On-premises or a cloud data center? In the recent past organizations sometimes found themselves in one camp or the other. Now organizations recognize both the cloud and on-premises data centers possess their own respective benefits and drawbacks.
To get the benefits of both, more implement a hybrid data center. Running their workloads in one or the other or both gives them the choice they seek. In addition to these practical reasons, recent events and trends have reinforced the move to a hybrid data center. However, when adopting a hybrid data center, organizations must examine how well operations such as backup work in it.
The Emergence of Hybrid Data Centers
The emergence of the hybrid data center should come as no surprise. A hybrid data center utilizes virtualization, cloud, and software-defined offerings spread across both physical and cloud data centers. This comprehensive approach addresses specific drawbacks of all cloud or all on-premises data center deployments.
Perhaps more importantly, a hybrid data center provides organizations increased flexibility to respond to recent events, trends, and requirements. These changes often directly impact how organizations host and manage their IT operations. They may include technology innovations, cultural shifts in employee behavior, emission reductions, and ransomware threats, among others.
Events and Trends Driving Hybrid Data Center Adoption
While not a comprehensive list, recent occurrences have specifically contributed to the need for organizations to adopt a hybrid data center model. These include:
Hosting Workloads in Public Clouds
Organizations started adopted public clouds in the 2010’s by moving their applications and data into them. General- and purpose-build public clouds provide them with secure, stable, highly available IT environments. They also facilitate fast deployments and easy scaling of compute and storage resources.
Continuing to Host Workloads On-premises
Despite the public clouds’ many benefits, organizations often find themselves ill-equipped to manage public cloud environments and control costs. Keeping workloads on-premises address these concerns. Further, more cloud technology offerings exist to host workloads on-premises. These include key public cloud benefits such as high availability, ease of scaling, and dynamic resource allocation and reclamation.
Climate Change and Emissions Control Initiatives
The Glasglow Climate Pact agreed to at the 2021 COP26 UN Climate Change Conference began addressing concerns about emissions and their environmental impact. For instance, it laid out steps to reduce the cooling industry’s climate impact and drive action on reducing methane emissions. As these initiatives become regulations, organizations must prepare to respond. A hybrid data center gives them more options to respond appropriately.
New Employee Workplace Expectations
The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-21 turned the conventional workplace upside down. Many organizations adapted their work environment to support their employees working remotely. As a result, many employees expect to work remotely in some capacity indefinitely.
Supply Chain Issues
The pandemic also exposed the many dependencies that exist in the worldwide supply chain. These issues negatively impacted the availability of core technologies upon which organizations rely to maintain a reliable IT infrastructure.
Worker shortages coupled with COVID-19 resurgences both impact employee availability. Worker shortages make finding and retaining employees difficult. Once employed, COVID-19 resurgences may prevent employees from coming to work for extended periods.
Ransomware’s Omnipresent Threat
Every organization recognizes the threat ransomware presents to its business and IT operations. Further, cybersecurity experts agree ransomware will continue to become more pervasive. To guard against it, organizations must protect and secure workloads wherever they reside, in the cloud or on-premises.
Hybrid Data Center Adoption Requires an Examination of Backup
These events and trends, among others, contribute to organizations embracing a hybrid data center. A hybrid data center gives them more options to move and manage workloads and respond in a timely manner in a rapidly changing world.
Yet as organizations adopt a hybrid data center, they must simultaneously evaluate how they manage and support one. Moving hosted workloads from a primarily cloud or on-premises data center will change how organizations support them operationally. Unfortunately, existing operations used to support a cloud or on-premises data center may not transfer over into a hybrid one.
Backup should be among those support operations that an organization examines as they adopt a hybrid data center. The rules of performing backups, recoveries, and managing them must, by necessity, change and expand.
Among these changes, backup and recovery operations should do more than continue to operate as it did in the old environment (cloud or on-premises.) It should address the new backup challenges a hybrid data center present as well as capitalize on the new recovery options it offers.
Keep Up to Date with DCIG
To be notified of new DCIG articles, reports, and webinars, sign up for DCIG’s free weekly Newsletter.
Technology providers interested in licensing DCIG TOP 5 reports or having DCIG produce custom reports, please contact DCIG for more information.