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Hybrid Cloud Solution for Enterprises Operating in Multiple Locations

Many global enterprises traditionally have complex IT infrastructure or data center deployments in multiple locations, each serving particular geographical location and/or service type. However, due to security concerns and regulatory issues, enterprises are often required to run siloed operations in isolated environments – that each have their own fragmentation problems and resource utilization fluctuations.

This case study shows how Qstack’s hybrid cloud solution is used for an enterprise operating in multiple locations resulting in significantly reduced IT delivery time and increased productivity for developers.
 

Resource utilization limits and lack of flexibility

Restricted access to remote resources and difficulties in sharing them between teams in multiple locations makes the problem of resource under-utilization common in segregated data center environments. The concept of private cloud has provided increased flexibility and self-service capabilities to internal resources, and thus allowed for improved utilization and collaboration, but not necessarily towards multiple data center locations. Many organizations operating infrastructure in multiple locations and running a private cloud platform have also leveraged public cloud services in order to offload workload spikes and seek improved utilization and cost distribution. This layout has helped individual locations improve their workload performance and address capacity limitations.

However, under-utilization of internal and cross-locational resources still occurs, not least in organizations operating in highly regulated industries and most often due to previously mentioned issues.
 

Needing a cloud platform for multiple locations

A large enterprise with global presence in a highly regulated industry approached Qstack with the idea of finding alternatives to improve collaboration of geographically distributed DevOps teams and improve infrastructure utilization levels in multiple locations. The enterprise wanted to allow their DevOps people to access distributed resources from a single private cloud management platform that could also harness ‘hybrid’ capabilities by securely providing access to multi-locations. This included access to other remote private cloud installations as well as potentially to public cloud services.

A primary concern was also the WAN networking security between locations and designing a topology that addressed security standards and requirements. Including carrier VPN/MPLS and other dynamic, arbitrary topologies that require policy-driven infrastructure.

Another important element was to implement an environment that significantly improved instance and workload delivery processes, resulting in faster delivery of resources for individuals and distributed teams. It became much easier for DevOps to deploy virtualized and bare metal instances in geographically distributed locations.

qstack cloud solution

Qstack manages multiple cloud locations through a single-pane of glass and is hardware agnostic

 

Delivering a hybrid cloud solution

Qstack has three main goals and strategies that facilitate acceleration of DevOps, customer’s competitiveness and reduces operational work:

 

• Fix fragmented IT in organizations by integrating and unifying technologies and delivering self-service.
• Reduce cost by increased productivity of employees, flexibility in IT and enabling better reporting for decision makers.
• Accelerate organizational competitiveness by enabling modern DevOps practices and reducing complexity of adopting the latest cloud native technologies.

 

With this in mind, Qstack approached the task with a focus on these requirements and created a deployment strategy that would deliver a multi-location private cloud implementation with hybrid connectivity between locations. Installing the Qstack management server does not require downtime of the production environment as the platform can either be deployed on a standalone server node or in a virtual instance, resulting in straight-forward private cloud implementation in each location. Being hypervisor agnostic, Qstack also enabled the customer to leverage different kinds of hypervisors in different zones, including VMware and KVM. Finally, the hybrid connection was established having received all the necessary internal networking and storage components and credentials from the client.

With the individual roll-outs completed, workloads could quickly be deployed through predefined templates and custom-made scripts for spinning up software stacks with correct configurations. As a first step in the overall implementation, this gave DevOps a homogeneous tool to quickly obtain and schedule resources with a fully enabled self-service UI, or using a CLI through a fully EC2-compliant API.

The next step was to connect the individual locations into a coherent hybrid environment or ‘zones’, allowing for cross-locational utilization of resources and increased team collaboration. Taking into account the specific networking criteria, enabling the hybrid functionality was just a simple configuration settings change inside Qstack. Qstack natively integrates the hybrid functionality  and does not need any additional modules or software configuration.

Today, the enterprise benefits from running a distributed private cloud environment with hybrid capabilities that can both leverage cross-location resource deployment as well as extending into public cloud services. The Qstack platform has improved DevOps teamwork across locations and infrastructure utilization has increased with running virtualized and bare metal instances and Kubernetes containerized workloads in a distributed manner.

 

Significant reduction in delivery time

According to the enterprises’s R&D CTO:

“The implementation of Qstack as an IT strategy in the enterprise has resulted in the measurable results of 87% reduction in IT delivery time
as well as enabling developers to become much more productive”

They fully expect to see even greater results in developer productivity and internal application robustness with the adoption of the modern application orchestration toolset Qstack delivers that works seamlessly with their existing IT infrastructure unified by Qstack. Qstack’s experts lead that journey as a collaborative effort in modern cloud enabled application development.

Qstack Cloud Solution
Qstack’s UI allows for leveraging multiple zones in different locations

Read more about application modernization with Qstack here or watch this webinar on application orchestration with Kubernetes.

 

Oli Qstack

 

Olafur Ingthorsson is the Head of Customer Success at Qstack – the hybrid cloud management & infrastructure platform.