Cloud chaos: The challenges of managing data and applications across mixed environments

Six out of ten organizations today are using a mix of infrastructures, including private cloud, public cloud, multi-cloud, on-premises, and hosted data centers, according to the 5th Annual Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Index. Managing applications and data, especially when they’re moving across these environments, is extremely challenging. Only 40% of IT decision-makers said that they have complete visibility into where their data resides, and 85% have issues managing cloud costs. Addressing these challenges will require simplification, so it’s no surprise that essentially everyone (94%) wants a single, unified place to manage data and applications in mixed environments.

In particular, there are three big challenges that rise to the top when it comes to managing data across multiple environments. The first is data protection.

“Because we can’t go faster than the speed of light, if you want to recover data, unless you already have the snapshots and copies where that recovered data is needed, it’ll take some time,” said Induprakas Keri, SVP of Engineering for Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure. “It’s much faster to spin up a backup where the data is rather than moving it, but that requires moving backups or snapshots ahead of time to where they will be spun up, and developers don’t want to think about things like that. IT needs an automated solution.”

Another huge problem is managing cost—so much so that 46% of organizations are thinking about repatriating cloud applications to on-premises, which would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.

“I’m familiar with a young company whose R&D spend was $18 million and the cloud spend was $23 million, with utilization of just 11%,” Keri said. “This wasn’t as much of a concern when money was free, but those days are over, and increasingly, organizations are looking to get their cloud spend under control.”

Cloud data management is complex, and without keeping an eye on it, costs can quickly get out of control.

The final big problem is moving workloads between infrastructures. It’s especially hard moving legacy applications to the cloud because of all the refactoring, and it’s easy for that effort to get far out of scope. Keri has experienced this issue firsthand many times in his career. 

“What we often see with customers at Nutanix is that the journey of moving applications to the cloud, especially legacy applications, is one that many had underestimated,” Keri said. “For example, while at Intuit as CISO, I was part of the team that moved TurboTax onto AWS, which took us several years to complete and involved several hundred developers.”

Nutanix provides a unified infrastructure layer that enables IT to seamlessly run applications on a single underlying platform, whether it’s on-premises, in the cloud, or even a hybrid environment. And data protection and security are integral parts of the platform, so IT doesn’t have to worry about whether data will be local for recovery or whether data is secure—the platform takes care of it.

“Whether you’re moving apps which need to be run on a platform or whether you’re building net-new applications, Nutanix provides an easy way to move them back and forth,” Keri said. “If you start with a legacy application on prem, we provide the tools to move it into the public cloud. If you want to start in the cloud with containerized apps and then want to move them on-prem or to another cloud service provider, we provide the tools to do that. Plus, our underlying platform offers data protection and security, so you don’t have to worry about mundane things like where your data needs to be. We can take the pain away from developers.”

For more information on how Nutanix can help your organization control costs, gain agility, and simplify management of apps and data across multiple environments, visit Nutanix here.

Data Management