IT consumers traditionally satisfied their requirements for services by utilizing their internal IT departments. The type of service consumed has evolved over time. Most recently consumption is dominated by the service of virtual machines. More advanced internal IT departments may include even more service oriented consumption to IT consumers in the form of standardized application stacks running on top of virtual machines. The process of procuring such services could take days, weeks, or even months for an internal IT department. Length of procurement can be attributed to the complex architectures as well as business requirements, such as governance and compliance, that are required to be followed by IT organizations.
In the search to innovate faster, IT consumers have begun to recognize the value of public clouds to more quickly provide the services they need. Whether it is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS), IT consumers began to utilize these public cloud providers. IT consumers enjoyed increased agility and a consumption model that allowed them to utilize computing as a utility. While using public cloud providers is appropriate for certain workloads, IT organizations have struggled to maintain compliance, governance, and control over businesses critical assets in the public cloud. At the same time, IT consumers expectations of what IT organization should provide have dramatically increased.
The increased expectations of the IT consumer are being transferred to the IT organization in the form of increased demands. Increased demand for self-service, elastic infrastructure and applications, the ability to more rapidly deliver environments, and accelerated application development are some of the specific demands being driven by the experience the IT consumer has had while using the public cloud. The IT consumer is losing patience with IT organizations and the threat of shadow IT organizations is real. IT organizations would like to deliver these capabilities to the IT consumer and would like to maintain their operational practices over the delivery of such capabilities. IT organizations also recognize that the shift to a next generation IT architecture is an opportunity to make strategic decisions to both simplify their IT architecture and address concerns that have been plaguing them in the architectures of the past. These strategic decisions include embracing an architecture that provides choice, agility, openness, and leverages existing investments.
Choice is important to Operations and Developers
Operations teams need the ability to deploy workloads on a choice of infrastructure providers with the ability to seamlessly manage workloads once deployed. Without the ability to easily deploy and move workloads from one infrastructure provider to another the operations teams are stuck using a single infrastructure provider. Being locked in to a single infrastructure provider prohibits operations teams from leveraging innovation from other providers or choosing the right provider for the right workload. Development teams also require choice. A broad choice of languages and frameworks and support for polyglot, poly-framework applications is an expectation of development teams because each language and framework is providing important innovations that can be assembled to solve complex business problems efficiently in a way that a single language alone cannot solve.
Agility and Openness are critical to maintaining relevance with the IT consumer
Agility will allow IT organizations to remain relevant with the IT consumer. By being able to quickly provide new languages, frameworks, and solutions to complex problems IT operations can become a strategic partner to the IT consumer instead of being viewed as simply an expense. In choosing a next generation IT architecture that is based on openness, IT organizations can ensure that future innovation can be more easily adopted, and ensure that future investments are more easily consumable then today’s architectures.
Leverage existing investments alongside a Next Generation Architecture
IT organizations have invested heavily in the current IT architectures and the next generation IT architecture needs to leverage those existing investments. Meanwhile, IT consumers are requesting specific capabilities from IT organizations as a result of their experience with public cloud providers that are not available in current IT architectures.
Red Hat’s Open Hybrid Cloud Architecture provides these capabilities today while balancing the strategic requirements IT organizations need in their next generation IT architecture. It all starts with a federated, highly scalable, and extensible operational management platform for cloud which provides discovery, capacity planning, reporting, audit and compliance, analytics, monitoring, orchestration, policy, and chargeback functionality. These capabilities are extended throughout all aspects of the Open Hybrid Cloud Architecture to provide a unified approach to management through a single pane of glass.
Within the infrastructure layer existing investments in physical systems and datacenter virtualization platforms can be unified with the next generation IT architectures of IaaS private and public clouds. Existing investments in application architectures can be managed in their existing environments through a single pane of glass which also provides insight into next generation IT architectures of private and public PaaS platforms.
The Open Hybrid Cloud Architecture’s operational management platform goes beyond a remedial understanding of deploying workloads to providers. The operational management platform is extended to provide deep levels of integration with automation frameworks in both the infrastructure and application layers. By leveraging these automation frameworks The Open Hybrid Cloud Architecture allows for new levels of flexibility and efficiency in workload placement and analysis. The approach of deep integration of loosely coupled systems forms the basis by which IT organizations can provide the IT consumer with the capabilities they have come to expect through their use of public clouds without building a cloud silo.
