We live in a multi-cloud world. Not only are more customers migrating workloads to the cloud than ever before, but cloud users are realizing that diversification of a cloud strategy is a stronger method of consumption than putting all workloads into a single cloud provider. Customers demand agility and flexibility, and cloud providers must adapt to meet the changing needs of our customers, or risk losing mindshare.There are three types of application methodologies to consider. Cloud-immigrant applications are written and deployed on physical infrastructure, then migrated to the cloud. These applications rely on availability at the hardware level and scale vertically by adding costly physical resources like memory and hard disk. Cloud-native applications are written and deployed cloud first, relying on availability at the application level, and scale horizontally by adding additional virtual machines on commodity servers.

And then, there is something known as bimodal IT, which is explained in great detail by technology research advisory firm, Gartner (see chart). Bimodal is the practice of managing two separate but coherent styles of work: one focused on predictability; the other on exploration. Mode 1 (The Marathon Runner) is optimized for areas that are well understood and foreseeable. It focuses on exploiting what is known, while renovating the legacy environment into a state that is fit for a digital world. Mode 2 (The Sprinter) is exploratory. It experiments to solve new problems and optimizes for areas of uncertainty.

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These initiatives often begin with a hypothesis that is tested and adapted during a process involving short iterations that potentially lead to the adoption of a minimally viable product (MVP) approach. Both modes are essential to create substantial value and drive significant organizational change, and neither is static. Marrying a more predictable evolution of products and technologies (Mode 1) with the new and innovative (Mode 2) is the essence of an enterprise bimodal capability. Both play an essential role in the digital transformation.

Building Infrastructure Where It Belongs

A common misconception is that Microsoft Azure is only a “DevCloud” or Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) used to temporarily provision infrastructure and applications during development and testing. DevClouds are usually abandoned when the workload is ready for migration to a production data center located either on the users’ premises or on a managed service like NaviSite’s VMware-based NaviCloud. NaviSite’s Azure strategy is to provide a managed platform for workloads that “belong” on Azure. In other words, they meet Mode 2 criteria and they are ready to be run as steady-state applications.

Developers need self-service clouds like Azure, AWS and NaviCloud’s Self-Managed Director so they can spin-up an environment, build their app, test it until it breaks and start over with a fresh copy of the original virtual machines (VM). Restoring servers after a crash used to take hours or even days, but now it only takes a few minutes to restore an entire virtual data center.  The challenge businesses face today is keeping their new app running, and the easiest way to do that is to run it on the platform where it was developed.

Cloud U-Turn

CDW’s cloud service provider partner NaviSite embraces bimodal IT by introducing Microsoft Azure as their newest fully managed platform. Azure will complement NaviSite’s existing virtual and physical platforms by offering a truly hybrid cloud portfolio to clients who understand the value of diversifying their IT strategy. NaviSite provides managed services on top of the Microsoft Azure platform in a manner complimentary to the existing NaviCloud and physical hosting services. In addition, Navisite offers an easy-to-deploy suite of preapproved Azure solutions to help customers right-fit cloud resources out of the gate, with the added value of Navisite’s industry-leading cloud management capabilities. Navisite has managed critical business systems and applications for over 18 years. With the inclusion of Managed Microsoft Azure in the Navisite portfolio, customers have the cloud diversity, agility, and flexibility they demand, with a partner they can trust.

To learn more about how CDW can help you successfully design, build, and manage your own hybrid cloud, please reach out to your CDW account manager.

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