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IT Innovators: Hybrid Clouds and the Benefits of a Consistent Set of Management Tools

IT Innovators: Hybrid Clouds and the Benefits of a Consistent Set of Management Tools

Are systems administrators conversant with just a single set of management tools more efficient? Yes, and here's why...

A huge benefit of running a Microsoft-based hybrid cloud, where the on-premises infrastructure is hosted within Hyper-V and managed by System Center and where the public cloud component is running in Microsoft Azure, is that you can use a single, consistent set of management tools.

Having a consistent set of management tools means that systems administrators only need to be conversant with a single set of tools. One benefit to this is faster training times. Another is that management tools are better leveraged. Because administrators only use one set of tools, they develop greater expertise with those tools than administrators using a suite of disparate tools.

Things are far more complicated when the on-premises infrastructure and the public cloud provider use disparate technologies, each with its own unique management tools. Not only is performing management operations challenging when you have a plethora of separate overlapping tools— depending on whether the workload is locally hosted or publicly hosted—but moving workloads between the on-premises environment and the public cloud environment is more challenging when the technologies underlying each environment were developed and are maintained by separate vendors.

One of the key advantages to running a Microsoft-based hybrid cloud deployment is PowerShell. PowerShell is a powerful systems administration automation tool that can be used to effectively manage almost any Microsoft technology. Many of the PowerShell commands that you use to manage an on-premises infrastructure work in an almost identical manner to the set of PowerShell commands you use to manage your infrastructure in Microsoft Azure.

Not only does having a consistent technology assist administrators in terms of developing their expertise with the tool set; it also provides other benefits, including the vibrant PowerShell community. Administrators who run into challenges that they can’t immediately resolve are often able to find scripts and assistance through forums.

Successful hybrid cloud deployments require systems administrators that are as efficient as possible. Administrators that can leverage a consistent toolset are more efficient than administrators stuck working with different tools from different vendors that are designed to accomplish different things.

This content is sponsored by Microsoft.

Orin Thomas is a contributing editor for Windows IT Pro and a Windows Security MVP. He has authored or coauthored more than thirty books for Microsoft Press, founded the Melbourne System Center, Security, and Infrastructure Group, creates courseware for PluralSight, and writes the Hyperbole, Embellishment, and System Administration Blog.

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