OMS: Managing a hybrid cloud just got easier


Since hitting the tipping point a few years ago, public cloud use has experienced exponential growth. The cloud is now more affordable and accessible than ever before. Early concerns around security and privacy have been addressed, and the cloud is increasingly seen as a very viable and desirable alternative to running IT infrastructure on-premises. Cloud-based platforms are now firmly entrenched in corporate IT infrastructure across the globe and momentum behind the public cloud is only increasing.

However, a direct or total shift to the cloud may not always be pragmatic. It may be impossible to lift and shift all IT operations to the cloud in one go and you may want to have some on-premises footprint even in the long run.

Adopt a hybrid strategy for flexibility, affordability and efficiency

A hybrid strategy can bridge the gap between legacy technology and new innovations. It combines on-premises and public cloud deployments to allow businesses to reap the best of both worlds and unlock immense cost-savings. The cloud, in such scenarios, acts as a catalyst for efficiency.

Along with all its advantages, a hybrid cloud strategy presents a unique set of challenges too:

How do you uniformly manage infrastructure and applications running in different clouds?

How do you get a unified view of your organization’s IT?

How do you monitor, troubleshoot and remediate issues that happen anywhere in this complex setup?

How do you balance visibility, policy & security needs of central IT organizations with agility, choice & self-service needs of business groups?

At Microsoft, these questions, and more, made us realize that managing a hybrid organization needs a modern cloud management solution that is designed from the ground-up, and offers a unified solution across a hybrid and heterogeneous environment.

Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) was built from the ground up to address these challenges. OMS is a native, born-in-the-cloud management solution that gives you visibility and control of your hybrid cloud with simplified management and security across your heterogeneous infrastructure.

Power your hybrid environment with insights, visibility and control

OMS is a suite of powerful management services that makes the hybrid cloud structure more visible and manageable.

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  • Log Analytics lets you gain quick insights across your workloads. You can collect, correlate and act on data from multiple systems in a single view. Its flexible search and custom alert capabilities allow you to identify and troubleshoot incidents quickly.
  • Automation lets you deploy and patch your IT resources at scale using PowerShell scripts. With Desired State Configuration (DSC), you can configure and deploy services that meet your IT policies and ensure these always stay in the desired state.
  • With Application Insights, you get rich performance monitoring, powerful alerts, and the ability to detect trends in performance and behavior of your applications.
  • Network Performance Monitor allows you to monitor your network across public and hybrid clouds, and helps you proactively identify and resolve potential connectivity issues.
  • Azure Backup allows you to backup your Virtual Machines (VMs), files & folders, databases and other applications to the cloud, and quickly restore your data when you need it.
  • Site Recovery lets you be prepared for IT downtime by allowing you to bring up your applications within minutes in the cloud in the event of a disaster.

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The OMS Dashboard

Perhaps the most important value of OMS is that it offers management-as-a-service.

Now what does that mean, and why is it important?

One of the core promises of the public cloud is that it relieves you of the burden of managing infrastructure. So, any cloud native solution needs to deliver on this promise.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) refers to the fact that the solution is hosted in the cloud and does not require you to deploy or manage or maintain any server infrastructure components. To give an analogy, this is the difference between buying and running a power generator in your house to get electricity (managing your own infrastructure) versus getting electricity by turning on a switch.

OMS is designed from the ground-up with the idea that one size doesn’t fit all. It’s a fluid and dynamic solution for corporations, regardless of whether they’ve completed the transition to the cloud or are just dipping their toes in the technology. With OMS, there’s no reason to manage infrastructure or maintain servers. Using the cloud is as easy as switching on a light bulb and only paying for what you consume.

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An integrated backup experience - You can turn on backup with a single click

Offering management-as-a-service not only delivers these benefits, but also allows Microsoft to bring innovation to you at a rapid pace, and you get these new capabilities without the complexity of upgrading your software.

Our clients concur with this notion:

“By adopting a SaaS platform, we didn’t have to throw a bunch of people at managing the hardware, capacity, storage, and all the other things that come along with traditional IT infrastructure management,” says Dugan Sheehan, Principal Engineer on the cloud team at Rackspace, “OMS is able to ingest and index several gigabytes of data per day for our customers, but we’re abstracted from all the capacity management and the headaches that come along with that. There are no additional licensing, hardware, or training costs, and our customers pay for only what they use in terms of the streaming data.”

Chris Palmer, Solution Architect at PCL Construction, one of the largest construction companies in North America, says “Backing up data using Azure Backup doesn’t eliminate the issue of migrating long-term data backups from one medium to another, but we no longer have to deal with it—Microsoft does. This is a big operational benefit for us.”

To sum up

We noticed the adoption of hybrid computing was outpacing the tools developed to manage it. Microsoft OMS was born out of a need to simplify hybrid cloud management by consolidating all IT-related tasks in one cloud-based platform.

OMS is now used by over 50K public, private, and government organizations, and is available across 30 regions worldwide. With over 14 accreditations, including SOC, HIPAA, PCI and FedRamp, the suite is fully compliant with different organizational and regulatory policies.

As the hybrid cloud transitions from being a technical innovation to an absolute necessity, this ‘management-as-a-service’ platform should prove indispensable.

To get started with OMS, visit http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/cloud-platform/operations-management-suite

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