The year 2020 was a year of uncertainty. As author and prominent leadership expert Carey Nieuwhof noted:
“It’s been a very uneven year. The poor have gotten poorer, the rich have become richer. Downtown cores are seeing commercial real estate vacancies soar, and the stock market is soaring to record heights. while whole sectors of the economy are on the verge of disappearing.”
It was also a year in which healthy companies shifted their allocations and resources, abandoning norms and well laid plans from year end 2019 to fortify emerging opportunities in the midst of the 2020 pandemic. Outages, the enemy of enterprise uptime continued to happen, but in ways that no one expected. Absolutely no one expected that wildfires would devastate cities, entire states, regions, or nearly a 12.35 million acres in Australia. Count me in the list of people who failed to predict that the tropical storm season would blow through the English alphabet and push to the 28th named storm (‘Eta’). And while I never put it out of the realm of possibility, I wasn’t able to predict when construction, cyber attacks, software defects, or other man made disasters would bring down enterprise availability across the globe.
In addition to all the other areas of impact in the year 2020, the crisis also accelerated several new scenarios that have and will impact high and higher availability. Again, author and prominent leadership expert Carey Nieuwhof notes that “crisis is an accelerator.” The changes we’ve seen in 2021 “the emergence of the home as the new hub for fitness, schooling, work, shopping, entertainment and church”, the migration of more applications and environments to the cloud, and the birth of new hybrid environments on-premises and in the cloud, and the development of new applications and services around public health and research “were coming anyway,” crisis just accelerated their arrival and “they just got here faster.’
Here are four opportunities that your high availability solution will present in the coming years:
Cloud will continue to gain traction and expand, but the economic uncertainty of 2020 may have dampened some industries’ financial capacity to go into the cloud. Additionally, security concerns from SaaS solutions being held to ransomware, shifting cost structures and compliance regulations have stoked the embers of on-premises advocates further delaying some migrations while CIOs and CTOs calm stakeholder fears, or adjust plans to remain or repatriate on-premises environments. Does your HA solution still have the capability and capacity to handle remaining on-premises environments? Has your provider shifted to cloud only and the likes of vSphere, Hyper-V, and bare metal boxes gone to the wayside?
While noted industries may remain dedicated to on-premises, perhaps yours isn’t one of them. In 2020 you began moving to the cloud and you don’t see that move ending in 2021. But, like the previous on-premises only group, you have some applications and teams that will not be a part of the cloud journey in 2021 or immediately thereafter. As a result a hybrid, on-premises and cloud, environment will be your profile for the next few years. Does your HA solution have the ability to provide protection for applications in both arenas? What about the ability to not only protect in the cloud or on-premises, but to span the two? Does your solution rely on shared storage that won’t make it in the cloud, replication only that can’t utilize the on-premises san, or can it do both?
With the turn in the economy, maximizing uptime, reducing spend, and making sure the business SLAs were met required clever thinking, and robust solutions. Seemingly overnight, your enterprise was surprisingly forced to expedite your cloud plans, joining the cloud boom of 2020. Now that you’ve moved services from on-premises to the cloud to take advantage of greater flexibility, scalability, and the hardware speed there is no going back. Does your HA software, architecture and solutions allow you to continue with speed, clarity, and efficiency as you adapt and tune your workloads to their new home?
As VP of Customer Experience at SIOS Technology Corp, our team has helped companies in 2020 move workloads into both AWS and Azure. Just as the hybrid model for on-premises and cloud will continue to exist in 2021, so too will the continued emergence of hybrid cloud. Not only will companies utilize cloud services from AWS, Azure, GCP and others within their enterprise, they will also utilize a mixture of private and public cloud. As 2019 IDC article stated, the desire to use a hybrid cloud platform “enables enterprises to choose best-of-breed solutions for their workloads, optimally deploy business-critical and next-generation workloads, and successfully navigate digital
transformation.” This means your high availability software will need to know how to coordinate critical infrastructure services in a vast array of environments, each one best suited for the specialized workload. Deploying multiple tools can be costly and counterproductive. Will your HA solution understand the differences, and be able to bridge the gap between Overlay IPs, Internal Load Balancers, and other constructs that are different from vendor to vendor?
“Great innovation is born out of a great crisis” says author Carey Nieuwhof, and the 2020 year was full of both crisis and innovation. As Nobu Kita, President/CEO of SIOS recently noted, “COVID-19 has been affecting worldwide IT spending in both positive and negative ways. The positive is accelerating digital transformation (DX) at organizations who want to perform better even under new-normal circumstances, and the negative is slowing IT investments of organizations who want to preserve capital.”
If your HA solution wasn’t prepared for the positive and negative trends of 2020, be sure to contact the team at SIOS Technology Corp. to see if a commercial enterprise availability solution backed up by expert services, support, and application professionals can help your enterprise take advantage of the innovation born out of the adversity of 2020, as well as the opportunities that will arise in 2021 and beyond.
-Cassius Rhue, Vice President, Customer Experience