This excerpt from a new special report , sponsored by Panduit, explores the potential for a hybrid computing approach. Learn how data centers and hybrid IT go together, and how the colocation industry is leveraging the hybrid model.
Hybrid IT isn’t necessarily a jump into the cloud. Instead, it’s also an approach to creating a cloud-like ecosystem. So, what’s new, and how are organizations incorporating a cloud solution into an overall Hybrid IT strategy? To understand it, you have to look at the edge.
Hybrid IT at the Edge of the Cloud
Edge computing is poised to revolutionize the way we communicate, share data, and access critical resources. Edge ecosystems are designed to help bring core services, data, parts of the cloud, and applications far closer to the user than ever before. And, in a world where “slow is the new down,” creating an efficient edge platform is more important now than ever in the past. This means working with latency-sensitive applications, ensuring proper performance, and working with truly resilient solutions.
Today, edge already supports some of the most critical functions in our society. This includes:
- Healthcare (remote and rural regions)
- Entertainment (think Netflix, Disney+, and others)
- And so much more
But it’s not entirely easy to make edge work effectively. Remember, these aren’t just ‘smaller’ or less critical data centers. They’re still essential pieces of your infrastructure. And yet, locating compute functions where the data is generated and used comes with a unique set of challenges:
- Remote and geographically distributed sites
- Lack of dedicated on-site IT personnel
- Non-traditional IT spaces with limited environment controls
Hybrid IT and edge play very well together when you have standardized designs coupled with intelligent management capabilities.
Further, the challenge becomes translating and working with hybrid IT and traditional IT capabilities at the edge. This is a big reason why dependable network infrastructure helps address these challenges. A blend of enclosures, pre-configured offerings, intelligent solutions, and standards-based cabling and connectivity ensure that edge networks perform as needed, limiting issues or downtime. You want to be able to run these ecosystems with as little impact on your staff as possible. This is why efficient edge environments don’t require a lot of people to manage them and can function in distributed locations.
For example, building intelligence into the installation is the single most significant factor in remote monitoring, edge management, and control. Solutions like those from Panduit’s SmartZone are powerful tools for managing everything from access to power delivery to environmental issues.
Working with partners that have a broad portfolio of infrastructure solutions can help you configure the perfect solution for your specific environment.
It’s with these kinds of designs that you’re leveraging data to make better decisions in real-time and even proactively. In working with Hybrid IT and the edge, the overarching goal must be to continue to reduce complexity and infrastructure management fragmentation. Hybrid IT and edge play very well together when you have standardized designs coupled with intelligent management capabilities.
Each data center application and environment have unique characteristics that demand solutions that address those characteristics, and edge deployments are no exception. The infrastructure for a highly protected indoor environment will be vastly different than what is needed for a harsh space, for example. Working with partners that have a broad portfolio of infrastructure solutions can help you configure the perfect solution for your specific environment.
Selecting Hybrid IT Partners
In a world of constant change, you need a partner, not just a provider. Cloud computing is playing an increasing role in many data center’s hybrid IT strategies. However, the same factors that enable virtualization and cloud computing to provide greater flexibility and scalability can also create a discernible impact on the physical infrastructure of the data center that is delivering these services. A robust and scalable physical infrastructure is a critical element that aids in the evolution of digital modernization.
As a colocation or cloud hosting provider supporting hybrid IT initiatives, there is paramount responsibility to maintain uptime for (in many cases) multiple customers. You need ways to optimize cooling, better manage power usage, and to build a scalable, robust physical infrastructure that can scale to meet your customers’ growing demands. And you must do all of this while keeping costs under control.
You need to select a partner with a complete family of converged infrastructure solutions for colocation and cloud hosting providers that include hardware, software, and services that can help you:
- Maximize your revenue and profitability through optimized cooling, space utilization, lowered power, and new value-added service opportunities
- Improve productivity by accelerating data center as well as edge deployment tasks and enabling intelligent management of data center and edge assets, freeing up staff resources to work on a more strategic project
- Develop a positive path forward for your business to cost-effectively support and adapt to evolving technologies and changing business demands
- By addressing unique physical infrastructure power, cooling, space and connectivity requirements, your hybrid IT partner enables you to optimize and maintain operational performance while reducing costs to achieve a faster return on investment (ROI)>
We have all quickly become digital natives in a world that have only seen constant growth around data, services, and the applications we use daily. To that extent, we’ve also seen a maturity in the market that has allowed organizations to better understand their data center IT requirements.
A Look Ahead
The goal of hybrid IT is to create agile delivery models while leveraging cloud-ready data center resources, that provide users with the tools they need when they need them.
Hybrid IT includes a mix of solutions and services, including data center, SaaS, PaaS, branch offices, edge computing, security services, and others. In fact, from a broader perspective, hybrid IT can be seen as the culmination of many trends within the IT infrastructure.
To that extent, where are you in your IT or hybrid IT journey? Have you looked at a data center partner that can deliver on both primary and edge requirements? When deploying hybrid IT infrastructure in traditional data centers, it is crucial to understand that a hybrid IT-enabled data center needs to be able to lay the foundation for a successful virtualized environment. This requires the data center to have the capability to handle the operational strains that occur as a result of various applications.
Hybrid IT allows for rapid deployment capabilities, as well as improved storage and data accessibility solutions. This all contributes to an optimized data center and edge ecosystem.
Getting started on this journey doesn’t have to be a challenge. First, complete that checklist and really understand your priorities and where there is value. Then, work with a good data center, cloud, and hybrid IT partner that can guide you through the technology landscape and build an ecosystem to support your needs both in today’s digital market and in a much more connected future.
Last week’s entry in this series explore a 10-step approach to hybrid IT design.
And to help guide you in selecting the right infrastructure, cloud, and Hybrid IT partner, see the full report, “Hybrid IT – Supporting Critical Initiatives During a Journey to Digital Modernization,” courtesy of Panduit, for a Hybrid IT checklist to get started!