Eric D. Schabell: 3 Pitfalls Everyone Should Avoid with Hybrid Multicloud (Part 3)

Thursday, July 5, 2018

3 Pitfalls Everyone Should Avoid with Hybrid Multicloud (Part 3)

three pitfalls
The daily cloud hype is all around you, yet there are three pitfalls everyone should avoid.

From cloud, hybrid cloud, to hybrid multicloud, you’re told this is the way to ensure a digital future for your business. These choices you’ve got to make don’t preclude the daily work of enhancing your customer's experience and agile delivery of those applications.

Let's take a journey, looking closely at what hybrid multicloud means for your business. Let's examine the decisions being made when delivering applications and dealing with legacy applications. Likely these are some of the most important resources to your business.

This article highlights three pitfalls everyone should be aware of when transitioning into hybrid multicloud environments. It's based on experiences from interactions with organizations working to conquer hybrid multicloud while delivering their solutions.

In part one, we covered the basic definitions to level the playing field. We outlined our views on hybrid cloud and multicloud, making sure to show the dividing lines between the two. This set the stage for part two, where the first pitfall discussed why cost is not always the obvious motivator for moving in to the cloud.

In part three, it's time for technology and looking at the question of whether it's a good plan moving all workloads in to the cloud?

Everything better in the cloud

three pitfallsThe second pitfall is about the misconception that everything will benefit from running in the cloud. All workloads are not equal and not all workloads moving in to the cloud result in a measurable effect on the bottom line.

A recent article stated, "Not all business applications should migrate to the cloud, and enterprises must determine which apps are best suited to a cloud environment." A hard fact that the utility company mentioned in part two of this series found out as labor cost estimations rose while trying to move applications in to the cloud.

Discovering this was not a viable solution, the utility company backed up and re-evaluated their applications. Turns out, some application were not heavily used, others had data ownership and compliance issues. Some of their applications were not certified for use in a cloud environment.

Sometimes it's not physically possible to run applications in the cloud, but other times it's not financially viable to run in the cloud.

Imagine a fictive online travel company. As their business grew, they expanded their hosting capacity on-premise eventually to over 40 thousand servers. It became a question of expanding their resources by purchasing a datacenter at a time, not a rack at a time. Their business consumes bandwidth at such volumes that cloud pricing models, based on bandwidth usage, remains prohibitive.

Why a baseline

Nothing is more important than having a thorough understanding of your application landscape, as the examples above show. Along with a good understanding what applications need to migrate to the cloud, you also need to understand current IT environments, present level of resources, and estimate costs for moving.

The current situation and performance requirements (network, storage, cpu, memory, application & infrastructure behavior under load, etc), called a baseline, gives you the tools to make the right decision.

If you’re running servers with single digit CPU utilization due complex acquisition processes, then a cloud might be a great idea with on demand resourcing. However, first ask these questions:

  • How long did this low utilization exist? 
  • Why wasn’t it caught earlier? 
  • Isn’t there a process or effective monitoring in place? 
  • Do you really need a cloud to fix this, or just a better process for both getting resources and managing said resources? 
  • Will you have a better process in the cloud?

Container necessity

Many believe that you need containers to be successful in the cloud. The famous catch phrase sums it up nicely, "We crammed this monolith into a container and called it a microservice."

three pitfallsContainers are a means to an end, and using containers doesn’t mean your organization is capable of running maturely in the cloud. It's not about the technology involved, it's about applications that often were written in days gone by using dated technology. If you put a tire fire into a container and then put that container on a container platform (ship), it's still functionality that someone is using.

Is that fire now easier to extinguish? These container fires just create more challenges for your DevOps teams, who are already struggling to keep up with all the changes being pushed through an organization moving everything into the cloud.

Note, it’s not a default bad decision to move legacy workloads into the cloud, nor is it a bad idea to containerize them. It’s about weighing the benefits, the downside, assessing the options available and making the right choices for each of your workloads.

Pitfalls everyone should avoid

In part four of this series, the third and final pitfall is presented. A pitfall that everyone should avoid with hybrid multicloud. Find out what the cloud means for your data.

Missing the start of this series? Just head on back and catch up with part 1.