Today, enterprises may feel like they have to compromise in order to bridge the divide between on-premise and public cloud. It’s a divide that is now set against the backdrop of the increasing imperative for enterprise application mobility, driven by the likes of artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics.
While each approach carries its own benefits, what organisations really need is flexibility and choice when it comes to infrastructure. Workloads and applications should live where it makes the most sense for them to live. This should be an infrastructure choice based on business objectives, not constrained by what the technology can do or where it lives. Flexibility is key here – business objectives change all the time, and organisations need the freedom to adjust and adapt where necessary.
Overcoming Barriers to Hybrid Cloud
The obvious solution is a hybrid approach. That said, this is easier said than done, and poses many challenges itself.
Firstly, most enterprise applications run on-premise, and migrating them to the cloud can be tricky. By that same token, most web scale apps are built in the cloud and so migrating them on-premise can be equally difficult. Today’s organisations cannot afford disruption or downtime, making seamless and agile movement across different clouds a business necessity. In addition, on-premise and cloud storage have different features and APIs, developing applications that run seamlessly across both has been nearly impossible.
If these barriers were not enough to cause an enterprise headache, there’s the added complexity that faces all modern organisations. Data is now considered the “new currency” for businesses, but keeping this in check and using it to its full advantage is no easy feat. To give some context, according to IDC, the volume of data generated by the Internet of Things (IoT) alone will be as big in 2025 as the amount of ALL data created in 2020. That’s a tremendous amount of data, which will dictate the needs of a business’s infrastructure. Enterprises will need to have the ability to seamlessly move an application born in the cloud to an on-premise environment (or vice versa) once this data dictates a different set of requirements.
At present, businesses are being forced to compromise, as opposed to having the ability and agility to design an infrastructure that works for them.
No longer EITHER/OR… AND is now possible:
Fortunately the tide is changing, and soon business will no longer have to make this compromise. We are entering into the era of AND, not OR.
Solutions are now becoming available to help businesses take full advantage of multiple clouds – no business should be forced to compromise. The features that organisations will be able to take advantage of include:
Enable the building of all clouds: Organisations will be able to build private clouds on-premise or in hosted environments to deliver storage-as-a-service with the performance, availability and ease of use that every business needs and deserves.
Create freedom to run applications anywhere: Businesses will have the ability to run applications in on-prem or hosted environments, yet also run them seamlessly in the public cloud. Having a single storage platform will deliver consistent storage services, resiliency and APIs; meaning applications can be built once and then run anywhere in the hybrid cloud model.
A new model for data protection: flash-to-flash-to-cloud: The traditional disk and tape-based data protection model is failing to keep up with the demands of the cloud era. Data sizes are growing, customers expect global availability, and having PBs of backup data stuck in a vault is no longer acceptable. The combination of flash + cloud allows customers to re-invent data protection, enabling both fast local recovery from flash and low-cost long-term retention and data re-use in the cloud.
Data is the lifeblood of any organisation and there needs to be flexibility for businesses to turn this data into value. The era of the cloud divide is coming to an end, ushering in the age of choice and enabling organisations to build a data-centric architecture. These worlds can now co-exist, bridged seamlessly with a common storage layer, so applications and data are free to move easily between owned and rented clouds.
This hybrid approach means that applications can be developed once and deployed seamlessly across owned and rented clouds, giving customers the ultimate flexibility to turn data into value wherever that data resides.
The ultimate result for enterprises? They can take advantage of the agility, flexibility of a hybrid environment to develop applications faster and have the freedom to free applications from being linked to any one type of infrastructure; allowing them to create a data centric architecture that’s right for the business, and that puts enterprises on the right path for future success.