While many cloud service providers are attempting to provide managed services across an entire infrastructure portfolio, HOSTING has already introduced the HOSTING Unified Cloud™ for numerous platforms, including Azure. In our latest webinar, Azure: Finding Success Beyond Test/Dev, Sean Bruton, HOSTING Vice President of Product, provided an overview of the HOSTING Unified Cloud for Azure, along with tips on how to make the most of your virtualization. Missed it? Following are some highlights.
Moving applications to Azure can be challenging
Microsoft initially developed Azure as a platform as a service (PaaS). IT teams could write code, upload it to Azure and Microsoft would take care of the rest. At the time, Microsoft didn’t see a tremendous amount of success with this offering. They subsequently made substantial investments in infrastructure services for Azure which paid off in spades. Cloud revenue grew 88% in Q22015 to 6.3 billion. And while Microsoft doesn’t split up its revenue information, estimates peg Azure revenue at approximately $2.5 billion. They are also adding 10,000 customers per week.
Gartner puts Azure and Amazon in the Leaders quadrant for its 2015 Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Revenue from Azure and AWS is equal to all of the other IaaS providers listed in the Gartner Magic Quadrant combined. There is a also a huge gap in features between Azure and AWS and the rest of the IaaS providers.
While there is lot of growth in this category, much of it is in test/dev. As a managed services provider, HOSTING runs production workloads across Azure and AWS environments, however, it takes a special application, architecture and approach to realize success from these platforms. It can be difficult to transparently move applications from an in-house development environment in a private cloud to Azure and expect the same resiliency.
Cost and availability differentiate Azure environments from private clouds
A typical enterprise production environment on a private cloud provides a lot of availability while isolating issues that can be found in public cloud environments including:
- Noisy neighbor – workloads rebalance automatically across all SANs and nodes to ensure that everyone gets their fair share of resources
- Hard drive failure – SAN helps drives self-heal and rebuild automatically, without impacting customer’ application performance
- Server failure – virtual machines (VMs) will immediately spin up automatically without diagnostic or human intervention
- Resource shortage – environments can be immediately resize online
In an IaaS environment, when you deploy an Azure virtual machine, you’re not buying a slice of a system in a cooperative environment. Instead you are buying a slice of a standalone server. This can result in the following issues.
- Noisy neighbor – you’re stuck with them unless you want to tear down your VM and rebuild it on another host
- Hard drive failure – this often results in downtime
- Server failure – VMs can’t spin right back up, putting data at risk
- Resource shortage – the host may not have the bandwidth for you to resize your environment
Availability also varies greatly between a private cloud environment and an IaaS environment such as Azure. Private clouds provide a very high assurance of uptime to individual VMs. Azure requires customers to buy two of everything before they provide a Service Level Agreement (SLA). Customer also have to write applications to sustain the failure of any component at any time.
Cost is also a factor when choosing Azure to run a production environment. Azure is very cost-effective for auto-scaling applications with high volatility (demand goes up and down) or temporary workloads such as test/dev. However, Azure is the most expensive platforms in which to run a persistent app.
When selecting a cloud service provider, organizations need to consider the following:
- According to Gartner, Inc., companies that outsource their data centers are only addressing 7% of their IT spend. The majority of it – 61% is spent on operations. Azure can help you save a lot of expense and a lot of coding. Apps can go to market quickly through Azure’s PaaS capabilities.
- And the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that organizations that outsource their data centers only address 4% of their IT burden. Eighty-nine percent of their time is still spent on application development and systems management.
So the key question that organizations need to answer when selecting a cloud services provider is:
Do you want to outsource our data center? Or do you want to solve your real IT challenges?
HOSTING Unified Cloud for Azure
Azure falls short in providing essential security, compliance and support resources. The HOSTING Unified Cloud™ bridges solution gaps by combining the flexibility and scalability of these cloud platforms with industry-leading managed services including:
- Management services
The result is ONE Partner | ONE View – end-to-end support and visibility into the following:
- Health and wellness of applications
- Security and compliance postures
- Billing and spend management
View the on-demand webinar for more insights regarding how to maximize the benefits of Azure through the HOSTING Unified Cloud. And feel free to contact HOSTING anytime with your specific questions.