Jan 19 2017

Is hybrid IT right for you?

Hybrid IT Solar FlareWouldn’t it be nice if there were an easy answer to that question? It would make for a short blog post. For better or for worse, though, the answer always starts with, “It depends.” You could get a lot of benefits by transitioning to the cloud or to a hybrid environment – things like cost savings, broader services, more reliable architecture and the support of an experienced professional organization.

Sounds good, right? However, before we prescribe hybrid IT, we ask clients a series of questions to evaluate their environments and their needs. Cloud economics are attractive – for most scenarios. But the details for your individual situation depend on the types of applications and workloads you have, your security considerations and which cloud services will make the most sense for your needs.

Let’s start with fiscal considerations, since those can be the most important. If you recently invested in IBM Power System for your on-premise data center, moving to the cloud now might not be fiscally prudent. However, if you’re ready for an upgrade and you’re weighing the cost of new hardware versus the IBM Power Systems architecture as a hosted option, it would make sense to get the scale, performance and management benefits of the cloud, as long as you choose a services partner with the IBM expertise to support you.

Next, consider the workloads you’d want to migrate. If you have multiple custom applications built on IBM i, you could re-host them in cloud instances, but re-architecting all of that code would be difficult. More widely used applications and workloads that are not reliant on homegrown code would be best suited to the cloud.

Every hybrid IT decision must also take security and reliability into account. A lot of IT teams are concerned about moving their data off site, and they’re not off base with that concern. You have to ask any cloud provider you’re considering about its security technology and policies, and then determine if the answers meet your needs.

And finally, you’ll need the right entry point to IT transformation. Backup and recovery as a service (BRaaS) is a popular place to start. Immediately, it removes the hassle of nightly tape backups from overburdened IT teams. Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is also a common onramp into hybrid IT. You get efficient data replication and disaster recovery for your critical systems, and you don’t have to make the huge capital investment that comes with a secondary data center.

The hybrid IT question is one that sparks “if this/then that” answers. It’s a conversation best had one-on-one, focused on your specific needs and environment. Ready to chat? We’re here.


Scott Youngs

Key Information Systems, Inc.