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How Cloud Orchestration Keeps The Cloud In Perfect Harmony

12th August 2015

With the increasing adoption of cloud computing for critical workloads, IT environments have become incredibly complex. After all, it’s not as if everything can go into the cloud (some applications or data cannot or should not migrate to the cloud). And even the applications, data, and processes that can go into the cloud often do not go into the same cloud.

Most IT environments are hybrids: they are in the cloud and on the ground. They are composed of public and private clouds. They often use multiple public and multiple private clouds. The result? Chaos. A business’ IT environment can be likened to an orchestra where every musician is playing his or her own tune.

This is where an IT orchestrator – the “conductor” – comes in. Orchestration is the notion that a company can get help with their complex, hybrid IT environment from a third-party provider like Sungard Availability Services. An IT orchestrator can deliver IT services that integrate multiple IT platforms including cloud, hosting, and colocation in both live production and recovery environments. It’s a matter of orchestrating all these various elements of IT to work together as you need them.

As you would when bringing in any new technology or outside service, you have to take a look at all of the options and have a good understanding of why you would want cloud orchestration. A couple of things to think about when choosing a partner for the cloud include:

  1. Does the provider have experience working with a hybrid environment? A lot of companies born in a cloud environment don’t have a clue how to work with a mainframe, while companies that have had a more traditional infrastructure may be uncertain how to integrate into public cloud environments or adopt applications. You want to make sure that the provider you select has experience with the various pieces of that heterogeneous environment and a firm understanding of how they connect together.
  2. Can the provider help you map out and execute a successful migration to the cloud? IT orchestrators are especially important for businesses who want to move data into the cloud or use cloud computing for more of their IT services. Migrating to the cloud is a lot more complicated than most people realize. It isn’t just one cloud or one type of cloud that is being used, making its adoption very complex. IT orchestrators are the ones who can make the transition smoothly, and act as an IT partner with the company.
  3. Does the provider appreciate that the infrastructure is there to support an application and the application is there to support a business process? A lot of companies, including orchestrators, are so into technology that they forget what the business is trying to do. You need to work with a provider who seeks to understand and support your business goals.
  4. Does the provider offer flexibility? The cloud is constantly changing. You want to work with a provider who can deal with the life cycle of technology. At the same time, your provider shouldn’t be just a company that can build and run the technology: you want a partner who is able to recover it when it fails, because it will fail at some point. If what you are trying to do in your business is critical, you want a provider who will work with you when an outage happens.

There is so much to cloud computing, and it has so much room for growth. But at the same time, people still don’t appreciate how complicated cloud computing actually is, and it can cause a lot of frustration and even backlash when migration isn’t successful. That’s where an IT orchestrator comes in. The value of an orchestrator is being able to seamlessly integrate all of the moving parts so your technology will always work together in perfect harmony.

Additional Reading:

Tenet Group finds availability is the best policy

CIO Perspectives on Digital Disruption

Digital Dynamics in the C-Suite

This article was originally posted on Forbes BrandVoice and Sungard AS US blog.