Enterprise IT organizations are in the process of deploying a Hybrid Multi-Cloud Infrastructure as part of their IT transformation strategy. Some are just now planning but others may be working on a new infrastructure after an earlier attempt. The goals for the Hybrid Multi-Cloud Infrastructure have several top-level items. The first is changing the way IT does services delivery to be more like a public cloud provider where resources can be assigned dynamically and their clients can self-manage their selected environment. Another is to allow deployment of cloud native applications that work either in the public cloud or in an on-premises Hybrid Multi-Cloud Infrastructure. Enabling Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) operation practices is also perceived to be a transformation for IT. The majority of newly developed or acquired cloud native applications are container-based, so another goal is to deploy a container-native environment for optimization. Movement of existing virtualized applications to a Hybrid Multi-Cloud Infrastructure requires support for a virtual machine environment as well. All these goals represent a large set of requirements that grow even greater when drilling down to the next level of requirements.
Besides deploying a Hybrid Multi-Cloud Infrastructure, enterprises also need to optimize their current IT environment for all the applications/workloads that will remain in that environment. The optimizations in progress generally include a transition to all-flash storage systems with NVMe devices, an NVMe over Fabric upgrade to the existing physical network, and automation of operational processes. While there are many other optimizations being made, this paper is focused on the new Hybrid Multi-Cloud Infrastructure.
The infrastructure needs to support both containers and VMs: containers are what are being developed by software engineering while applications running in virtual machines are in current environments. Both will need to be available on the new Hybrid Multi-Cloud Infrastructure. The benefits of a container environment with Kubernetes container orchestration has been written about extensively but many in IT have not yet done research or have experience. As can be expected, some vendors are promoting running containers in a VM environment but that may not yield the expected gains from a container native environment and may, in a short period of time, be representative of an out-of-date infrastructure. Being able to run both containers and VMs in an environment where the strengths of each can be obtained is one of the first level goals for IT transformation.
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