Overcoming the Top 3 Challenges of Infrastructure Modernization – The New Stack

Joseph George

Joseph is vice president of product management for digital service and operations management at BMC. In this role, he drives transformation powered by a modern and open AIOps platform, SaaS, addressing a range of customer needs for observability, service assurance, predictive optimization and automated remediation.

For organizations today, modernization is imperative. Technology leaders know that to drive business value, they must evolve their infrastructure to be more efficient, flexible, and cost-effective.

Modern technologies such as serverless computing and containerization on cloud platforms offer compelling ways to achieve these goals, but also an overwhelming array of potential paths. What to do is clear; how to do it is not.

IT must go beyond lifting and moving to migrate and modernize with confidence.

This article will look at the top three challenges IT teams face when migrating to new environments and, more importantly, how to solve them.

Modernization challenge #1: Navigate the Complexities of Cloud Migration

Cloud computing has established itself as the operating system of the future. Traditional concerns about security and reliability have morphed into appreciation of the cloud’s ability to enable innovation, scale easily, and, when done right, control costs. The explosion of cloud services evolving beyond an on-demand infrastructure option provides organizations with countless ways to deliver modern applications. But with choice comes complexity. Additionally, the mix of vendors and services is daunting, from AWS to Azure, IBM to Google Cloud Platform and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

This situation places computing between the proverbial rock and the anvil. If they choose a vendor and go with a standard elevator, they lose the ability to optimize and take full advantage of the platform’s services. Without optimization, it’s much harder to achieve the benefits that inspired moving to the cloud in the first place. However, analyzing all potential migration opportunities is time-consuming and resource-intensive. Building a matrix of all the options would result in hundreds or thousands of permutations. Choosing the right mixture becomes practically impossible.

Both of these options make it difficult for IT to reach the sweet spot. You don’t want to under-provision due to risk performance issues, but over-provisioning wastes money. Not to mention that cloud services are constantly evolving. Migration must evolve to accommodate business demands and the availability of new services. Without the ability to visualize, predict, and optimize current and future workloads, IT cannot realize the full potential of the cloud.

Modernization challenge #2: Sizing and Optimizing Container Environments

Container environments such as Kubernetes offer the same benefits and challenges as the cloud. Containers enable IT teams to increase efficiency, agility, and speed, improve application lifecycle management, and make it faster and easier to modernize existing applications. Like the cloud, however, containers must be optimized to deliver their ability to reduce costs and streamline performance.

To effectively orchestrate containers, IT must understand how to allocate them. As with cloud provisioning, under-provisioning container resources can lead to service assurance issues, while over-provisioning can lead to unnecessary expense, especially as individual application teams tend to request more resources than they need to be safe. Properly sizing container environments is especially important when containers are used to manage the impact of fluctuating business demands on IT systems. It’s crucial to optimize container environments for your current state, but it’s also important to know what’s coming up so that resources can be allocated accordingly.

Modernization challenge #3: Correlate business drivers with demand on IT systems

Containers and the cloud aren’t the only systems that require IT teams to anticipate and plan for changing business needs. Modernizing your IT infrastructure requires clear visibility into how the ups and downs of internal and external drivers can affect all of your systems; without it, you risk dramatic consequences for the company’s turnover and results.

The complexity of today’s environments makes this correlation more difficult than ever. Even with the right people, expertise, and resources, a capacity planning team still couldn’t keep up with the pace and unpredictability of today’s market and understand its impact on the underlying technology infrastructure and resources. Considering known or planned events and potential business scenarios through what-if planning is essential to proactively assess and manage risk. This allows you to take action in advance and avoid service interruptions or performance degradation.

Essential capabilities to look for when modernizing your infrastructure

Solving these three challenges requires the following capabilities:

  • Comparisons of costs and resource requirements to assess and tailor workload migrations based on your organization’s unique infrastructure and usage before, not after, selecting a cloud service provider
  • Integrations to ingest metrics, events, and topologies from third-party solutions for extended visibility
  • Dynamic Service Modeling for a comprehensive view of service topology that enables service-centric monitoring for continuous visibility into the status of business services
  • Intelligent automation and analytic identify opportunities for automated corrective actions and detect trends, patterns and anomalies before baselines are exceeded
  • AI and machine learning based event correlation, situation management and root cause isolation to reduce mean time to repair (MTTR)
  • Analysis and enrichment of logs across a wide variety of data sources to provide early diagnosis of potential issues and avoid service disruptions
  • “what if” simulations to see the impact of different business drivers, to size Kubernetes and optimize container environments, ensuring resources are properly provisioned and allocated

Reduce the time, complexity and cost of migrating to the cloud

IT managers need to ensure they have the technology resources needed to deliver services today and tomorrow, no matter how dynamic, complex or diverse their environment. Whether you’re migrating from on-premises cloud to public cloud, cloud to cloud, or between clouds in a multicloud environment, predictive computing with AIOps, machine learning, advanced analytics, and automation intelligence can provide the insights you need to balance risk, efficiency, and IT expense while maximizing performance and availability.

Feature image via Pixabay.

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