More businesses have matured in terms of cloud consumption, moving from cloud watchers to cloud explorers, as they latch on to hybrid cloud as an intermediary step between their old on-premises data storage system and shifting entirely to the public cloud. The hybrid cloud model is emerging as a clear winner for today’s organizations and enterprises looking to leverage the scalability of cloud computing based on workloads while maintaining the integrity of data. According to predictions by Gartner, zero cloud approach will become untenable by 2020 and hybrid cloud will become the most common cloud adoption strategy. This is primarily because of the increasing agility requirements of business which necessitates adding a cloud component to their infrastructure strategy.
What Is Hybrid Cloud?
Hybrid cloud is a combination of two or more unique cloud infrastructures, including on-premises, public, and private cloud computing, where each entity remains independent while being bound together through a management platform that spans these environments. A hybrid cloud makes data portable and enables applications to switch between private and public cloud through an encrypted connection.
Internet of Everything (IoE) Transforming Business Outcomes
The Internet of Things and artificial intelligence gained mindshare in 2017. Advancements in real-time data analytics and cloud computing is now playing a major role in the development and implementation of Internet of Everything (IoE). Instead of looking at IoT as just a collection of sensors and devices, IoE delivers real business value by simplifying all machine to machine communication, data processing and even human interaction with their environment. IoE will provide businesses more data on how consumers relate to their products or services and this will in turn help improve customer experience through automation and the use of smart robots. IoE innovation will depend largely on a hybrid cloud environment because that is where the connection, data collection, and processing will happen.
More Confidence in The Hybrid Cloud Model
The erstwhile security concerns and cost uncertainties surrounding cloud adoption are a thing of the past, whereas compliance and governance issues, engaging with digitally-savvy customers and vendor lock-in are big now. Businesses now need to be more nimble in their approach so they are steering towards a hybrid cloud strategy which implements the ‘best of both worlds.’ Based on the Rightscale 2017 State of the Cloud report, enterprises with multiple cloud accounts has grown from 82% in 2016 to 85% in 2017. All core operations and sensitive applications are deployed on-premises, scaling to the public cloud when necessary, like for mobile applications and the Internet of Things. The stratification and skill for hybrid cloud technology among enterprises as well as cloud service providers has matured which is a major reason why businesses are leveraging it for better data management and IT infrastructure management.
Container Tools to Boost Hybrid Cloud
With IT demanding more flexibility and agility, the cloud story this year is containers, microservices, and unikernels. These technologies have advanced rapidly to become the better choice when compared to virtual machines, which require more resources. Containerization allows for rapid scale up, scale out and work in both the on-premises and an off-premises scenario. Enterprises are looking to containers for easy service migration between public and private cloud and portability. More enterprises are turning to Kubernetes as a deployment model for more complex workloads instead of Docker which lacks uniform support across public cloud platforms. As long as there is a clear idea about network access, container monitoring, image management and security patching there is no problem with adopting containers.
Hybrid Cloud Cost Containment Strategy
Enterprises are willing to invest in advanced IT infrastructure by combining the best of public and private cloud services for cost effective solutions. Businesses are seeing the real return on investment being delivered by cloud projects. According to a study by IDG Research Services the overall IT cost came down by 24% due to implementation of hybrid cloud, which enabled organizations to relocate these savings into building new innovations. Principled Technologies found that companies with more workloads in hybrid clouds over three years enjoyed 67% in cost-savings.
Features Beyond Price Points
Price arbitrage is not the only concern for enterprises when choosing their hybrid cloud components. More important will be availability of security tools that can be utilized across on-site, public and private IT environments. Equally important is the ease of integration with IT applications in use through the organization, as is the flexibility to re-align public and private cloud tools based on performance, business goals, and cost.
Though hybrid cloud deployment and migrating workloads based on the most appropriate cloud platforms has a lot of moving parts, the ability to dynamically and seamlessly relocate workloads based on capacity availability gives a huge confidence boost to enterprises. All enterprises are ultimately looking for the flexibility to constantly make course changes in their hybrid cloud journeys. Even managed support and ongoing support are important considerations for enterprises, so vendors need to keep this in mind when drawing up hybrid cloud contracts.
Leap of Faith with The Hybrid Cloud
The hybrid cloud trends mentioned above should help you understand that it has immense power to be a strategic differentiator in the way business operates now and in the future. A hybrid cloud approach is the malleable path that allows companies to roll-out new products and services quickly without investing in full-scale IT infrastructure. And this while protecting their market share and driving innovations for tomorrow.