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Enabling the Hybrid Cloud with SharePoint 2016
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May 29, 2015

Enabling the Hybrid Cloud with SharePoint 2016

By TMCnet Special Guest
Jean-Francois Piot, Vice President Product Management, GSX Solutions

Increasingly, IT administrators are under pressure from the lines of business that they serve to lower TCO by leveraging the public cloud. And, the cost benefits of outsourcing critical application workloads like Microsoft (News - Alert) Office, SharePoint and Exchange to the cloud are not lost on most IT pros. In fact, 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies have already bought into Office 365 in the past year, and that business is also bringing in $6.3 billion in annual revenue for the Redmond giant.

However, many enterprises are still leery of moving sensitive data and on-premises workloads to the cloud for legitimate security and compliance reasons. Enter the hybrid cloud, which gives businesses the best of both worlds by running some workloads in the cloud and more sensitive ones on-premises.  Microsoft itself has also recognized the business need for hybrid cloud.  At its recent Ignite conference, the company unveiled plans for Microsoft SharePoint 2016 which will enable hybrid deployments between on-premises SharePoint and Office 365, as well as other collaboration tools, including Video, Delve, OneDrive and Team Sites. With it, users will be able to perform a global search across cloud and on-premises installs.

To deploy hybrid infrastructure effectively, however, enterprises need proactive performance monitoring tools to make sure that cloud and on-premises deployments are actually delivering the TCO that a cloud only-based one could.  GSX (News - Alert) Monitor & Analyzer, for instance, proactively identifies SharePoint services, sites and servers for any performance or availability bottlenecks before they cause any major disruptions to the business as a whole. Hybrid infrastructure combined with automated performance monitoring tools also allows businesses to:

  • Determine where applications should be run to maximize performance and availability, increase business line acceptance and lower TCO of infrastructure and management;
  • Ease and speed up troubleshooting when performance issues happen at the end user level, determine the root cause of any disruptions and pinpoint whether the issue is happening in the cloud or on-premises;
  • Monitor the exact consumption of resources and the usage of infrastructure, and automatically match supply with demand, anticipate potential performance issues before they occur and report accurate metrics and quality of service levels to each business line.

SharePoint Server 2016 is scheduled for a public beta release in Q4 2015, and general availability in Q2 2016.

The company says that the release, and its focus on hybrid cloud and on-premises integration, will not affect its existing SharePoint Online or on-premises SharePoint Server offerings, but it is clear that Microsoft understands the value of -- and enterprise demand for -- hybrid infrastructure. The release is aimed at enabling a more mobile workforce and comes with tighter integrations with Exchange, OneDrive, Team Sites and Extranet. In the future, the company plans on adding more features involving data loss protection, e-discovery and taxonomy.

Overall, this major release is a great step toward enabling hybrid cloud deployments, but organizations still need automated tools to ensure that mixed cloud and on-premises environments are actually available, performing optimally, and, most of all, delivering the TCO that hybrid cloud promises in the first place. 

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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