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Insight and analysis of technology and business strategy

Taking your hybrid cloud from automation to orchestration

Cloud computing has been accessible to enterprise for a little over a decade, and that milestone is significant. It’s fitting to think of the cloud as a technology that’s approaching its adolescence. Though it’s awkward and a challenge to understand at times, we do recognize that it has amazing potential for growth. And a big part of that potential gets realized when a hybrid cloud environment goes from simple automation to full orchestration. The difference between automation and orchestration isn’t just semantics. Today, it can mean the difference between success and failure in joining technology to your business strategy. Cloud automation refers to single tasks or functions that are performed without human intervention. Automation doesn’t necessarily involve any coordination of tasks. But in the early days of the cloud, that coordination wasn’t seen as a priority. The focus back then was on the cloud’s offer of flexibility and scalability; the hassles of deployment were simply accepted as the price one had to pay to get the cloud’s larger benefits. Fast forward a decade, and it’s become clear that mere automation is no longer enough. Business today relies on massive IaaS and PaaS deployments, and the expanding management demands of cloud infrastructure are beyond the abilities of even the most talented and hard-working in-house IT professionals. Today, your hybrid cloud environment demands a move from automation to full orchestration. Hybrid cloud orchestration offers your business the most efficient management and coordination of your on-premises and cloud computing environments. Orchestration automates your processes from end to end, removing the potential for human error and avoiding the misallocation of money and precious staff hours. The software innovations that are powering today’s most successful companies are the products of a fully digitized business model, one that is possible only through full orchestration. What will your organization get from a full commitment to hybrid cloud orchestration? A very brief answer still comes in several parts:
  1. Unified and optimized workflows. In an era of interconnected devices and apps, speed is everything, and accuracy is every bit as important. Orchestration allows individual tasks to be bundled together in large, coordinated workflows that are less susceptible to human error. An orchestrated software deployment can cover the provisioning of multiple servers, storage, databases and networking. And with automation processes organized from a single point of control, your organization can expand automated services more quickly and at a lower cost.
  1. Less waste and more visibility. In an environment without orchestration, virtual machines can multiply to the point where their costs and administrative needs spin out of control, thus canceling the benefits of having VMs in the first place. With cloud orchestration, you have the ability to automatically monitor VM instances, and to spin them down without an administrator’s time or effort.
  1. Reduced bureaucracy and long-term cost savings. An orchestrated cloud infrastructure runs itself quickly, efficiently and accurately. It makes it possible to manage your resource use down to the second and the penny, and it allows personnel to pick and choose the services they need without administrator involvement.
  1. The ability to respond instantly to opportunity. To succeed today, organizations must pursue a goal of constant innovation. It’s a goal that can’t be reached without the ability to seize new opportunities at a moment’s notice. Orchestrating your hybrid cloud environment is an important part of developing the responsiveness you need.
So, what are your next steps? How do you start building a seamless connection between the public cloud and your private infrastructure? Part of your decision will involve making choices about the orchestration model that’s right for your business. Hybrid cloud orchestration can apply to parts of the enterprise that go well beyond technology infrastructure, including security, supplier management, compliance, processes and customer service. The decision about the best way to begin with orchestration is an important one, and an experienced vendor can help you set the right priorities from the start. You’re likely already getting excellent value out of your hybrid cloud environment. You have all the agility and convenience of the cloud, as well as the control and stability of your in-house legacy systems. But in an era of complex and expanding computing needs, keeping your systems harmonized is an ever-growing challenge. Hybrid cloud orchestration provides an answer. With the right approach to orchestration, you can keep your hybrid model in place without missing out on the opportunities of a fully digital world. To learn how Pythian can help you succeed with hybrid cloud orchestration, please click here .

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