Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Hybrid Cloud for Everyone (#CFD9)

A panel of delegates and a select group of technology companies convened at Cloud Field Day 9 last week to discuss innovations in the cloud services market. I'm fortunate to have attended as a delegate. In this capacity, I enjoyed a front row seat for presentations on the latest in cloud technology.

Still locked in a staring contest with cloud? You're not alone.
While every presentation showcased the capabilities that made each solution unique, a theme quickly emerged during the event: the promise of a Kubernetes-based hybrid cloud world is still just beyond the reach of most enterprises and businesses. Outside of the hyperscaler and Fortune 500 crowd, IT leaders and technology professionals have yet to find practical ways to efficiently and effectively leverage the variety of public cloud services that are available today.

Two common cloud migration strategies (lift-and-shift and refactor) have run their course. What options are left to the late adopters? Is it too late to move forward with a hybrid cloud strategy, especially if you haven't even figured out a single cloud strategy?

To hear from VMware, Red Hat, Pure Storage, StorPool, NetApp, AWS, and Scality, the answer is a hard no (where no is a good thing).

If you haven't adopted a cloud strategy of any variety yet, you're not alone. The implications of a shift from traditional on-premises workloads where the server is the base unit of abstraction are non-trivial, and impact more than just your operations. You've heard of containers and docker and kubernetes, but these are not minor projects for an organization to tackle on their own. Even using managed solutions like Google Kubernetes Engine and Azure Kubernetes Service are serious undertakings that require a highly specialized skillset (enter the SRE) to properly build and manage. But good SREs are in high demand, are hard to find, and should be freed from operations to spend their time making your applications faster and better.

In particular, VMware recognizes that their customers inhabit the entire spectrum of cloud adoption:

  • On-prem / private cloud
  • Cloud curious
  • Hybrid cloud
  • Cloud first
VMware's challenge as a company is to meet the needs of their customers, regardless of each customer's progress in their cloud journey. To this effect, the company is using its suite of vRealize applications, particularly the vRealize Operations Manager tool, to assist in the planning stages of a cloud project. And they've embraced a growing trend within the industry: data center extension. VMConAWS is a very attractive solution for on-prem shops that have a major investment in vSphere but want to safely expand to a cloud environment.

I'll have more on VMware's cloud solutions, along with overviews of each of the presenters from Cloud Field Day 9, published soon. In the meantime, you can view all of the presentations here.