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      Infrastructure

      Building a Minimal, Production Ready Infrastructure on DigitalOcean


      Video

      Introduction

      Cloud infrastructure can be complex. Figuring out which products and services from a list of unfamiliar terms can be a daunting task. Join Developer Advocate Mason Egger as he walks you through how to build a minimal, production-ready architecture that pieces together many of DigitalOcean’s products. We’ll use Terraform to build a production ready infrastructure for your project or business in real time. Follow along or spin up your own. The code is hosted on GitHub here.

      Watch this talk to learn

      • How to integrate DigitalOcean Droplet, DBaaS, LBaaS, VPC, Firewall, and DNS into a production ready infrastructure
      • The importance of VPCs and how they benefit your infrastructure
      • How to use Terraform to stand up your infrastructure with a few commands

      Resources

      • Ready to deploy code can be found on GitHub
      • New to Terraform? Learn how to use it using this GitHub Repo

      About the Presenter

      Mason Egger (@masonegger) is currently a Developer Advocate at DigitalOcean who specializes in cloud infrastructure, distributed systems, and Python. Prior to his work at DigitalOcean, he was an SRE (Site Reliability Engineer) helping build and maintain a highly available hybrid multicloud PaaS. He is an avid programmer, speaker, educator, and writer/blogger. He is a maintainer of the DigitalOcean Terraform provider and contributes to random open source projects here and there. In his spare time he enjoys reading, camping, kayaking, and exploring new places.





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      A Simple Guide for Choosing the Right Hybrid IT Infrastructure Mix for Your Applications


      According to INAP’s latest State of IT Infrastructure Management report, 69 percent of IT professionals say their organization has already adopted a hybrid IT strategy, deploying their infrastructure on more than one platform.

      What’s responsible for the growing popularity of hybrid IT? Simply put, a hybrid IT model allows companies to embrace the flexibility of the cloud while maintaining control over resources that might not be best suited for a cloud environment.

      In this simple guide, I will:

      • Briefly define hybrid IT (and what it’s not)
      • Summarize the three most important factors that will shape your hybrid IT mix
      • Illustrate how popular infrastructure models—like public cloud and bare metal—can be viewed through the lens of these factors

      What is Hybrid IT?

      Hybrid IT is an infrastructure model that embraces a combination of on-prem, colocation and cloud-based environments to make up an enterprises’ infrastructure mix. It’s important to note that while hybrid IT can encompass both hybrid cloud (which uses private and public cloud services for a single application) and multicloud (using multiple cloud services for different applications), it is not interchangeable with these terms.

      Three Considerations for Shaping Your Hybrid IT Infrastructure Mix

      If you’ve thought about making the jump to a hybrid IT model, what factors should you consider for selecting the right infrastructure mix? At the application level, it’s easy to get in the weeds of whether a certain platform or provider will perform better over another. That’s an important process, but it’s not where you want to start your planning.

      When I meet with a new customer or prospect to flesh out a hybrid IT strategy, three fundamental topics chart the course of the solution design process: Economics, management rigor and solution flexibility. Let’s break down each into simple questions.

      1. Is CAPEX or OPEX spending more optimal for your workloads?

      One of cloud computing’s more attractive features is the ability to substitute capital expenditures (CAPEX) for ongoing usage-based operational expenditures (OPEX). It’s likely that OPEX cloud environments will end up covering a sizable chunk of IT workloads in the future, but it will by no means be suitable for all use cases. Adopting a hybrid IT strategy acknowledges that CAPEX intensive models, like on-prem and colocation, will have their place long into the cloud computing era.

      To decide whether OPEX or CAPEX is the way to go, analyze the short- and long-term needs of the application.

      OPEX addresses the needs of ephemeral workloads that use compute and storage resources sporadically. OPEX models are also advantageous for new applications or services where steady state usage levels are yet to be determined.

      When provisioning constant workloads for the long term, however, it’s generally more cost-effective to use CAPEX over OPEX, as the investment would be amortized over the time period it is used or planned for (typically 3 or 5 years).

