Digital transformation—and its intended benefits, including flexibility, scalability, agility, cost control, and more—is enabled by cloud computing. You need all these things because, now more than ever, businesses and markets are highly dynamic. Sometimes it’s an opportunity you want to capitalize on. Other times it’s a threat, such as a disruptive competitor, or a challenge, like new regulatory requirements. Some things you see coming, and others take you by surprise. This volatility doesn’t go away once you’ve completed the initial transformation effort, nor does it become any more predictable. At any given time, you’ll have multiple changes coming at you, and they won’t queue up patiently waiting for you to address each one in turn.

Your hybrid cloud infrastructure must be able to keep up with all of these changing conditions. It’s not merely a technology requirement; it’s an existential business imperative. But to do this effectively, you need to have two things:

  • Deep visibility across your hybrid/multi-cloud environment (i.e., you understand what’s happening and the impact across all of your interdependent resources)
  • Control (you can confidently make a change when needed)

But what does this mean from an operational perspective?

Here are the essential capabilities to ensure your infrastructure is always servicing the needs of the business, even as those needs change.

Keep workloads optimized based on the organization’s cost, performance, and risk requirements.

Rightsizing workloads is critical for ensuring the performance you need at the lowest possible cost. But there are three important things to keep in mind. First, the workloads themselves are evolving. Even if the shifts are incremental, that drift could mean that current configurations have become suboptimal over time. Second, cloud providers are constantly evolving their offerings. Even if workloads haven’t become misaligned within their current configurations, a new option could be even better on the performance/cost scale. And third, your risk tolerance could change. The amount of latency, for example, you’re willing to live with will depend on the particular workload, influencing how much you’re willing to invest to prevent it. If that risk equation changes based on evolving requirements and priorities, your corresponding rightsizing options will change.

How to keep up:

  • Get automatic rightsizing recommendations to keep instances optimized.
  • Perform what-if analysis that incorporates your organization’s specific risk tolerance levels to tune sizing.
  • Quickly adjust to changes in relevant cloud provider offerings to optimize cost structures.

Monitor and track the service levels required to maximize business value.

Your business applications must meet certain performance levels, whether that’s through explicit SLAs or implicit expectations. Any number of factors in the compute, storage, and network layers of an enterprise infrastructure could cause a slowdown or even a complete outage. Most organizations have tools to manage individual components of their infrastructure architecture, but that only gives them a view of those elements in isolation, or at best, within their immediate context. Because of the complex web of interdependencies within this ecosystem, however, it can be difficult to anticipate how changes will ripple through the system and might affect performance and availability.

How to keep up:

  • Consolidate data from all the individual components to create a complete view of your infrastructure.
  • Conduct proactive analysis to identify and alert when peak efficiency conditions are at risk.
  • Get automated resolution recommendations to mitigate issues before they impact SLAs.

Improve the accuracy of predictive capacity forecasting.

You need sufficient capacity to support business operations, and that calculus is constantly shifting. Core infrastructure changes needed to enable digital transformation will require certain capacity levels. The subsequent growth that successful transformation drives will further increase capacity requirements. Forecasting all of these needs requires a careful balance. Not enough capacity puts performance and availability at risk, but capacity is expensive, so overinvesting unnecessarily locks up budget. Furthermore, you need to be able to make these predictions on your organization’s budget cycle timelines, which may not line up with technical lifecycles.

How to keep up:

  • Understand the complete capacity landscape of your infrastructure, including where you have under- or over-allocated capacity, and your growth rate.
  • Proactively monitor usage and usage rates to identify when pre-determined thresholds are being reached faster than anticipated.
  • Get visibility into the overall health of your infrastructure to make informed update decisions and avoid unnecessary and expensive blanket refreshes.

Adjust, or even move, workloads to meet changing conditions.

Your infrastructure is constantly evolving. It could be significant changes, such as a data center expansion, or more incremental moves, like refreshing hardware or moving workloads to different clusters. As this happens, the ways that applications utilize back-end resources—such as hardware, virtual machines, etc.—also change. You could end up with imbalances that impact performance, increase costs, or both.

How to keep up:

  • Optimize how your applications utilize back-end resources to increase the efficiency of capex resources while maintaining SLAs.
  • Use sophisticated analytics to detect hotspots that could lead to performance and availability issues.
  • Identify unused/underutilized resources and how they can be reallocated to reduce costs.

Improve any-to-any migration planning.

Workloads that run in one particular environment—on-premises, private cloud, public cloud—may need to be migrated to a different one based on evolving business requirements. But not all workloads are fit for all environments, and this can sometimes be difficult to determine in advance. Furthermore, the target environment may have a wide range of configuration options that you have to evaluate to find the optimal selection for your specific needs. And finally, you need to understand how workloads use shared services to ensure that the migration process doesn’t break interdependencies.

How to keep up:

  • Test what-if scenarios to understand where and when—and even if—to move your workloads.
  • Understand best-fit public or private cloud providers and the most efficient configurations based on specific risk, performance, and consumption parameters.
  • Identify application dependencies, as well as shared services, and create prioritized “move groups” for migration efficiency.

There’s always something new right around the corner—Virtana helps you keep up.

Gain visibility into and control over your entire IT infrastructure across on-premises, private cloud, and public cloud environments with Virtana Platform. The highly modular, scalable multi-cloud insights platform offers Infrastructure Performance Management, Capacity Planning, Cloud Cost Management, and Workload Placement to manage your performance, cost, and capacity and take action based on full-spectrum insights. Try Virtana Platform for free.

Jon Cyr
Jon Cyr

VP of Product Management, Virtana

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