Support challenges facing that complex hybrid IT infrastructure of yours Posted on November 6, 2018 by Tim Burke Enterprise IT infrastructures have changed dramatically in the last few years, thanks to the technical prowess and cost-efficiencies of internet communications, virtualization, and, of course, cloud computing. Thus, many organizations have migrated (most of) their data centers to one or more cloud environments. Where local IT infrastructures persist, typically for reasons related to performance or cost, these tend to focus on particular legacy processes that can’t be shifted to a cloud. Enterprise networks, meanwhile, are dealing with enormous volumes of mobile devices, embracing wireless connectivity, and juggling web services that have become essential back-end as well as front-end elements of the business – all of which exacerbate security challenges that tend to compromise the effectiveness of network perimeter defenses. A complexity-driven IT support nightmare The result: complex hybrid IT infrastructures in which the network, key servers, applications, clouds, services, data, storage environments, and even users require constant care and feeding to ensure that performance goals are met and systems and data remain protected. It all adds up to an IT support nightmare. Beyond server support These days, enterprise IT teams oversee much more than just servers, routers, and switches. Add in firewalls, virtual private networks, and an assortment of network appliances. Both physical networking and software-defined network (SDN) infrastructure need to be supported, too. And don’t forget those multiple web servers running homegrown apps and/or e-commerce servers and their associated endpoints. This diverse mix includes the usual drilldowns about servers (health, CPU status, memory and disk utilization, etc.), as well as support for key software services (e.g., email) and other essential business applications, notably those running as web services, back-end application servers, and databases. Mobility technologies also pose plenty of support challenges, since much of the infrastructure in today’s businesses, including endpoints, now rely on wireless connectivity, sometimes exclusively. And while the Internet of Things (IoT) has yet to achieve critical mass, there’s little doubt that it will in next few years. So mobile networking support – including the ability to interact with IoT management platforms – is also a must. Incorporating the clouds IT support capabilities now need to span both cloud and on-premises deployments, including virtualized environments, typically across premises boundaries. Support for cloud services has to include the major public cloud vendors as well as cloud development and management standards like representational state transfer (REST). Alternative: an enterprise IT support services provider Given the modest size of many enterprise IT teams, it makes sense to bring in an enterprise IT support services provider that can integrate the handling of diverse IT infrastructure support functions like monitoring and alerting, software patching, and help desk operations. In my next post, I’ll describe what to look for in an IT support services provider.