need to get this one right.

Hybrid IT is an essential concept because it represents a fundamental shift in the way enterprise organizations architect and deploy their technology stack. In fact, as I described in one of my first Cortex pieces, I believe that the adoption of a Hybrid IT strategy is tantamount to envisioning a new digital business architecture.

The Confusion Behind Hybrid IT
The term Hybrid IT suffers from two primary points of confusion. The first is a simple case of mistaken identity.

The term hybrid cloud preceded the term Hybrid IT in management consciousness. Hybrid cloud represents an approach in which an enterprise organization uses on-premises private clouds in some combination with public clouds.

As we'll discuss in a moment, the concept of Hybrid IT can include the integration of private and public clouds. As a result, many people came to see the terms as synonymous or may not have even realized that there were two terms in use at all.

The second point of confusion comes from an oversimplification. In broad terms, we define Hybrid IT as a management approach in which organizations create a workload-centric and value-driven integrated technology stack that may include legacy infrastructure, web-scale architectures, private cloud implementations along with public cloud platforms ranging from Infrastructure-as-a-Service to Software-as-a-Service.

The problem with this definition is that too many IT leaders have skipped over the "workload-centric and value-driven" part and have taken Hybrid IT to mean that they can pick-and-choose technologies indiscriminately. In fact, the adoption of a Hybrid IT strategy means the exact opposite.

Hybrid IT's Workload and Value Centricity
This inclination to see Hybrid IT in terms of the infrastructure components of the technology stack is endemic in IT leadership teams and a result of a long-standing systemic architectural perspective.

The challenge is that the evolution of modern technologies continues to abstract workloads from their underlying infrastructures, making a traditional systems perspective out-of-date.

Instead, organizations must adopt a new architectural perspective in which the unit of control is the workload, and the driver of priority is its competitive value to the organization. This new perspective is the essence of a Hybrid IT strategy.

In this new paradigm, the organization must focus primarily on managing workloads rather than systems. To do so, organizations must view workloads in the context of their competitive business value and broadly define them to be either competitive or sustaining in nature - what I refer to as the workflow's value state.

Using this perspective, the architectural decisions move away from designing and then connecting systems and move instead to designing integrated workflows aligned to the relative business value of the workloads they support.

In this value-driven context, it now makes complete sense for some workloads to remain on traditional, non-cloud infrastructures, while others move to different forms of cloud-based architectures, as the diagram illustrates.

The New Hybrid IT Architectural Framework
This new architectural perspective must, therefore, lead to a new architectural framework. Unlike the systems-oriented frameworks of the past that organized the architecture based on systems-type, this framework organizes the architecture based on the types of workloads they best support.

This new architectural framework consists of three tiers:

  • Legacy: Platforms supporting sustaining workloads that are stable, too costly to migrate and pose limited competitive risk, so are left to run in traditional environments.
  • Web-scale: Platforms supporting the organization's most strategic and business-critical workloads, which thus drive competitive advantage. These workloads typically support in-house developed applications and run in web-scale-type environments either within owned data centers or in tightly controlled and managed environments.
  • Commodity: Platforms supporting sustaining workloads that have been migrated from legacy environments, predominately to SaaS and public cloud applications (e.g., Salesforce, Workday, etc.), to reduce overhead on internal IT staff.

This architectural framework will challenge many traditional architectural assumptions and force organizations to re-envision the technology stack from the ground up. It will force IT organizations to use the value state to drive the architectural and deployment decisions of any given technology.

Realigning the technology stack from a competitive value perspective eliminates the guesswork on many of the critical decisions facing IT leaders today about which technologies to maintain in-house versus which to deploy to the cloud. It also makes it much easier to sort through the mass of emerging technology innovations to determine which are worthy of investment.

The four new architectural tiers may not seem to be a traditional architectural model. They do not describe either physical or logical structures. Instead, they represent a relative assignment of competitive value to the organization - and consequently, the amount of control and agility required.

The Intellyx Take
Embracing a Hybrid IT strategy demands that IT leaders be willing to challenge long-held approaches to the management of the IT function and the delivery of IT services. It requires a philosophical shift away from a technically-oriented systems mindset to a focus on the customer, business value, and competitive differentiation.

