Enterprise organizations are increasingly moving toward a Hybrid IT infrastructure to increase their agility, decrease their IT complexity, and create positive business outcomes.
James Tamayo, a Solution Architect at CBTS, is helping clients create and implement roadmaps that maximize Hybrid IT technology.
Tamayo works with clients across all verticals and leverages the necessary CBTS resources to assess a client’s existing infrastructure, make recommendations, and help implement upgrades across the IT environment through the CBTS product portfolio that is made up of Network, Server, Storage, Database, and Security solutions.
Tamayo, who is based in New York, recently shared his perspective on this fast-changing space.
What does Hybrid IT mean?
Let’s start by defining IT infrastructure overall. This refers to the composite hardware, software, network resources, and services that are required for the existence, operation, and management of an enterprise IT environment.
Hybrid IT refers to the combination of an organization’s infrastructure that is private or kept on the premises, and any external infrastructure that involves a third party like Google, Amazon, or Microsoft.
Organizations are increasingly starting to move parts of their infrastructure – whether it’s the storage side or compute side (applications) – into the cloud where it makes sense. It may be an application. It may be disaster recovery or long term retention. It just depends on the company and its needs. We can also support or manage a client’s network through a NaaS solution.
What’s driving this shift toward Hybrid IT?
Cost is one reason. It’s often more efficient from a cost perspective and manpower perspective to move parts of your infrastructure into the cloud.
Speed is another reason. Say you need to quickly develop or improve an application. You can bring up resources much faster through the cloud, increase your computing power with a few clicks of the mouse, and quickly develop an application, or make an existing application more robust. When finished, you can easily remove all of those added virtual machines.
What does that same process look like in a private environment, or on the premises?
You will have to devote internal resources from a compute, storage, and manpower perspective to build the environment. That takes time and expertise, and you’re dealing with a lot of questions: What do we need? How do we design it? How do we ensure all of the pieces fit together properly?
You will have to make capital investments. How much storage do we need? What kind of network infrastructure do we need? What kind of back-end connectivity do we need?
And there will be the time and cost of replicating data to a disaster recovery site. You’ll need to pay for hardware on that side as well.
So a Hybrid IT model offers a lot of efficiencies relative to cost and the ability to easily scale and grow.
The term Hybrid IT obviously includes parts of the IT infrastructure that stay in a private environment or on prem. When does that make sense for an organization?
It often comes down to regulations, and security around your data. What is the regulatory environment? Can your data be uploaded to the cloud, or is it required to remain in a private environment? A good example is healthcare organizations that manage sensitive patient data.
As clients navigate this new landscape, what consulting expertise are they seeking from CBTS?
A client might ask us to assess their current environment and make recommendations on moving parts of their infrastructure into the cloud.
We have clients who are running virtual environments, and need us to help them evaluate whether they are following best practices.
As far as storage goes, maybe the client is thinking about a flash solution, and wants us to help them understand the pros and cons of various vendors, the potential costs, and whether that solution is suitable for their specific data.
We have clients who are interested in hyperconvergence, which is essentially software-defined storage, and need a high-level comparison of all the vendors in that space.
Each client is unique, so our first step is always to understand their current environment and business needs.
Can you share an example of a client that is currently moving toward a Hybrid IT infrastructure?
We have a client that is replacing pieces of their infrastructure. Moving forward, the client will keep some parts of their infrastructure in house, but will move their failover solution into the cloud. The idea is to start small, evaluate how things go, and then grow from there.
Ultimately, any migration plan will depend in part on your internal resources. Do you have the manpower and knowledge in house? What are your application needs – how quickly do you need to bring up VMs or servers. What does the cost structure look like – what are you going to pay for in terms of space and power? And, of course, the regulatory and security needs that I mentioned.
CBTS will help you think through all of those questions and partner with you to develop a roadmap.
What do you primarily focus on in your practice?
My primary focus is on storage, virtualization, and compute. Overall, the CBTS Infrastructure practice has a broad portfolio: Network, Server, Storage, Database, and Security. We are built to assess, architect, design, and implement infrastructure solutions for clients that provide flexibility, efficiencies, and support business outcomes.