      2. How much time do you want to put into managing your infrastructure solutions?

      To determine whether managed or unmanaged solutions are a better fit for your company, think about how much time the IT department has to spend handling the day-to-day upkeep of the infrastructure. Consider this: Of the 500 IT pros we interviewed for the aforementioned State of IT Infrastructure Management report, 59 percent of participants said they are frustrated by the time spent on routine infrastructure activities and 84 percent agreed that they “could bring more value to their organization if they spent less time on routine tasks”.

      Depending on how much an enterprise expects its IT team to move the needle forward for the business, managed solutions might be the best fit. In addition, some businesses may have special requirements to address, such as security or compliance, which require outside help from service providers who have expertise in handling and addressing those needs.

      3. How important is solution flexibility?

      Workload characteristics may change over time. Services and applications might need to be adjusted or completely discontinued due to changes in business priorities or merger and acquisition events. Changes in IT leadership and decision makers may shift the focus and priorities, or if a newly launched service is unexpectedly more popular in some geographical areas, it may in turn require shifting resources and focus for the IT team.

      When such unforeseen events happen, unplanned changes to the IT environment will follow suit. As such, it’s important to have a trusted service provider who can help you successfully navigate these changes.

      Spend portability allows you to shift spending or investments from existing contracted services to other service offerings while staying at the same level of spend. For instance, expenses on contracted colocation services may need to shift to bare metal or private cloud solutions based on changing workload needs. To help customers adapt their infrastructure to new requirements and unexpected adjustments, we at INAP launched the industry’s first formal spend portability program, INAP Interchange, for new colocation or cloud customers.

      No matter what provider you choose to partner with, ensure you have flexibility for those unforeseen future changes to your business.

      Choosing a Best-Fit Infrastructure Mix to Manage Change and Application Lifecycles

      Now that you’ve thought about the best budgetary, management models and flexibility you’ll need for your applications and workloads, let’s consider the most common infrastructure deployment models and how they speak to each consideration.

      The following graph plots each type of environment along an X-Y axis. The environments further to the right adhere more closely to an OPEX model, and those plotted higher mean less of the infrastructure management burden falls to the customer.

      It’s likely your hybrid IT mix will end up utilizing several of these options, depending on your application stack. For hybrid cloud use cases, many of these environments may be interconnected, as well.

      CAPEX vs. OPEX

      • On-Premise still is the locale for a substantial amount of IT workloads and applications. With a few exceptions these are almost always fully managed in-house and fall on the CAPEX side of the spectrum.
      • Colocation typically offers space, power and physical security within a reliable data center facility. It may be augmented with remote hands (RH) offerings but can also be extended to a fully managed colo environment by the data center provider or other third-party vendors.
      • Private cloud usually consists of managed physical and virtual hosts, managed network, storage and security in a dedicated environment. The offering can be extended with more premium managed services such as database administration, threat management and IDS/IPS, app monitoring, compliance enablement or even to a fully managed solution by the service provider.
      • Public cloud tends to be an unmanaged offering, though it can be enhanced with additional managed services such monitoring, security, backup and disaster recovery services. For organizations interested in using the public could such as AWS, Azure and GCP, but have no expertise in deploying or managing workloads in such environments, a managed public cloud service may be helpful. It can cover any level of engagement from the initial design and deployment to a comprehensive daily management of the cloud environment.
      • Similar to public cloud on the IaaS level, bare metal also tends to be unmanaged, but can easily be augmented by premium managed services and monitoring. Compared to multitenant cloud, bare metal typically provides greater performance while being more cost effective, making it a destination for those moving away from public cloud for cost or performance reasons.

      Closing Thoughts

      Are you ready to embrace a hybrid IT strategy? Or do you want to review your current strategy? As you reflect on the considerations and solutions outlined in this blog, know that you can reach out to our experts at INAP. We’re here to discuss the best fit solutions for your company. here to check out our locations or chat now to get in touch.

      Interested in learning more?

