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Hybrid IT: The Journey to the Cloud

Kong Yang, Head Geek, SolarWinds | June 2, 2016
An Overview of hybrid IT and the skills needed to manage hybrid environments.

5.       Application Migration

Application migration to the cloud can be difficult and time-consuming, with it not uncommon for it to take many weeks for a single application. However, companies such as IBM, Microsoft and Amazon have begun making it much easier to migrate applications to the cloud.

Today, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure offer a full range of services that essentially allow customers to migrate applications to the cloud. With the cloud service provider migration tools available to IT professionals today, a single application can either be built in the cloud or can be migrated in a fraction of the time it used to take.

Of course, application migration is really just the first step-the application management required following initial migration is arguably even more important. IT professionals should apply the core competencies they would employ in a traditional IT environment. These core competencies include monitoring as a discipline, which we discussed in part two, as well as having a firm understanding of the application's key events and performance metrics. Troubleshooting and remediation are also key, because there are only two guarantees in IT-things will change and things will fail. Therefore, having backup and disaster recovery plans in place can help ensure the business continuity.

6.       Distributed Architectures

Working with distributed architectures started out in high performance compute clusters as an on-premises means to get more work done. Working with distributed architectures will require working across multiple cloud service providers across multiple geographic locations. It's important to remember that these architectures abstract the underlying resources, so IT professionals will need to translate speeds and feeds into acceptable quality of service (QoS) for their end users.

For IT professionals seeking to adapt their skillsets to succeed in hybrid IT environments, they will need to become accustomed to cloud service providers doing the remediation in case of outages or other performance issues, and, as the ultimate failover, having multiple providers (see above). The control and responsibility for maintaining the distributed architecture will shift beyond IT's purview, but in their place will be choice, scale, agility and availability of services to build distributed architectures.


We are in the midst of a once-in-a-decade shift where business technology is evolving from traditional on-premises IT to a hybrid IT strategy that leverages internal and external IT services driven by the efficiency and efficacy of the cloud. While we move along with evolving technology, it is consequential to ascertain that always-on application performance is top notch-regardless of location.

Managing applications and other IT infrastructure in this incipient hybrid world requires IT professionals to be ready for a new or adapted set of skills, along with the implements and resources enabling them to go a long way to ascertaining not only business prosperity, but IT vocation longevity.


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