By Craig Hurley, Vice President, Hybrid Cloud & DRaaS
In our last post, The Biggest IT Trend No One’s Paying Attention To, we defined Hybrid IT as an any-of-the-above approach to IT infrastructure that looks at each business’ computing scenario and applications to determine the best deployment methodology for their situation. Those methods could include any combination of private, multi-tenant, colocation, public (e.g. Azure, AWS) or on-premise.
But, Hybrid IT is about more than just who owns and manages the infrastructure. A true Hybrid IT environment also gives you the flexibility to consider the best way to manage other key infrastructure elements such as databases, operating systems, security, etc.
Let’s look at several scenarios to illustrate the point. The graphic below shows three common managed IT environments, with the blue boxes representing the portion of the stack managed by TierPoint and the green managed by the client.
TierPoint Colocation — In the first stack, TierPoint is only managing the facilities and some basic essentials such as network management. This allows our client’s IT team to offload facility-focused tasks that they don’t have the bandwidth to do as well as they should, while maintaining maximum control over their resources.
TierPoint IAAS —IAAS (Infrastructure-as-a Service) refers to TierPoint providing the underlying compute and storage in either a hosted private cloud or a multi-tenant cloud. In the depicted scenario you continue to manage the operating system and the database while TierPoint manages the hardware. The advantage here is that we handle all of the hardware setup, configuration, and management so you can focus on your applications.
Fully Managed IT Solutions — In the third stack, TierPoint assumes management responsibility for services higher up the stack such as your databases and operating systems. This is increasingly becoming an attractive option for IT organizations that are struggling to hire or maintain a support staff such as a full-time database administrator, or the need to augment their existing resources with a unique skill.
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Next step—Determine your core competencies. It’s tempting to think about costs when considering which is the right approach for your own environment. However, the more time I spend helping business leaders weigh their options, the more I am convinced that identifying an IT organization’s core competencies needs to be the starting point.
Every IT organization has its strengths and its weaknesses. If you haven’t performed an honest SWOT assessment with your team, now would be a good time to do it. Focus on the necessary skills, with your current organization’s strategic goals in mind and your path will be made much clearer.
Of course, managed IT isn’t just about filling in the gaps. It’s also about utilizing the resources you have even more efficiently and releasing their full potential. For example, if your IT team excels at creating apps, but not so much at managing databases, why would you want them spending precious time maintaining your SQL Server databases? Outsource your database management, so they can get back to honing your competitive edge with the next killer app.
Craig Hurley is Vice President, Hybrid Cloud & DRaaS at TierPoint, the leading national provider of hybrid IT solutions. TierPoint helps organizations of all shapes and sizes improve agility, drive performance, and manage risk. With more than 15 years of product management experience, Craig is responsible for the entire life-cycle of TierPoint’s data center, hosting, cloud and managed services portfolio.