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      Layachi Khodja


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      IT Pros Predict What Infrastructure and Data Centers Will Look Like by 2025


      Predicting the future of tech is astonishingly hard. Human foresight is derailed by a host of cognitive biases that lead us to overreact to an exciting development or completely miss what in hindsight seems obvious (like these tech titans who scoffed at the iPhone’s introduction).

      We still love to try our hands at prognosticating though—especially on trends and issues that hit close to home.

      That’s why INAP surveyed 500 IT leaders and infrastructure managers about the near-term future of their profession and the industry landscape. Participants were asked to agree or disagree with the likelihood of eight predictions becoming reality by 2025.

      The representative survey was conducted in U.S. and Canada among businesses with more than 100 employees and has a margin of error of +/- 5 percent.

      Check out the results below, as well as some color commentary from INAP’s data center, cloud and network experts.

      By 2025, due to the advancements of AI and machine learning, most common data center and network tasks will be completely automated.

      Prediction 1

      The case for agree.

      “For the most basic of tasks, technology advancements like AI, Machine Learning, workflow management and others are quickly rising to a place of ‘hands off’ for those currently managing these tasks,” said TJ Waldorf, CMO and Head of Inside Sales and Customer Success at INAP. “In five years, we’ll see the pace of these advancements increase and the value seen by IT leaders also increase.”

      The case for disagree.

      It’s difficult to say how many of data center and network advancements will truly be driven by artificial intelligence and machine learning as opposed to already-proven software defined automation. The market for technologies like AIOPs (Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations) is still nascent, despite rising interest. Regardless of their source, automation developments will benefit infrastructure and operations professionals, according to Waldorf.

      “The reality is that these developments will give them time back to spend more time on business driving, revenue accelerating tasks,” he said. “The more we safely automate, the less risk of human caused errors which top the list of problems in the data center.”

      By 2025, on-premise data centers will be virtually non-existent.

      Prediction 2

      The case for agree.

      Workloads are leaving on-prem data centers for cloud and colocation at an incredible rate. In a study published late last year, we found that infrastructure managers anticipate a 38 percent reduction in on-premise workloads by 2022, driven by a need for greater network performance, application scalability and data center resiliency.

      The case for disagree.

      Interestingly, 48 percent of non-senior infrastructure managers surveyed disagree with the prediction.  INAP’s Josh Williams, Vice President of Channel and Solutions Engineering, thinks this group will likely prove right, despite the current migration trends.

      “Virtually non-existent is a bit of an overstatement,” said Williams. “The majority of workloads are still on prem today and it’s unlikely ‘virtually’ all of them will make it out for a variety of reasons. However, the trend is unmistakable: IT practitioners are abandoning data center management in huge numbers to help their applications perform and scale and allow them to focus on more than just keeping the lights on.”

      By 2025, most applications will be deployed using “serverless” models.

      Prediction 3

      The case for agree.

      The introduction of AWS Lambda in 2014 made waves for its promise of deploying apps without any consideration to resource provisioning or server management. Adoption for serverless is growing, and as Microsoft and Google continue to develop their Amazon alternatives, we can expect more even organizations to test it out.

      The case for disagree.

      Notably, 43 percent of non-senior infrastructure managers disagree with this statement. INAP’s Jennifer Curry, Senior Vice President of Global Cloud Services, agrees with them:

      “Serverless models have compelling use cases for ‘born in the cloud’ apps that have sporadic resource usage,” she said. “The tech, however, has a very long way to go before it’s the environment best suited for most workloads. The economics and performance calculus will favor other IaaS models for the foreseeable future, specifically for steady-state workloads and applications that require visibility for security and compliance.”

      Curry also notes that serverless is still a new and somewhat nebulous term that’s often misused as a synonym for any cloud or IaaS service, which could be skewing the optimism. Most public cloud usage still involves compute and storage services that require time-intensive, hands on monitoring and resource management.

      By 2025, virtually all companies will have a multicloud presence.

      Prediction 4

      The case for agree.

