Don't underestimate the critical next step in the journey to optimizing your Hybrid IT environment – application and workload characterization.

Steve Hanney, Sequoia
12/06/13 at 09:00 am

Optimizing Hybrid IT environments

OK now that we’ve covered the positioning of Services, Applications and Workloads, it is now time for us to talk through the critical next step in the journey to optimizing your Hybrid IT environment – application and workload characterization. The characterization process, sometimes known as workload placement, is a necessary step in the journey to Hybrid IT and is necessary to ensure that the right service, application and/or workload is placed in the best delivery model.

It’s important to also note that some applications are not suited to certain delivery models. With this in mind, most companies beginning to explore these options start with an Application Workload Assessment service. This service is offered by many IT integrators and Solution Providers – however there is a gotcha – the cost for this service can vary tremendously along with the capabilities of the provider. It’s recommended that careful attention is taken to select the best provider for this service.

Out typical rule of thumb is that it takes about 4-6 weeks for about 50 applications and/or workloads to be analyzed for placement in a Hybrid IT model. The Characteristics covered in this activity should include technology and business criteria including but not limited to: Risk, Compliance, Usage, Cost, Complexity, Security, Dependencies, and Criticality.

 

Selecting Providers

The last topic I’ll cover in this blog is selecting the providers of choice for your Hybrid IT strategy. Note that these providers could be hosting / colocation companies, Public Cloud Companies and potentially Outsourcing companies.

It is inappropriate for me to claim that I can cover all of the nuances to consider when selecting providers for a Hybrid IT environment – there are entire practices and books written on the subject – however I can provide a couple of pointers.

First – Make sure your data is always accessible regardless of the delivery model being considered. Getting data into the Cloud can be challenging – getting it out from the Cloud can be even more so if the terms aren’t in place to support your business.

Second – Make sure that the providers are financially secure at the outset. There are many SaaS providers out there that may still be in early phases of development. It’s best to be sure that your information and applications are covered by resilient companies.

Third – Ensure that there are effective security measures in place to support your security standards along with Compliance requirements. This can be a gotcha for many providers and is something that can cause concern if not covered up front in your negotiations.

If you have any questions or comments don’t hesitate to drop me a line at: steve.hanney@sequoiaworldwide.com.