There are important Microsoft applications reaching end of support as soon as next month, and organizations are scrambling to make sure they will not only be compliant with up-to-date software, but more importantly have the systems and infrastructure in place that will carry them and their business successfully through to the next refresh cycle, years from now.
A recent blog on Supportageddon and other things you didn’t know about HPE Microsoft Solutions called out the applications that need to be considered, such as Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Exchange Server 2010. And it also provided valuable related solutions available from HPE. But it didn’t go into much detail on modernization strategies or specific upgrade approaches. New findings are being published on these topics, and the following are top strategies to consider in addressing your own Supportageddon challenge.
- Think through your right mix
For your overall portfolio to achieve the agility and speed you are seeking, you’ll want to evaluate a mix of workload modernization options. This ‘right mix’ means striking a balance between on-premises, cloud-based and hybrid cloud IT deployments. In a recent analyst conference, IDC shared that by 2023, 30% of IT systems in enterprise DCs and Edge locations will be running pubic cloud-sourced services. And this is the average – we know of many organizations who have embraced a ‘Cloud First’ policy to the extent that all new applications are residing off-premises. But each company needs to find the right balance for themselves. A study by 451 Research Advisory team took the results of a 1,800 IT Decision-maker survey and developed a “Right Mix” tool, enabling organizations to have data-driven guidance regarding on- and off-premises cloud mix decisions. Results of this study are available via consultative engagements.
- Modernize & consolidate your on-premises infrastructure
Streamlining your IT operations starts with making your infrastructure more streamlined – with storage, servers and networking that can deliver more effective capacity, performance and throughput in the same space and energy footprint, and ideally at a lower cost per output. Along with new, more efficient traditional hardware, other options include Hyperconverged products, as well as hybrid solutions that leverage cloud-based volumes, compute and Backup/DR capabilities. There are numerous permutations of Microsoft workloads and infrastructure platforms to consider, with the right one available to match your right mix objectives.
- Microsoft Azure Stack hybrid strategies
Azure Stack is an integrated hardware/software solution that allows organizations to deploy a reduced set of Azure Cloud services in their own data center. A key benefit of Azure Stack is that if you write to the Azure API, you have a “write-once/deploy on-prem or cloud” option for apps in the Azure Public Cloud or on-premises, without having to change a single line of code. Azure Stack is a relatively new offering with a limited installed base, but a Piper Jaffray survey indicated that 72% of Azure Public Cloud customers intend to deploy on Azure Stack over the next 3 years. If you’re contemplating this solution in your datacenter, there are related Data Protection and Storage Networking solutions that will help safeguard and accelerate your data.
- Cloud first strategies
As mentioned earlier, many enterprises are taking a ‘cloud first’ approach, made popular by the U.S. government mandate a decade ago. This sea change can be seen in the numbers, with 35% of all production apps expected to be cloud-native by 2022, totaling 500M new cloud-native apps (source: IDC). With enterprises moving to Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions, a top cloud service provider to consider is Microsoft Azure. What makes Azure stand out is the ability to use products with which you’re familiar, such as SQL Server and Exchange, but as online versions, or in a hybrid mode that delivers the best of on-premises control with cloud-based ‘limitless’ resources.
- Database modernization
Databases are so central to many organization that they earn their own strategy considerations. Companies should explore ways to accelerate business with a modern data platform, while achieving better economics, more performance, improved security, and greater agility. Speeding time to insight has been the central driver for new big data analytics and visualization projects. Options exist today, either on-premises or in the cloud, that will deliver faster transactions and queries, as well as potentially simplified management while still accommodating more data and data types. Consider new polybase architectures that can layer data and graphical management on top of traditional RDBMS and non-structured data, as a means achieve a data lake without creating siloed resources and expertise.
Solve your EOS problems with HPE Microsoft solutions
A new webinar on how to get more from your data with Microsoft on HPE Storage was just recorded and made available through CIO.com. In this webinar, featuring yours truly, we share how to plan major Microsoft upgrades, improve performance with flash memory, ensure data availability for Azure Stack, and how HPE InfoSight brings AI intelligence to data center infrastructure.