As we have written about several times before, digital transformation is fundamentally a shift in which the primary orientation of the organization moves away from a focus on the operating model to a focus on the customer.

This is true in the expected ways (e.g. the customer experience, etc.), but more importantly in the foundational architectures and operating models by which the business - and therefore IT - operates.

The workload-centricity that is implicit in an authentic Hybrid IT strategy is critical in realizing and sustaining this shift to customer centricity that digital transformation demands.

The abstraction of workloads from the underlying infrastructure enables them to cut across traditional architectural tiers to align with specific customer needs.

Like the entire concept of digital transformation, however, it is easy to whitewash Hybrid IT. Far too many leaders will use the term as a crutch, choosing expedience over a meaningful strategy and leave a mishmash architecture in their wake that is both non-transformative and which, in fact, sets them up for a spectacular implosion in the not-so-distant future.

Adopting a Hybrid IT strategy requires both a technical and cultural transformation that reorients the entire organization around workload centricity and the business value those workloads support. It is a transformation that IT and business leaders must get right.

Copyright © Intellyx LLC. Intellyx publishes the Agile Digital Transformation Roadmap poster, advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives, and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. As of the time of writing, none of the organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx customers.

More Stories By Jason Bloomberg

Jason Bloomberg is the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise. As president of Intellyx, Mr. Bloomberg brings his years of thought leadership in the areas of Cloud Computing, Enterprise Architecture, and Service-Oriented Architecture to a global clientele of business executives, architects, software vendors, and Cloud service providers looking to achieve technology-enabled business agility across their organizations and for their customers. His latest book, The Agile Architecture Revolution (John Wiley & Sons, 2013), sets the stage for Mr. Bloomberg’s groundbreaking Agile Architecture vision.

Mr. Bloomberg is perhaps best known for his twelve years at ZapThink, where he created and delivered the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) SOA course and associated credential, certifying over 1,700 professionals worldwide. He is one of the original Managing Partners of ZapThink LLC, the leading SOA advisory and analysis firm, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in 2011. He now runs the successor to the LZA program, the Bloomberg Agile Architecture Course, around the world.

Mr. Bloomberg is a frequent conference speaker and prolific writer. He has published over 500 articles, spoken at over 300 conferences, Webinars, and other events, and has been quoted in the press over 1,400 times as the leading expert on agile approaches to architecture in the enterprise.

Mr. Bloomberg’s previous book, Service Orient or Be Doomed! How Service Orientation Will Change Your Business (John Wiley & Sons, 2006, coauthored with Ron Schmelzer), is recognized as the leading business book on Service Orientation. He also co-authored the books XML and Web Services Unleashed (SAMS Publishing, 2002), and Web Page Scripting Techniques (Hayden Books, 1996).

Prior to ZapThink, Mr. Bloomberg built a diverse background in eBusiness technology management and industry analysis, including serving as a senior analyst in IDC’s eBusiness Advisory group, as well as holding eBusiness management positions at USWeb/CKS (later marchFIRST) and WaveBend Solutions (now Hitachi Consulting).

