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To stay competitive, businesses must innovate and grow while improving time to market, increasing ROI and decreasing TCO. One of the biggest challenges in achieving these goals is growing complexity in the data center. In order to succeed in the new technology landscape, IT must embrace simplicity. Federating public and private cloud resources allows organizations to streamline IT services and run Microsoft workloads in the most optimized and appropriate environments.
Federation contributes to IT simplicity by improving infrastructure flexibility, scalability and agility by allowing you to scale to the public cloud and use only the resources you need when you need them. This model allows IT to take advantage of expanded storage, backup and recovery strategies with increased efficiencies and reduced costs.
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Combining Microsoft Azure with a private cloud powered by Microsoft Cloud Platform offers the ability to leverage on-demand capacity when applications need a boost—without the physical and logical scaling boundaries imposed by infrastructure. There are a variety of potential benefits:
Increased agility helps enable faster decision-making and shorter time to market.
Increases in efficiency allow IT staff to focus on serving the client.
Leveraging the rapidly evolving suite of Azure public cloud applications and tools allows developers to achieve enterprise-grade performance and drive maximum efficiency.
Azure Active Directory® provides centralized identity management across a variety of use cases, such as your own custom applications, Microsoft public apps such as Office 365™ and third-party applications such as Salesforce®. With a common framework for user management, launching applications that leverage single identities is no longer constrained by directory services availability/location or security concerns around exposing these services to the Internet. This hybrid solution also allows you to maintain an appropriate level of application security for a given data profile using common security implementations such as encryption and IDS services in both public and private cloud environments.
However, federating hybrid clouds on Microsoft Azure and Cloud Platform has functional and technical pitfalls worth considering:
Cloud Complexity: For many businesses, navigating to the cloud is complex, risky and an enormous time drain. These challenges threaten to cripple businesses that don't have a plan to move forward with a new IT model. In this scenario, with disparate cloud products and platforms, engineers and developers spend most of their time navigating a maze of different tools, portals and management and monitoring systems.
Interoperability: Traditional hybrid clouds, tools and services used in both public and private clouds are not always interoperable. Costly and resource-intensive infrastructure tools such as deployment systems, monitoring applications, management planes and log and event aggregation utilities cannot always cross infrastructure boundaries requiring multiple independent deployments of different tool sets.
Identity and Access Management: From a technical standpoint, consolidating and managing identity systems is challenging due in part to identity sprawl across disparate systems and applications.
Infrastructure Management: Deploying, monitoring and managing the physical and logical constructs of your network such as firewalls, routing devices, IP address ranges and virtual networks imposes additional administrative overhead on IT staff.
Rackspace® can help alleviate some of the constraints of federation with Azure Active Directory, on-premises directory solutions and various third-party application providers, enabling your business to efficiently deliver IT services without the burden of managing additional independent directory service solutions.
Rackspace simplifies hybrid cloud connectivity with next-generation technology and direct connectivity to Azure over Equinix Cloud Exchange™ and Microsoft ExpressRoute. We can help you achieve a unified management approach to both private and public cloud infrastructure, a strategy that is a keystone of increased agility, decreased time to market and improved alignment of IT resources to focus on more valuable tasks.
Rackspace also streamlines management via a unified support experience for both computing platforms, eliminating the need to navigate complicated multi-vendor agreements for the major components. The same tools, management systems, processes and qualified personnel who provide Fanatical Support® on a private cloud has been extended into the Azure cloud to allow end users quick and easy access to those resources while reducing the massive startup costs, migration risks and other barriers to entry that have previously stagnated adoption.
Rackspace is recognized as a leader in both the North American and European versions of Gartner's 2014 Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting. Our managed cloud services are backed by Fanatical Support, which includes 24/7 access to engineers via phone, chat or email.