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The Life of the Cloud Architect Part 2: 3 Steps to a Hybrid Multicloud Experience

Here’s a simple truth for cloud architects of any background, whether developers, line-of-business managers or traditional IT: Nobody wants to—or even can—use yesterday’s practices to build the applications of tomorrow.

It’s not just about yesterday’s practices in “traditional” IT; it’s also about yesterday’s practices among developers and LOB managers turning to public cloud as their first—and sometimes only—option, often circumventing the IT department.

In order to move forward, it is important for cloud architects to recognize that it is no longer about either/or: either public cloud or on-premises infrastructure.

To successfully build the innovative applications of tomorrow, it has to be about both leveraging the best of public cloud, as well as modernizing on-premises infrastructure to deliver a public-cloud-like experience and support the easy use of multiple public clouds.

This is the only way to successfully integrate legacy applications with new cloud-native applications and development processes—and to also ensure that all applications meet today’s challenges of compliance, security, data sovereignty, governance, reliability, scale and availability.

The key is to deploy a hybrid multicloud infrastructure that delivers the best of both worlds: a modern on-premises private cloud that allows you to use any public cloud of your choice, while also delivering the ability to seamlessly use development tools such as Kubernetes on premises or in the public cloud.

How do you find the right platform? Here are three key factors to look for:

Factor No. 1: Private cloud that performs at scale
The idea of lifting and shifting legacy apps to public cloud has proven to be elusive. Legacy app architectures are not well supported in the public cloud and need infrastructure-level availability. However, the answer is not to just leave them as is and build cloud-native apps around them. Rather, the solution is to modernize the infrastructure so it is a true private cloud that leverages existing virtualized platforms and architectures, along with cloud-enabled enterprise storage and physical infrastructure components.

Factor No. 2: Support for modern workloads and legacy apps
At the same time, the private cloud must also support a cloud stack upon which the organization can employ modern DevOps practices. With the right private cloud infrastructure, developers should have a viable option to use on-premises resources as simply and efficiently as if they were using public cloud, so they can simply and cost-efficiently develop new apps on premises. There are many benefits to this approach: better long-term economics, stronger regulatory compliance, tighter data privacy controls and lower risk of performance issues, particularly when old and new apps have to come together.

Factor No. 3: Multi-ecosystem solutions to avoid vendor lock-in
Cloud, whether private, public or hybrid, is about being agile, having the flexibility to scale easily, and having the ability to use the right tools for the right job from any location at any time without hassle. As a cloud architect, the last thing you want is to be locked into any single vendor with no access to the vast ecosystem of products and open-source technologies that are radically transforming both DevOps and production environments. With the right solution, you can have a cloud-native controller plane on premises, with the flexibility to leverage an open-source-based cloud as well as cloud-native development models such as OpenShift. 

Taking the Next Step
You’re a cloud architect. You are looking at the future. You can’t use yesterday’s practices to support tomorrow’s applications. What do you want? Here’s a simple checklist: 

  • The ability to use public clouds where appropriate, while also ensuring that legacy applications are modernized to support cloud-like features, functions and capabilities.
  • The ability to build modern applications in public cloud or on premises without compromise, and to seamlessly run these apps in the data center or the major public clouds.
  • The ability to deliver a true hybrid multicloud experience, using cloud-native tools that eliminate vendor lock-in and deliver operational efficiencies built on enterprise-grade, performant, reliable and scalable technology.

How do you get there from here? Please visit NetApp to learn more about how you can deliver the hybrid multicloud experience to your organization.