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December 15, 2021

When it comes to cloud, more and more enterprises are choosing to go hybrid. Hybrid cloud is the norm these days. We are seeing companies take advantage of cloud computing but through a mix of applications run on-premise, private cloud or dedicated cloud infrastructure for their enterprise, and public cloud. The reason behind the growing popularity of hybrid cloud? Data sovereignty, network latency and connectivity, security, leveraging existing investments, flexibility, and many other considerations come into play here.

Many clouds, many issues

However, as workloads and data shift across diverse and disparate locations, IT environments are also getting more and more complex to manage. This increasing complexity poses new challenges for enterprise IT, some of which are:

Monitoring: Keeping up with what’s happening in different clouds could become difficult. Common tools for capacity management would be practical and help avoid management overhead. But finding tools compatible across multiple environments is a challenge and operations teams often end up using multiple monitoring tools, impacting operational efficiency. Add to it, license costs and the effort required in managing all those tools and integrations—and value from cloud seems elusive. 

Compliance and governance: One major problem with hybrid cloud is managing compliance and applying governance control around it. Multiple clouds and tools mean more efforts spent on adherence to different sets of security policies, proper tagging, and so on. In such a scenario, it won’t be surprising if cloud governance—or norms put in place to keep cloud costs in check, improve efficiency, and eliminate security risks—is pushed to the backseat.

One solution for all

So, what can enterprises do? They need to have a way to collect, report, manage, and govern the resources that are running in various environments through a single console. This would mean minimal installation requirements and robust security controls for sending data across multiple environments to a single hub. When looking for such a solution, here are some key functionalities that organizations must consider:

  • Ability to install with minimal requirements
  • Capability of collecting data from a combination of operating systems—for on-premises applications, private or public cloud environments
  • Ability to send the data from source to a central service with minimal network requirements like outbound over https (443) port
  • A secure connection, with appropriate encryption both at rest and transit
  • A single console for data reporting and providing detailed insights including compliance status of the IT resources running on various environments, which can also be used to manage any non-compliant resources that need patching and reconfiguration to maintain the desired state, securely

Yes, there are tools available in the market with the capability of providing this functionality of centralized management. But they have to be procured, configured, and maintained—all of which require a lot of money for training people or getting talent with the niche skills to manage such tools. And while third-party tools may offer several cloud-native features, you can’t extend many of those features seamlessly to all the resources in your IT environment.

Leveraging public cloud capability to manage your IT infrastructure is the smart thing to do. Why? Because end users only need to consume the service and not put in any upfront investment. This automatically shaves off about 50% of the overhead from what enterprises would have incurred if they had to manage resources themselves.

Another plus point is that public cloud providers that provide this centralized management functionality ensure that their services are regularly updated with the latest features or upgrades, allowing users to take advantage of native integrations and compatibility with other cloud-native services such as log analytics and security dashboard.

What’s more, such cloud management solutions have the ability to integrate with an IT service management tool that helps log incidents or change requests so that the service management process for your cloud resources is reported and tracked.

Simplifying the hybrid cloud journey

The cloud journey can be complex. However, unified cloud management solutions as the TCS Cloud Exponence platform integrated with Azure ARC can make a difference. These allow businesses to take advantage of fully configurable functionalities that minimize the need for investments in third-party tools and centralized consoles for managing operations run on multiple cloud environments. This makes it easier for enterprises to get to hybrid cloud value faster. 

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Giridharan Varatharajan leads Cloud Exponence Engineering and is an Azure platform architect with TCS’ Microsoft business unit. With more than 18 years of experience, he works with TCS’ clients the world over in the areas of consulting, automation and solutioning for Microsoft Azure technologies.

Ganesh Sivakumar is an Azure platform architect with TCS’ Microsoft business unit and part of the Cloud Exponence Engineering team. He has 15 years of IT experience. Ganesh assists global customers in choosing the required automation for operations, right solutions and technologies, especially Microsoft Azure technologies.

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