Sometimes, customers and partners frustrate me. There, I said it :-) I’m sure the reverse is also true – I bet I/we can be frustrating too :-)
People… “Choice” is good. But “Choice” can also be the enemy of “Agility”. Specifically, with a ton of variation, moving forward gets really hard, and can lead to “analysis paralysis”.
This is true in the infrastructure domain, but it’s also true at the IaaS domain, the PaaS domain, the SaaS domain – you name it.
Look – if any vendor, at any level, is fundamentally “closed” (i.e. only can help you if you are aligned with their full stack), I think that crosses some line (at least it does with me). But they pursuit of “maximizing choice” at every level starts to fall down. Increasingly – I’m finding the answer is “here’s choice, but let’s select where we bias to choice (should be API layers in the stack), and where we’re going to make some decisions and MOVE”.
The flip-side? It always is shocking to me when I engage with a customer (example late last week was the trigger here) and the CIO wants a public-cloud like experience (utility, speed), and simultaneously lets their teams stay siloed and procure, manage, and operate the whole IaaS stack the same way they do today.
Immediately, the networking team runs one way, the server team another, the virtualization crew another, the storage team digs in their heels, and then the backup and security teams slow everyone down. Then business looks at the IT team and declares them obsolete.
You cannot do this if you are an IT leader. You cannot accept it. There isn’t magic, or some technology secret sauce to making a “well run hybrid cloud” (at the IaaS or PaaS layer) work – the technologies are relatively mature. The stacks that power vCloud Air are not wildly different from what a customer would deploy on-premise.
It takes focus, takes some hard choices, and it takes building an organization model that breaks the domain siloes. It also takes a small number of people who want infrastructure to be like code, and are very interested in the automation domain.
If you like the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud solution, great (which leaves the networking domain relatively open if you are going down the ACI, NSX or other path).
If you want it with automated network configuration and micro-segmentation (aka “with added NSX), that’s the full Federation SDDC solution.
Each of these can operate on a Vblock (and in the future, other CI models) to accelerate the infrastructure elements, or on a VSPEX model (where another partner integrates the hardware components).
BTW – there are additional Federation SDDC docs that double-click on backup and continuous protection here.
With either the EHC or full Federation SDDC answer, the customer still really has to be looking in parallel to the “people/process” changes – and make some hard (aka leadership!) calls. We can help there too.
If you don’t like those examples, then valid alternate choices are: a) I have picked another approach from another partner; b) I have a real internal plan on an alternative. I totally respect either A or B (though of course I think our answers are well thought out and well constructed).
… Choice “C” = “I’m going to let chaos reign, and not face up to the fact that the processes and structures that got us here will not get us to cloud”… Well that’s a choice to abdicate responsibility to be an IT leader. Don’t be surprised to say “bye-bye” to any influence, because the problem is right in the mirror.
BTW – here’s a great partner (Varrow) demonstrating the solution in action:
A “well run Hybrid Cloud” – with on premises and off premise public IaaS, operated in a hybrid fashion with a services-oriented catalog of fixed choices is awesome. Awesome is possible. Awesome is in our grasp. It requires CHOICES. It requires LEADERSHIP. So – don’t get angry at me when I tell you “NO” you can’t keep doing things the way you have. Debate, discuss, but don’t be delusional.