Defining and Managing Hybrid IT
Hybrid IT is a blend of cloud-based and on-premises IT services. In his latest blog, Joseph Gulla explains how to manage it.
By Joseph Gulla12/01/2020
What Is Hybrid IT?In simple terms, hybrid IT is a blend of cloud-based and on-premises IT services. In the past, IT departments preferred to support as few architectures as possible to simplify management but today that desire has been overridden by business wants and needs to use services that are provided by public clouds.
Hybrid isn’t just the challenge of managing what you have in house plus an application running from a public cloud. Hybrid infrastructure often includes both public and private clouds. In fact, most of the material on the web about hybrid systems is mainly about an amalgam of different cloud systems. Cloud is so top of mind that it can feel like most applications these days are supported by the cloud. However, if you made a bank financial transaction or checked in for a flight you used an IT service based on pre-cloud computing—likely one that included a mainframe. Mainframes are the consummate in-house system. You might not be up to date on mainframes but in Q4 2019, IBM set a new mainframe MIPs record with the IBM z15™. IBM CFO James Kavanaugh indicated “We shipped the highest MIPs in history this quarter, driven by growth in new workloads. And we’ve already seen broad adoption of the new mainframe across a number of industries and countries.”
Hybrid IT ManagementMixing in-house IT infrastructure, web application infrastructure (web servers, firewalls and load balancers), mainframes, and private and public clouds can create an environment that is full of challenging differences. All of these environments contain security mechanisms and tools but to the degree that there are different tools and different suppliers, what you have is a potential management challenge. In addition to what is different, there can be a lack of flexibility. In a public cloud, decisions have been made by cloud designers about what is in and out of the service. If you are looking for support for some software or service that is deliberately out of the design, then you have a challenge on your hands.
Hybrid IT Management SolutionsLet’s review five management solutions from IBM that have a focus on hybrid infrastructure. These products will give a good idea about how the challenges of hybrid computing are being addressed:
- Application Performance Management Tools
- Multicloud Management
- Watson AIOps
- Watson AIOps includes an insight layer that connects the dots between structured and unstructured data using leading AI and natural language processing technologies from IBM Research.
- Watson AIOps communicates via team ChatOps to feed insights into the team’s collaboration tools. This helps the team seamlessly access data to best address the incident.
- Watson AIOps supplies out-of-the-box productivity to enable automation and utilize pre-trained models saving time in problem resolution.
- IBM Websphere Application Server
WebSphere Application Server has two main branches: WebSphere Liberty and traditional WebSphere (often called tWAS). Both branches have a lot of leaves that WebSphere Liberty is a highly composable, dynamic application server runtime environment. Composability is useful because it means that components that can be selected and assembled in various combinations to satisfy specific user requirements. Liberty has fast startup processing and a minimal footprint, which makes it a good match for cloud-native microservices application development.
The traditional WebSphere edition continues the evolution from the original release in June 1998. tWAS runs on many computing platforms and has extensive tooling to support development, deployment and support of e-business applications. Both editions are available for download with different trial options.
- IBM Cloud Pak System
Next WeekNext week, I’ll begin the first of a two-part series reviewing some of the impactful IT Trendz series of posts from 2020.
Joseph Gulla is the general manager and IT leader of Alazar Press. He's a frequent Destination z contributor and writes a weekly IT Trendz blog.