Hybrid IT: The Journey to the Cloud

Kong Yang, Head Geek, SolarWinds

3.       Hybrid IT Monitoring and Management Tools and Metrics  

With many of today's on-premises monitoring and management tools and metrics, IT professionals often have a disparate view of their environments-compute, storage, network, virtualization and application layers. The multitude of different tools and processes across platforms are difficult to manage, let alone scale.

For hybrid IT environments, a complete view of the on-premises data center and the cloud is even more critical. IT professionals can build a tool to aggregate, consolidate and visualize key performance and events metrics, and glean the key points from the data to discern the most valuable pieces of information from their application stacks. Alternatively, they can leverage a monitoring vendor that has an end to end solution that can provide the single point of truth for their IT needs from their premises to their clouds.

Overall, whether an environment is on-premises only, cloud only, or a hybrid IT environment, monitoring as a discipline will continue to be the most important and seamless skill IT professionals need because of its ability to transcend all environments. Under the monitoring umbrella is what we call the DART framework: Discovery, Alerting, Remediation and Troubleshooting. Each of these skills are not only applicable in an on-premises only environment, but are even more crucial when the cloud is involved. Plus, they will aid an IT professional's transition to the hybrid IT model.

While service-oriented architectures, automation and hybrid IT monitoring and management tools and metrics may be the top three skills needed to properly manage hybrid IT environments, they're certainly not the only three needed.

4.       Vendor Management

Vendor management in a hybrid IT environment can be defined more specifically as cloud service provider management, and this can range from no additional management-in other words, simply providing a credit card number-to a using a cloud management platform or a cloud services broker to act as the marketplace maker. Vendor management is two-fold, as IT professionals will be required to manage the technology aspect of cloud environments, as well as managing the business side of cloud service provider terms and conditions as well as different pricing models that change over time giving them more opportunities to expand their careers and roles.

Most IT professionals are not currently required to play a role in business dealings that include legalese and pricing terms, but as the contracts become complex, IT professionals must improve upon the following trifecta: business savvy for contract negotiation, technical expertise to understand and use the available cloud services, and project management requiring them to effectively manage budgets, dissect terms and conditions and understand service-level agreements.

Vendor management is an important skill to have as IT professionals move from strictly consuming vendor services to having to manage them. Without a prior knowledge of what to expect, budgets can easily explode.

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