Red Hat’s Open Hybrid Cloud Architecture provides elastic infrastructure via it’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) component and related Infrastructure Automation capabilities. The Open Hybrid Cloud Architecture not only provides elastic infrastructure via IaaS, but also provides consistent management across a broad range of other infrastructure including physical systems, datacenter virtualization, and IaaS public clouds. This allows IT organizations to leverage the benefits of cloud computing across their existing investments and provides a single pane of glass view of their resources. This comprehensive view of all computing resources provides the information IT organizations need to optimize workload placement. For example, with capacity and utilization data from workloads running in datacenter virtualization platforms IT organizations can determine which workloads are the best targets for moving to IaaS clouds, both private and public. Without a comprehensive view of all computing resources elastic infrastructure based on IaaS alone is yet another silo of management for IT organizations.
The benefits of cloud economics cannot be realized through elastic infrastructure alone, but require applications and application platforms. Next generation applications must be designed with the core tenants of cloud computing in mind in order to take advantage of underlying elastic infrastructure. By allowing users to develop elastic applications that expand and contract based on user demand Red Hat’s Open Hybrid Cloud Architecture provides a Platform as a Service (PaaS) component that allows IT organizations to recognize the full benefit of cloud economics.
Red Hat’s Open Hybrid Cloud Architecture provides a single self-service portal that allows application designers to publish services that span multiple cloud service models to catalogs for consumption. This unique capability is made possible by rich automation and workflow engines within Red Hat’s cloud management platform and open APIs within Red Hat’s datacenter virtualization, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS) components. Once published to a catalog, users can deploy complex applications in an easy to use browser based interface and begin working immediately. IT organizations can leverage automation and workflow capabilities combined with capacity and utilization data to intelligently place workloads on the resources best suited based on performance, capacity, or security requirements. Finally, the Open Hybrid Cloud Architecture provides the ability for IT organizations to perform showback and chargeback across both Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) platforms through a single pane of glass. This suits the IT consumers preference of utility consumption they have grown accustomed to when using public cloud providers.
Accelerated Application Development
The Open Hybrid Cloud Architecture allows for faster application development by providing automation at both the application and infrastructure layers to ensure that accelerated application development can be realized throughout IT organizations entire base of investments. Without a solid understanding of both the application and infrastructure layers the benefits of accelerated application development are limited to the development paradigms in a single layer. Furthermore, without support for heterogeneity within both infrastructure and application layers choice is limited. In allowing for a broad choice of applications and frameworks and a broad choice of infrastructure providers to run those applications upon IT organizations have an increased amount of choice leading to lower costs, better performance, and competitive advantages. With a unified understanding of both applications and infrastructure changes made to a service during development can be captured and integrated into existing change management systems. This combination of automation and control at all layers and across heterogeneous infrastructure and applications provides accelerated application development throughout all resources within IT organizations.
Rapid Environment Delivery
Delivery of environments to IT consumers and the development teams with IT operations is critical to accelerating application development. Without a holistic understanding of both the application lifecycle and the underlying infrastructure delivery of environments will be inefficient or slow. For example, if the orchestration and provisioning of environments understands only the application lifecycle concepts and lacks the understanding of underlying infrastructure then the use of infrastructure would not be optimized. Placement of applications on platforms that offer the best cost, performance, or security attributes would not be possible. Similarly, if the orchestration and provisioning of environments understands only the infrastructure concepts then it would not be able to automate the application lifecycle leading to incomplete environments. The Open Hybrid Cloud Architecture’s provisioning and orchestration of environments understands the concepts of application lifecycle management and the underlying infrastructure. This provides end users of the environment with a elevated user experience while simultaneously giving operations teams maximum efficiency for hosting applications. With a firm understanding of both applications and infrastructure the architecture allows for flexible and continuous best fit placement for applications in various deployment models. Running certain parts of an application in a Platform as a Service (PaaS) and others in virtual machines within the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) while still realizing the benefits, such as rapid elasticity, of the highest order cloud model of PaaS can be realized.
The Open Hybrid Cloud Architecture
Red Hat’s Open Hybrid Cloud Architecture provides the capabilities IT consumers and IT organizations want with the strategic characteristics they need. By delivering the capabilities of Self-Service, Elastic Applications and Infrastructure, Accelerated Application Development, and Rapid Environment Delivery IT organizations can meet the rising expectation of IT consumers. At the same time, the Open Hybrid Cloud Architecture meets the strategic needs of choice, agility, and openness. The architecture also allows IT organizations to leverage their existing investments and provides a evolutionary approach to the Open Hybrid Cloud Architecture.
Where to begin
Each IT organization is different, but there are some actions IT organization can take to get started on the journey towards an Open Hybrid Cloud Architecture. By understanding all it’s assets and the capacity and utilization metrics for them, IT organizations can better understand what components of the Open Hybrid Cloud Architecture will yield the most benefit. If asset and capacity and utilization metrics are well understood a plan which uses a phased approach to implement the components of the Open Hybrid Cloud Architecture can be created.
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