23 Dec THE HYBRID CLOUD IS HERE TO STAY
The recent IBM SAP alliance that uses IBM’s Infrastructure as a Service expertise with SAP’s HANA in memory cloud platform and applications is validation of the hybrid cloud as a significant cloud deployment model. The announcement itself focused on customers getting expertise and service from both companies in the areas they are strong (SAP for in memory computing and SAP application workloads – IBM for its scalable secure cloud enabled by its Softlayer acquisition).
But its greatest attraction and we suspect the real reason it happened was for the desire of a lot of enterprise customers to keep their data locally while using the benefits of the cloud. Regulations in industries like Telecom and Financial Services require that customer data not leave a country, but the workload has tremendous cost savings associated with it if moved to the cloud. Thus a hybrid cloud with a local data center offers the best of both worlds. Practically our experience shows organizations simply prefer keeping data with them on premise while passing the analytics and other ancillary functions to the cloud. There is also tremendous peace of mind in keeping critical applications “at home” and sending balance workloads to the cloud. That’s just powerful human nature in play!
Additionally the largest enterprise customers have complex multivariate cloud strategies. Having a provider that can give the option of running a private cloud in parallel with a full enterprise workload in the cloud that sends data outside the enterprise is a unique and powerful attraction.
Techniques like “cloud bursting” while really difficult to implement in reality will continue to gain momentum. In cloud bursting data goes for processing to the 3rd party’s cloud only if local data center resources are fully used. The 3rd party will only charge for the processing resources used. This allows for companies with non-critical cyclical workloads to hold off capex investments in infrastructure almost indefinitely.
Companies have already invested in infrastructure. The best way to avoid a costly “rip and replace” strategy is to mix existing investments with moving some workloads to the cloud. The hybrid cloud actually allows a company to move to the cloud when it otherwise wouldn’t. In reality the biggest actual unintended benefit of the cloud is not the cost. It is the time given back to the IT team that it can use to add far greater innovation and value to the organization than simply “keeping the lights on”. Hybrid clouds allow for tremendous IT team productivity gains.
Containerization hybrid cloud products like Docker are gaining in popularity because of their advances in speed and ease of use. Unlike a typical virtual machine, Docker containers include only the application, and not the operating system. Everyone from IBM to Amazon to VMWare is now offering Docker integration.
According to Gartner 60% of the organizations it surveyed stated they think of hybrid cloud as the way to go in the future. This is simply the result of an understanding that post initial cloud adoption, technology will always have a combination of on premise and cloud based applications.
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