It is tempting to dismiss something that you see as trendy. While it implies progressiveness and forward-thinking and imparts a certain cachet on the trendsetter, observers often see those things deemed trendy as mere fads. Enterprise executives are just as subject to the allure of the latest trend — and today’s object of fascination is Hybrid IT.
Unlike many trends that are, in fact, nothing but fads, Hybrid IT is the real deal. It represents the natural evolution and rationalization of a number of trends and movements that have consumed enterprise IT for the last decade.
More importantly, it embodies a movement away from the initial period of exploration and experimentation to a time in which organizations embrace emerging technologies at scale and begin the arduous task of rationalizing and integrating their legacy technology investments with the modern technologies and strategies necessary to thrive in the digital era.
As enterprise executives embrace the ideas behind Hybrid IT, they must also face the fact that there is a significant problem lurking within their evolving strategies: the inability to effectively, predictively and cost-optimally distribute traffic across their application and rich media content.
It’s a problem that they must solve to realize their Hybrid IT ambitions.
Will the Real Hybrid IT Please Stand Up
The reason that many enterprise leaders do not yet understand the problems they may soon face in routing traffic across their Hybrid IT architectures is that many of them do not yet fully understand the real nature of a Hybrid IT strategy.
As I wrote recently, we define Hybrid IT as “a management approach in which organizations create a workload-centric and value-driven integrated technology stack that may include legacy infrastructure, web-scale architectures, private cloud implementations along with public cloud platforms ranging from Infrastructure-as-a-Service to Software-as-a-Service.”
The problem is that many enterprise organizations are using the Hybrid IT trend as a crutch, skipping over the workload-centric and value-driven parts and taking the concept to mean that they can pick-and-choose technologies indiscriminately. With that approach, traffic is less of a challenge as they have done nothing more than bolt-together a mishmash of technology pieces and parts.
As organizations embrace the real meaning of a Hybrid IT strategy, however, and, as a result, reimagine their architecture from a workload and business-value perspective, they will find that traffic flows change. And as they change, the traffic distribution problem lurking in the shadows will rear its ugly head.
Traffic Distribution in a Hybrid World
In traditional architectures, traffic patterns are relatively predictable and manageable. In cloud deployments, cloud providers largely handle the management of traffic.
Hybrid IT architectures, with their workload-centricity, however, introduce a complexity that most enterprise organizations are not yet prepared to handle. As organizations dynamically allocate application workloads and supporting content between on-premises infrastructure and one or more cloud environments, traffic management becomes nearly impossible using traditional traffic optimization approaches.
Moreover, rapidly changing customer expectations and what we at Intellyx call the primacy of the customer, mean that enterprise organizations are no longer in control of traffic distribution at all — at least not in the traditional sense. Instead, organizations must be capable of delivering applications and content whenever and wherever customers demand it.
As organizations continue to shift away from systems-drive architectures and embrace workload-centricity, the challenge of managing and allocating traffic will become increasingly critical to enhancing the customer experience and protecting competitive value for the organization. Those organizations that can overcome this challenge will reap the rewards.
The Intellyx Take
Workload-centricity and the adoption of authentic Hybrid IT strategies, like everything related to digital transformation, will require fundamental shifts in both culture and technology.
Organizations must first change the way they think about how they deploy applications and content across their infrastructure and the implications of traffic patterns on the customer experience. As they do so, they must also re-evaluate the technologies that they rely on to manage the delivery of those applications and content.
This re-evaluation will lead enterprise leaders to explore emerging technology companies, such as Cedexis, that deliver both visibility and software-defined application delivery capabilities. The ability of such tools to dynamically and automatically route traffic based on business logic and optimization rules will be critical to organizations seeking to adopt Hybrid IT strategies.
Adopting a Hybrid IT strategy, however, is not an end unto itself. As we examine in the webinar, This is How to Make Hybrid IT Web-Scale, the ultimate goal of such a strategy is to enable organizations to embrace the web-scale ethos needed to compete in the future — including the dynamic management of traffic — while grappling with the architectural reality of the modern enterprise.
Copyright © Intellyx LLC. Cedexis is an Intellyx client. Intellyx retains full editorial control over the content of this paper.
About the Author:
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight and has been quoted or published in Time, CIO, Computerworld, USA Today, and Forbes.