Hybrid Cloud Adoption Challenges Find Answers at HCI


Christine McMonigal is the Director of Hyperconverged Marketing at Intel Corporation.

Never before has the need for companies to advance their digital journeys be more pressing, with more options to assess, urgencies to respond to, and complexities to understand in a complex landscape. Changing demands, driven in part by the covid-19 pandemic, have driven the need for businesses to jump to digitization at a pace never seen before. IDC estimates that by 2022, 46% of business products and services will be delivered digitally, creating pressure on companies to continue new ways to accelerate digital transformation. Forward-thinking leaders have begun this journey, ushering in a massive migration to the cloud, serving as the heartbeat of digital transformation and laying the foundation for future innovation.

But if digital transformation were easy, every organization would be doing it. Instead of, three common challenges occur and can often hamper the progress of an organization:

Multiple cloud architectures. Applications and data continue to grow and reside in diverse clouds. Managing them to provide low data sovereignty, availability and latency remains a complex task.

Balancing the old with the new. In some cases, urgent and rapid migration to the cloud has been costly. Applications or workloads that were moved to the cloud may have been more suitable in an on-premises environment. Businesses need more flexibility to update their legacy applications to become cloud native over time. At the same time, the local infrastructure must be modernized to be more efficient, scalable and efficient; in fact, to make it more cloud-like.

Security. The modern workforce is more decentralized, increasing the attack surface for organizations. This requires a new and dynamic security strategy that is holistic.

So what is the answer for companies to address these challenges? A pragmatic foundation for a modern digital infrastructure is hybrid cloud. Streamlines application deployments across locations, providing the highest level of agility based on changing business requirements. The on-premises side of the hybrid cloud is best deployed through hyper-converged infrastructure, or HCI, which enables seamless modernization by combining old and new.

By fusing virtualized compute and storage resources together with intelligent software on standard server hardware, this approach creates flexible building blocks aimed at replacing or optimizing legacy infrastructure while providing greater agility. With this approach, many parties come together to deliver a version of cloud infrastructure that features dynamic scalability and simplified operations.

Achieve Agility Through Hybrid Cloud

Delivering high levels of performance is a requirement for IT environments that rely on mission-critical databases and latency-sensitive applications. This is especially important in dynamic environments where data growth is constant and continuous access is a requirement, often compounded by the demand for new analytics and insights. The ability to easily meet these performance and scalability requirements is essential for any business deploying hyperconverged infrastructures.

Microsoft and Intel are working together to take the best of software and combine it with the best of hardware technologies to provide organizations with a flexible infrastructure that can handle today’s demands with agility and set the pace for digital transformation.

Flexibility together with perfect management

Solving the challenge of navigating and optimizing multiple cloud architectures requires a control plane that offers simplified management of on-premises and public cloud-based resources. The hybrid offering available through Azure Stack HCI (delivered as a service) provides a comprehensive answer to this challenge. With Azure Stack HCI and integrated services like Azure Arc, you can easily manage and govern your on-premises resources, along with Azure public cloud resources, from a single control plane.

Any viable hybrid cloud offering must reduce complexity through simplified management, while increasing agility, scalability, and performance. You can maintain existing operations and scale at the pace that best meets your requirements with optimized local hardware and legacy functionality and enhanced workload virtualization. Azure Stack HCI effectively balances the old with the new, supporting the evolution of on-premises operations to become part of your cloud operating model, from the central data center to the edge to the cloud.

Perfect management also includes maintaining a comprehensive and comprehensive security posture so that associated risks can be managed without sacrificing effectiveness. As computing complexity increases in the data center, edge, and cloud, those risks can increase if left unaddressed. Security must go hand in hand with digital transformation. Intel and Microsoft are leading the way with a trusted foundation, from software to the silicon layer. We will soon announce multiple new technologies to protect data at rest and in use, and we will delve into data protection and compliance in the next article in this series.

One hardware foundation to handle digitizing everything

As we continue to see an increased reliance on analytics tools and artificial intelligence for insights into data to manage operations and customer touchpoints, the importance of semiconductors continues to grow. This digital surge is increasing demands for more computing power; Suddenly, an organization’s infrastructure has evolved from a tactic to an epicenter of new strategic business opportunities.

Creating a hardware infrastructure that adapts to business demands is one of the keys to unlocking the potential of an agile hybrid cloud that can move workloads across different environments quickly and easily. Intel’s mission is to provide the best technology foundation with built-in capabilities in performance, artificial intelligence, and security that create new business opportunities today and in the future. At the center of this foundation are 3rd generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors.

Intel and Microsoft are working together to reduce the time required to evaluate, select and buy, speeding up the time to implement new infrastructure by using technologies that are fully integrated, tested and ready to go. As proof of this, Microsoft and Intel recently tested Azure Stack HCI on the latest Intel technologies, showing 2.62 million new SQL Server orders per minute, one of the most popular workloads among businesses. These optimized configurations are available as Intel® Select solutions for Azure Stack HCI from various server OEMs and scale partners.

Serving the needs of dynamic IT environments

It has never been a more dynamic time for businesses; now is the time to embrace hybrid cloud. Azure Stack HCI is charting a new and easy path to hybrid technology, with Intel as the technology base to modernize and turn infrastructure into a strategic advantage.

If you’re ready to optimize manageability, performance, and costs while integrating your on-premises data center and edge infrastructures into your hybrid and multi-cloud environment, learn more about Azure Stack HCI today.

Check out the latest Intel-based HCI Azure Stack systems and continuous innovation at Azure.com/HCI. While you’re there, download the software, which Microsoft has made available for a 60-day free trial.

This content was produced by Microsoft Azure and Intel. It was not written by the editorial staff of MIT Technology Review.


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