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Sep 20 2022

Right-sizing Your Hybrid Cloud

Finding the right cloud for the right workload and the right balance between cloud and on-prem

- Blog #3 of the Data & Storage series -

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For businesses today, data is at the forefront of any discussions around designing an IT infrastructure. Staying competitive means effectively empowering people, giving them access to the data they need – wherever they are and whenever they need it. Data is also a potential source of business insights that will help refine strategies, processes, and the customer experience. But where do you store it?

Over the last few years, companies have leveraged a plethora of clouds to enable people to work remotely and deliver the flexibility and agility they need to remain competitive. The Covid-19 pandemic pushed this adaptation further and laid bare the importance of building business resilience to not just survive but to thrive and make the most of opportunities during a time of unprecedented change. That said, compliance, governance, and security-related requirements are such that companies need to choose a combination of on-premises and cloud infrastructure for different workloads to address their unique use cases. This is where Fujitsu is proposing the “Right cloud for the right workload” approach. According to the analyst firm IDC, 85% of organizations are currently operating in hybrid cloud environments, with on-premises remaining a dominant location for data1.

 

Now is the time for businesses to consolidate their data and multi-cloud environment to ensure it delivers the most value possible

Our discussions with customers follow a comprehensive audit [see Blog #2 of this series] to truly understand the opportunities and challenges. Fujitsu then takes a data-focused “right cloud” approach, thus ensuring that customers can maximize the benefits of cloud flexibility and agility while managing common concerns around cost, governance, security, and control with the optimal combination of public and private clouds.

For the data and workloads that need to stay on-premises – e.g. to protect highly sensitive or business-critical data – a private cloud offers the best of both worlds. Depending on each customer’s specific requirements, Fujitsu uses three different types of infrastructure to deliver on-premises IT, build private clouds, and enable integration with public clouds:

  1.  Traditional server virtualization offers flexibility and potential for optimization but requires significant in-house knowledge.
  2. Converged systems combine industry-standard networking, computer, and storage components optimized to handle virtual workloads. Deployment is straightforward. However, these systems are predefined, so fine-tuning is not possible. That means changes can be challenging and adding components increases complexity.
  3. Hyperconverged systems are typically clustered building blocks where the hardware is pre-configured, optimized and pre-integrated with virtualization software. This approach delivers strong economics and a fast time to value and is a perfect entry into the software-defined data center.

 

Harro Höfliger – Fujitsu’s approach in practice

An example of the benefits of Fujitsu’s right cloud approach is the project we undertook for German packaging manufacturer Harro Höfliger. The company has major contracts with pharmaceutical companies – e.g. to deliver packaging for Covid-19 vaccine vials. This means the company must meet stringent production regulations.

Given these requirements, Fujitsu constructed the company’s IT around a hyperconverged PRIMEFLEX for VMware vSAN infrastructure. This enabled Harro Höfliger to scale its computing and storage capacities quickly and flexibly while consolidating its infrastructure by migrating over 300 applications to vSAN. This migration includes the 3D CAD software used to design the packaging. By virtualizing this system and leveraging the benefits of virtualization, the company maximized the efficiency of how the CAD data is transferred, extending the performance capabilities of the hardware.

This virtualized model also meant that when coronavirus hit, the manufacturer could very rapidly make dozens of CAD workstations available over the cloud by leveraging a virtual desktop infrastructure. This allowed staff to remain productive while working on data and processing-intensive tasks, even when using sub-optimal Internet connections.

 

Additional multi-cloud considerations

Fujitsu’s approach to managing multiple clouds isn’t just about managing workloads. It’s about considering each customer’s unique use cases – for example, in making it easy for a business to comply with GDPR to delete an individual’s data on request. This might include shifting recruitment to a web portal to eliminate the complexity of finding and deleting an applicant’s details in multiple inboxes.

Financial institutions must comply with the ECB (European Central Bank) guideline, which requires a specific number of backup copies of data. While cloud copies are approved, the data must be encrypted, creating new challenges in transferring between clouds. Fujitsu’s solution, in this case, is to use cloud-agnostic encryption before sending the data to the various clouds.

Additional considerations include how to structure data and, of course, financial implications. Many businesses leverage the cloud to save money, but fail to reevaluate their options regularly. As a trusted advisor, Fujitsu also helps ensure that the entire data lifecycle is taken into account – e.g. storing backups on the cloud might be cost-effective, but how long does it take to restore and are there penalties for downloading the data? We also review the options regularly, so the balance of cost, performance, and function is always optimal.

 

Attractive financial models for when data simply needs to be on-prem

Where private clouds form part of the right mix, but the upfront investment in hardware is hard to find the budget for, Fujitsu offers a consumption-based model, called uSCALE. This attractive pay-as-you-go infrastructure as a service option allows customers to deploy on-premises infrastructure with OPEX rather than CAPEX-based financial models.

 

Finding the perfect balance

Today, businesses store data in multiple on-premises and cloud environments, with each individual case having a unique set of challenges and skills available. Consequently, no two multi-cloud deployments are the same. However, for Fujitsu’s customers, the breadth of its portfolio and its “Right cloud for the right workload” approach means every deployment strikes the perfect balance.

 

For more information on how to right-size your multi-cloud deployment, please contact our Hybrid Cloud experts.

 

Lakshmi Kanthan

 

About the Author:

Lakshmi Kanthan

Specialist Marketing Manager

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