      “We’re already in a multicloud world,” said Curry, noting surveys that suggest wide-spread adoption at the enterprise level. “The more interesting question to me is: How many enterprises have a coherent multicloud strategy? Deploying in multiple environments is easy. Adopting a management and monitoring apparatus that mitigates vulnerabilities, ensures peak performance, and optimizes costs across infrastructure platforms is a challenge many enterprises struggle with.”

      The case for disagree.

      Outside of small businesses (who were not polled in this survey), INAP experts didn’t see a much of case for ‘disagree’ here. A certain percentage of businesses may attempt to achieve efficiencies by going all in on a single platform, but issues with lock-in and performance will likely deter that. Add SaaS platforms to your definition of multicloud, which our experts believe you should, and it’s hard to see anything but a multicloud world by 2025.

      By 2025, due to increasing demands for hyper-low latency service, most enterprises will adopt “edge” networking strategies.

      Prediction 5

      The case for agree.

      “Depending on your definition of edge networking, this prediction is already on its way to being true,” said Williams. “An edge networking strategy is about reaching customers and end-users as quickly as possible. Whether it is achieved through geographically distributed cloud, CDN or network route optimizations, cutting latency will be a pre-requisite for the success of any mission-critical application.”

      The case for disagree.

      Waldorf echoes the notion that most companies will pursue latency-reduction in the coming years but suggests that just like the introduction of cloud in the mid-2000s, a full embrace of “edge” as an established concept may take longer.

      “Edge use cases are still evolving,” he said. “The idea has been around a lot longer, but in the context of today’s IT landscape it’s only recently become something more leaders are starting to research and think about why it matters to them.”

      By 2025, Chief Security Officers or Chief Information Security Officers will be considered the second most important role at most enterprises.

      Prediction 6

      The case for agree.

      Cybersecurity is among the most pressing challenges faced day in, day out, according to IT pros, and this is unlikely to change as attacks grow more intense and unpredictable. CSOs and CISOs are key to staying one step ahead of vulnerabilities and require the authority to make necessary investments.

      The case for disagree.

      “It makes sense IT pros would largely agree with this proposition, as security leaders, along with CIOs, will be responsible for managing extreme amounts of risk critical to revenue,” said Williams. “The issue with this prediction, however, is that the CSO’s role is typically only widely visible when things go very wrong. So it’s unlikely stakeholders internally or externally will view them second to the CEO, whether or not the distinction is deserved.”

      By 2025, IT and product development teams at most companies will be fully integrated.

      Prediction 7

      The case for agree.

      In a 2018 survey, nearly 90 percent of IT infrastructure managers said they want to take a leading role in their company’s digital transformation initiatives. And that makes perfect sense. The success of any digital product or service ultimately depends just as much on its infrastructure performance as its coding, design and marketing. Integrating infrastructure operations with product teams could accelerate that goal.

      The case for disagree.

      Curry thinks integration may be the wrong goal, and that IT can grow its influence within organizations and lead digital transformation through stronger partnerships.

      “IT teams will have more success focusing on alignment with product teams, as opposed to pursuing complex reorganizations,” said Curry. “Senior IT leadership will still need to make a strong case as to why they need to be at the table earlier rather than later in the product development lifecycle. We’re seeing many of our most successful customers achieve alignment, but it’s a process that can take time and patience.”

      By 2025, despite technological development, the IT function will essentially look the same as it did in 2020.

      Prediction 8

      The case for agree.

      New tools and platforms can be implemented without changing the overall function of IT—e.g., infrastructure deployments and application delivery, preventing downtime, supporting end-users, etc.

      The case for disagree.

      With the decline of on-premise data centers and the rise of multicloud and hybrid platforms, the function of IT will inevitably evolve. As IT pros spend less time on routine infrastructure upkeep and maintenance, more time can be allocated to projects that drive innovation and efficiency. In INAP’s recent State of IT Infrastructure Management report, we got a preview of how IT teams would spend that time.

      Ryan Hunt
      • Director of Content & Communications


      Ryan Hunt is the Director of Content & Communications. READ MORE



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