Authors: Jānis Tupulis, Chairman of Latvian Open Technology Association, Rasa Gulbe, Member of the Board at DATI Group
Organizations’ ICT architecture consists of several layers – infrastructure, software, data, application layers and a business and strategic layer that defines the requirements for the others.
When evaluating cloud solutions, the focus is often devoted to layers of infrastructure or software. These lower levels, however, are only servants for the business and strategic layer. One of the most common mistakes when setting up an organization’s ICT infrastructure is to immediately work on the lower level without properly linking it to business requirements and the company’s strategy.
Nowadays ICT systems are capable of operating in different environments – on the organization’s cloud, on public services or different hybrid solutions. In most cases the infrastructure will be able to provide an adequate solution regardless of the business needs. Along with virtualization* of IT resources and application containerization**, the adaptability of ICT systems is also growing. Modern solutions no longer tie organizations to any of services and it is possible to change its infrastructure provider when required (e.g. when costs or ICT needs change unexpectedly).
A hybrid cloud or a multicloud is a convenient way to fully tailor infrastructure for business needs. Multicloud is a cloud approach where several cloud services from several vendors are being used. This allows you to dynamically change and scale the used services without interrupting service accessibility, which means that you have the opportunity to always buy from the most economically viable vendor. On the other hand, hybrid cloud architecture features various cloud types according to their technical performance. It also facilitates combining the company’s own servers, private clouds, and public clouds in different combinations.
It is easy to understand how a hybrid cloud can become a company’s preferred infrastructure. Hybrid cloud strategy provides the organization with an opportunity to choose the optimal IT solution for each task or workload. For example, you can use your own-developed infrastructure for storage of sensitive data and public cloud solutions for application development. You can use several public clouds to ensure data processing compliance with different state regulation requirements or ensure cost optimization by transferring workload from one service provider to another based on prices and demands at that time.
However, if you wish to evaluate a multicloud strategy or expand your infrastructure in the future, it is important that your software layer doesn’t limit your potential development opportunities. How to preserve the long-term ability to combine new clouds and tools, especially if you can’t predict your future needs? No single company, cloud or developer will be the answer. For you to have that opportunity with your applications and infrastructure you need a widely compatible base: solutions that are based in open-source technologies.
Learn more about open-source-based infrastructure in the blog: Reasons to consider open-source infrastructure.
*Virtualization is the creation of virtual or non-physical versions for an operating system or device platforms using specialized software. I.e. device resources (CPU, RAM, hard drive, motherboard, etc.) are simulated using this software.
**Container is an isolated, autonomous software package. The container has everything that’s necessary to launch an application, including code, system libraries and other dependencies. After the deployment of a container, the codes can’t be changed because they are invariable.