Whether we are talking about technology or travel, one thing is clear: it's 2016 - we want things to be efficient, safe and flawless. We plan our vacations around these requirements, why not plan our IT infrastructure the same way? So, if hybrid IT were a vacation, what would the travel options look like?
Option 1: A family-owned vacation home on a remote island
IT equivalent: Managing your own data center
The perks? You can avoid rental fees, which is especially great if you inherited the space from your family and didn't have a down payment (or, in technical speak, perhaps it's an IT closet in your existing office). You invest in a space you own, and can oversee the property.
The negatives? If anything breaks, you have to fix it. If anyone tries to break in, it is on you to protect your belongings (or your data, rather). Additionally, on a remote island you don't have many transportation options. If you need to get to the store (reach the cloud), you will pay a hefty fine for boats or taxis, which may prove unreliable and slow (like being limited to the public internet from your building).
Option 2: A hotel outside of the main strip
IT equivalent: Leasing data center space with few tenants and/or in a remote area
The perks? You now have all the amenities that a hotel has to offer, including security, service and maintenance. If anything breaks, it is on the hotel to fix it (or, the data center provider).
The negatives? There may be one restaurant within walking distance, but it's not usually one you want to frequent (these would be the clouds you can connect to within the facility). If you want to visit better restaurants (clouds), you once again are relying on third party transportation (networks). The fees rack up.
Option 3: An all-inclusive resort in the middle of town
IT equivalent: Leasing space with a cloud-enabled colocation provider
The perks? The same as option 2, except now you have access to several restaurants—anything from popular chains (AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, SoftLayer) to local cafes (smaller cloud providers). Many of these restaurants are competing for your business and offer discounts for their services within the resort (within the colocation facility). If you do decide to leave the hotel, there are several options for transportation that also compete with one another on price: subways, ride share services, taxis, shuttles and more (these represent the hundreds of network providers that offer anything from T1 to dark fiber services).
The negatives? Sometimes you don't need all of these amenities. If you are just going for a few days (not planning for future years of requirements) or just have a small family that wants to stay on-site (small data requirements that aren't sensitive and don't require cloud connectivity), this option wouldn't make sense for you.
Recommendation: Plan your hybrid IT solution as you would plan your family vacation. Never move forward without the following considerations:
- What's the size of your party (how much data do you have)?
- How demanding are they (what are your security and uptime requirements)?
- Where do you need to go once you are settled in (which clouds do you need to connect to)?
- How will you get to those places (which networks will bring you there, and how long will it take)?
- How long is your stay and will your requirements change as the trip extends (are you planning for future data requirements)?