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
As many know, the first generation of Cloud Management Platform (CMP) solutions were designed for managing virtual infrastructure (IaaS) and traditional applications. But that's no longer enough to satisfy evolving and complex business requirements. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, Embotics CTO, explored how next-generation CMPs ensure organizations can manage cloud-native and microservice-based application architectures, while also facilitating agile DevOps methodology. He expla...
DevOps promotes continuous improvement through a culture of collaboration. But in real terms, how do you: Integrate activities across diverse teams and services? Make objective decisions with system-wide visibility? Use feedback loops to enable learning and improvement? With technology insights and real-world examples, in his general session at @DevOpsSummit, at 21st Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, explored how leading organizations use data-driven DevOps to close th...
"WineSOFT is a software company making proxy server software, which is widely used in the telecommunication industry or the content delivery networks or e-commerce," explained Jonathan Ahn, COO of WineSOFT, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Some people are directors, managers, and administrators. Others are disrupters. Eddie Webb (@edwardawebb) is an IT Disrupter for Software Development Platforms at Liberty Mutual and was a presenter at the 2016 All Day DevOps conference. His talk, Organically DevOps: Building Quality and Security into the Software Supply Chain at Liberty Mutual, looked at Liberty Mutual's transformation to Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, and DevOps. For a large, heavily regulated industry, this task ...
The notion of improving operational efficiency is conspicuously absent from the healthcare debate - neither Obamacare nor the newly proposed GOP plan discusses the impact that a step-function improvement in efficiency could have on access to healthcare (through more capacity), quality of healthcare services (through reduced wait times for patients) or cost (through better utilization of scarce, expensive assets).
The past few years have seen a huge increase in the amount of critical IT services that companies outsource to SaaS/IaaS/PaaS providers, be it security, storage, monitoring, or operations. Of course, along with any outsourcing to a service provider comes a Service Level Agreement (SLA) to ensure that the vendor is held financially responsible for any lapses in their service which affect the customer’s end users, and ultimately, their bottom line. SLAs can be very tricky to manage for a number ...
The dynamic nature of the cloud means that change is a constant when it comes to modern cloud-based infrastructure. Delivering modern applications to end users, therefore, is a constantly shifting challenge. Delivery automation helps IT Ops teams ensure that apps are providing an optimal end user experience over hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud environments, no matter what the current state of the infrastructure is. To employ a delivery automation strategy that reflects your business rules, making r...
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
The past few years have brought a sea change in the way applications are architected, developed, and consumed—increasing both the complexity of testing and the business impact of software failures. How can software testing professionals keep pace with modern application delivery, given the trends that impact both architectures (cloud, microservices, and APIs) and processes (DevOps, agile, and continuous delivery)? This is where continuous testing comes in. D
In a recent post, titled “10 Surprising Facts About Cloud Computing and What It Really Is”, Zac Johnson highlighted some interesting facts about cloud computing in the SMB marketplace: Cloud Computing is up to 40 times more cost-effective for an SMB, compared to running its own IT system. 94% of SMBs have experienced security benefits in the cloud that they didn’t have with their on-premises service
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
Admiral Calcote - also known as Lee Calcote (@lcalcote) or the Ginger Geek to his friends - gave a presentation entitled Characterizing and Contrasting Container Orchestrators at the 2016 All Day DevOps conference. Okay, he isn't really an admiral - nor does anyone call him that - but he used the title admiral to describe what container orchestrators do, relating it to an admiral directing a fleet of container ships. You could also say that they are like the conductor of an orchestra, directing...
Our work, both with clients and with tools, has lead us to wonder how it is that organizations are handling compliance issues in the cloud. The big cloud vendors offer compliance for their infrastructure, but the shared responsibility model requires that you take certain steps to meet compliance requirements. Which lead us to start poking around a little more. We wanted to get a picture of what was available, and how it was being used. There is a lot of fluidity in this space, as in all things c...
The goal of Microservices is to improve software delivery speed and increase system safety as scale increases. Microservices being modular these are faster to change and enables an evolutionary architecture where systems can change, as the business needs change. Microservices can scale elastically and by being service oriented can enable APIs natively. Microservices also reduce implementation and release cycle time and enables continuous delivery. This paper provides a logical overview of the Mi...
Gaining visibility in today’s sprawling cloud infrastructure is complex and laborious, involving drilling down into tools offered by various cloud services providers. Enterprise IT organizations need smarter and effective tools at their disposal in order to address this pertinent problem. Gaining a 360 - degree view of the cloud costs requires collection and analysis of the cost data across all cloud infrastructures used inside an enterprise.
"I focus on what we are calling CAST Highlight, which is our SaaS application portfolio analysis tool. It is an extremely lightweight tool that can integrate with pretty much any build process right now," explained Andrew Siegmund, Application Migration Specialist for CAST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"We started a Master of Science in business analytics - that's the hot topic. We serve the business community around San Francisco so we educate the working professionals and this is where they all want to be," explained Judy Lee, Associate Professor and Department Chair at Golden Gate University, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Gone are the days when application development was the daunting task of the highly skilled developers backed with strong IT skills, low code application development has democratized app development and empowered a new generation of citizen developers. There was a time when app development was in the domain of people with complex coding and technical skills. We called these people by various names like programmers, coders, techies, and they usually worked in a world oblivious of the everyday pri...
The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...