Before cloud, on-premise IT architectures tended to follow a DIY approach, piecing together best of breed offerings from different vendors - database from Oracle, storage from Netapp, compute from IBM, and so on.
This approach could create an element of inertia. Familiarity with the technology, along with the risks and costs of change, meant the path of least resistance was often to just keep upgrading the existing infrastructure. This minimised business risk, at the cost of limiting scope for improvement and innovation.
Theoretically, Cloud took all this overhead away, offering a pure OPEX, service-based model where the Cloud provider owned the architecture.
The reality has been more complicated. While many organisations have adopted Cloud, fewer have migrated their most mission critical applications, preferring to retain a mixture of on premise and cloud workloads in a hybrid or multi-cloud model.
Now, hybrid cloud looks like becoming the default enterprise IT architecture model, raising the prospect of ‘DIY architecture at speed’ – assembling a bespoke architecture from best of breed cloud and on-premise components, leveraging cloud’s flexibility, scalability, speed-to-market and OPEX-based spend advantages.
While a DIY approach has attractions, there are pitfalls to be avoided for the organisation to maximise value from its technology investment.
This blog considers these pitfalls, how to avoid them, and how Oracle, as a leading established best-of-breed vendor, has re-invented itself for the hybrid cloud age.
The pitfalls of DIY architecture in a hybrid world
A DIY approach to hybrid cloud has similar pitfalls as for an on-premise architecture, but with greater impact.
Even with the flexibility and scalability offered by cloud, there is a risk of creating an estate that is sub-optimal in terms of performance, interoperability and alignment to business goals.
The same inertia can exist in a hybrid cloud environment as in an on-premise model. Once a platform is established, particularly where it is running business critical workloads, it can be hard to make a case for moving away from it, even when other options are more performant and offer a better match to business need.
With constant business change, exponentially increasing volume and importance of data, and demand for ever-faster processing of ever-higher transaction volumes, refreshing like-for-like is unlikely to be the most efficient, cost effective and most performant way forward, whether in the cloud or on-premise.
The growing demands placed on IT in a fluid, challenging, digital led business environment amplify the business risks of a DIY architecture approach.
Avoiding the pitfalls
Hybrid or multi-cloud is becoming the default architecture for most organisations. Even small and ‘born in the cloud’ businesses are largely adopting a multi-cloud approach, and larger and legacy enterprises are likely to rely on on-premise for core business workloads for the foreseeable future.
An element of DIY architecture is inevitable in hybrid cloud. At its simplest, organisations need to decide which cloud solutions to adopt and how to integrate them. For organisations running substantial workloads across a range of cloud and on-premise resources, the decisions are more complex.
Today, avoiding the pitfalls of DIY architecture and optimising IT investment means continually evaluating that investment from all angles, technical and business, asking questions like -
Does the existing configuration of database, storage and compute across cloud and on-premise still deliver performance that matches what we are looking to achieve, at best cost?
Are our architecture choices still valid in light of advances in technology since we made them?
What advances from our best of breed vendors can deliver most value against our goals? One pitfall of DIY architecture is a blinkered perspective on what chosen best of breed vendors can do, based on a view of their capabilities when they were chosen.
How Oracle has transformed itself for the hybrid cloud world
Oracle’s pedigree as a major best of breed database vendor is widely recognised. They are also one of the few enterprise technology vendors who offer a full stack portfolio, from Database to applications and everything in between.
This pedigree comes with something of a reputation for seeking to “shoehorn” their solutions into customers as a catch-all answer to their challenges.
This model does not sit comfortably in a hybrid cloud world, and Oracle has responded by re-inventing themselves as a major cloud vendor, while maintaining focus on their database offering, and continuing to bring differentiation to their cloud systems.
This transformation is reflected in Oracle solutions that enable customers to deliver a hybrid cloud architecture tuned to the needs of the business, without compromising Oracle’s best of breed capabilities.
From the OCI-Azure Interconnect that enables customers to build multi-cloud applications across OCI and Azure, to the Cloud@Customer (C@C) offering which allows customers to run Oracle Database and Exadata as a cloud service in their own datacentre, Oracle has opened up options giving customers the flexibility to tailor their hybrid cloud architecture to their precise business needs.
At the same time, Oracle has continued working to grow the performance of its best of breed database offering, maximising the advantage of having access to all the code to deliver the unparalleled performance advantages of running Oracle database on Oracle infrastructure. As a result, the X9M, the 11th generation of Oracle’s Exadata machine, is nothing short of ground-breaking for OLTP performance.
Logicalis UKI have extensive experience and capability as a trusted partner in making our customers’ hybrid cloud journeys a success, along with in-depth knowledge and expertise in the Oracle product set.
To continue the conversation and to find out more about what Logicalis UKI have to offer, visit us at uki.logicalis.com or download our eBook here.
We also have a Fireside chat available to watch on-demand where Chris Batley, Oracle Head of Business Development at Logicalis UKI met with Lee Bonfield, UKI Alliances and Channel Leader at Oracle, to discuss all things Hybrid Cloud. Watch here!