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Wednesday, 27 March 2019 07:32

How CIOs can resolve emerging multi-cloud issues

By David Quaid

SPONSORED EDITORIAL CIOs have faced many different challenges over the past few decades, but cloud migration and digital transformation lend a whole new meaning to the word ‘challenge’.

Typically, IT challenges follow a predictable pattern of getting approval, securing budget, achieving buy-in and then managing change during the next technology evolution.

The cloud differs from most IT initiatives as many just don’t want it. Most aren’t even driving it. In many cases where the CIO is driving a shift to the cloud, seasoned IT professionals feel they have less control than ever but, ironically, customers have higher expectations for application delivery and experience.

Software vendors are switching from building desktop-based applications to software-as-a-service (SaaS) cloud-based technology because it delivers significant advantages. There’s no installation to build, no version control, and the customer doesn’t need to download anything or wait for it be mailed to them on a CD.

They have a single environment on which to build and they have all the control. This is forcing different parts of a corporation to buy into cloud-based web apps such as employee management tools, social media management tools, expense and finance tools, and mileage tracking.

But beyond SaaS, many older developers are moving apps into platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) installations like content management systems and bespoke applications, which they manage for their clients. Increasingly, CIO’s didn’t pick a multi-cloud strategy, they simply woke up in the middle of one.

Since the IT teams didn’t deploy these applications, which sometimes went from a proof of concept (PoC) to a fully live deployment, this presents new challenges. The ‘IT’ environment consists of a vast array of components from a multitude of vendors, often a mix of open source software and virtualised network infrastructure from many different vendors, depending on different capabilities or deployment models in the different clouds.

Having an application eco-system on premises or data centre means that organisations can centralise and standardise their application delivery infrastructure. Components such as load balancer, firewall, switching and routing infrastructure are being turned on their heads as applications are being deployed with their own virtualised application delivery infrastructure.

A per-application ADC or per-application load balancer is a deployment model that provides the ability to deliver 1:1 matching of applications with a dedicated load balancer. Irrespective of where an application is hosted it can be delivered to users and clients via a load balancer that has been configured and tuned to be optimal for the application it is delivering.

This model of deployment means that each application gets the optimal load balancer settings, it reduces the chance of an issue affecting other applications, i.e. it reduces the blast radius. An advanced application experience fabric provides full per-application support across virtual, cloud and hardware-based deployments. Usage-based metered licensing means the number of load balancers that can be deployed is unlimited. Payment is required only for the combined throughput used.

Users benefit from better analytics. All data going between their firewall, load balancer, WAF and network services depends on a single application, making troubleshooting and maintenance far easier. It also means the organisation can scale up and down faster, because it is not porting all application settings to large (or smaller) appliances.

50 load balancers without a 50x cost

Advanced vendors understand the new multi-cloud challenges and opportunities that a per-app ADC model delivers.

Metered licensing radically reduces the cost of the traditional load balancer licensing model. Metered licensing removes the per-appliance license fee and replaces it with an aggregated consumption model based on usage across all the load balancers.

This means that an organisation using 2GB a month on two load balancers can deploy ten and pay only for the data consumed across those ten. The devices can also pre-provision without upfront costs or guesswork when calculating how much throughput they need to provision.

The advantages of metered licensing over perpetual licensing are well worth investigating.

David Quaid is Director, Inbound Marketing, Kemp

For more information, please visit Kemp here

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