Cloud native infrastructures have arrived, and it’s been a long road coming. It all began in the mid-90s with three-tier architectures of computing: presentation, application and data storage. Enterprise IT became complex with racks and racks of separately bought servers, system software, storage arrays, and networking gear. This intricately connected set of components was the bread and butter for every data center.
Every company has a different view about their data center. Some organizations may outsource their entire data center, others may have some cloud presence combined with an on-premises data center while others may have a completely on-premises data center. But no matter how you operate your data center, it must be able to change at the speed of the business, not the speed (or obsolescence) of the technology. And that’s where cloud native infrastructures come into play.
First… let’s back up and define what cloud native computing is. Generally speaking, cloud native computing leverages the cloud computing delivery model to better build and develop business applications. More specifically, and as Wikipedia defines it, cloud native computing is an approach in software development that utilizes cloud computing to its fullest due to its use of an open source software stack to deploy applications as microservices. Typically, cloud native applications are built as a set of microservices that run in Docker containers, orchestrated in Kubernetes and managed and deployed using DevOps and Git Ops workflows.
Regardless of how you slice it, one of the most important things for businesses considering moving their data center applications and services to a cloud native model is working with an experienced hybrid cloud integrator and reseller to make sure you do this migration correctly the first time. The consequences of a poorly planned cloud migration can make for a huge miscalculation of expenses, poor end-user experience, and potentially severe security breaches and/or application downtime.
For us, a cloud native infrastructure needs six essential elements:
1. Hyper-Converged Computing.
Adopting a converged Kubernetes, VM and container-optimized infrastructure that delivers management simplicity and computing flexibility across all hybrid cloud resources.
2. Hybrid Cloud Storage.
A balanced and seamless approach to workload and data placement between flash-optimized on-premise and public cloud storage resources.
3. Hybrid Cloud Platform Services.
Incorporating cloud platform services including intelligent IT automation, data management, and data protection across the hybrid cloud infrastructure.
4. Integrated Cyber Security Strategy.
Simplify the complex using integrated and consolidated security strategy that shares intelligence across the enterprise.
Fully support applications hosted on-premise and in the cloud with an SLA-based LAN/WAN solution with built-in security and quality of service controls.
6. Business Focused Cost Model for Hybrid IT.
Recognize the right mix of components and organization structure through customized solutions.
In blogs to come, we’ll dive into each of these six key elements and the role they play in cloud native infrastructures, as well as explore how we got to this point in our data center evolution. What’s common in all these platforms is that Kubernetes is at the front and center of its hybrid strategy. Thanks to Kubernetes, these hybrid cloud platforms not only enable workload portability but also deliver the ability to scale the workloads across disparate environments. Going forward, Kubernetes will become the universal control plane that can manage containers, virtual machines, legacy workloads, and modern applications.