Cloud computing has been one of the most disruptive IT trends of recent times. With the undeniable benefits of cloud computing, it has become common to hear that enterprises are moving more aggressively towards a cloud first strategy. Public cloud deployments can offer benefits such as infrastructure elasticity and agility, an OPEX driven model, and potentially better utilization rates.
While the benefits of public cloud have been proven for certain workloads and use cases, there is growing acknowledgement of its trade-offs in areas such as availability, performance, customization and security.
A private cloud on the other hand can put the IT organization in a driver’s seat in terms of security and compliance, system availability and uptime, application performance, and cost control.
Most enterprise IT shops today have workloads that can benefit from the characteristics of both kinds of clouds, and that’s why I believe a hybrid approach provides the best solution for most organizations.
A hybrid cloud model offers enterprises a more holistic approach in which a public cloud and private cloud deployments work together to minimize trade-offs and get the maximum value and effectiveness of each component of a workload.
Enterprises have different sets of requirements for different types of workloads, and a hybrid cloud approach offers the flexibility to meet these requirements. In the hybrid cloud model, workloads live where they make the most sense – on premise or in a public cloud, running on bare metal or virtualized.
Below are just some of the key benefits that a hybrid cloud approach can provide:
- Platform for Gradual Cloud Adoption: Cloud adoption is a multi-step journey. Architecting workloads for public cloud often requires re-architecting applications, understanding new paradigms and new terminology and even modifying code to allow applications to control resources. Hybrid cloud allows customers to start by taking advantage of dedicated servers and virtualization using existing applications and paradigms, and eventually evolve the infrastructure by moving the right workloads to a public cloud over time as needed. The flexibility of moving specific applications between platforms gives IT shops the ability to transition to cloud at their own pace and only with the workloads that make sense.
- Platform for Rapid Innovation: Hybrid cloud allows organizations to move at the speed of DevOps. With access to massive public cloud compute power fully integrated into existing infrastructure, new system enhancements or application updates, you can get through the software lifecycle faster, and allow businesses to get products to market faster. Developers can focus on developing products instead of waiting on IT to provisioning resources. IT can get access to resources as required rather than tying up huge amounts of IT budget in seasonal projects. Private clouds with efficient snapshot capability can do the same for customers with infrastructure in place that handles this, while cloud provides a fast on-ramp for those who don’t have access to infrastructure.
- Performance, Security, Availability: A hybrid cloud model addresses the performance, security and availability limitations often seen in public cloud services. An on premises private cloud eliminates performance and availability concerns while putting the IT organization in the driver’s seat in terms of data security and governance.
- Lower TCO: Although the public cloud offers a lower cost entry point, it is often not the most cost effective at scale. A hybrid cloud model can weave cloud efficiencies into existing IT investments that aren’t quite cloud ready yet while providing the flexibility to tap into public cloud resources as required.
- Avoid Vendor Lock-in: With a plethora of vendors now offering public cloud offerings at various service levels and price points, portability of workloads across cloud is critical. With the right hybrid cloud model, portability of workloads should be built-in.
With that as a backdrop, where does your organization sit in its cloud journey? We’d love to talk to you and understand how you are approaching the cloud transition.