The enterprise will increasingly live in a hybrid IT world in 2017, split between on-premises solutions and cloud environments. Recent reports have revealed that many organisations have already started to split their cloud budgets between public and private deployments, creating demand for hybrid cloud strategies that give businesses greater flexibility as well as more workload deployment options.
It’s easy to see why hybrid strategies are on the rise. Hybrid cloud enables workloads to exist on either a vendor-run public cloud or a customer-run private cloud. This means that IT teams are able to harness the security and control of a private cloud as well as the flexibility of public cloud services – thus, getting the best of both worlds. The most mature IT teams are reviewing their workloads – often in consultation with a cloud services provider – to determine which are most suited to a public or private cloud environment and adapting their workload placement accordingly across hybrid cloud options.
Here are the three key benefits often associated with implementing a hybrid cloud solution:
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Demand will wax and wane. Organisations’ requirements rarely run in a horizontal line and public cloud solutions are particularly valuable for dynamic or highly changeable workloads. When traffic surges, a hybrid environment allows for quick scalability in order to meet the needs of the moment. When the surge dies off the cloud resources consumed can be scaled back to avoid over-provisioning and keep costs under control. With a hybrid cloud strategy, IT has the option to burst workloads into the public cloud when required to maintain performance during periods of increased demand.
Public cloud is fast and inexpensive to scale out and does not require the up-front investment in the infrastructure of private cloud. The great thing about a hybrid approach is that it brings long-term savings. It is no longer a case of trying to determine the maximum load, reserving what is needed for that maximum load and paying for it all whether it is used or not. A hybrid solution allows for location and reallocation to meet changing workload needs as and when required which can have a significant impact on the IT bottom line.
While the perception that the cloud is not as secure as on-premises infrastructure is a persistent one, there is increasing evidence that public cloud environments actually suffer from fewer attacks such as ransomware and viruses than traditional IT environments. Cloud service providers like iland now offer levels of security and compliance reporting that are very difficult for medium to small enterprise businesses to match in their own IT infrastructure. Despite this, there may still be reasons why certain apps – particularly those running on legacy systems – may need to stay on-premises and a hybrid cloud strategy enables that dual approach.
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Despite all the opportunities and related benefits provided by a hybrid cloud strategy, there is a key challenge that businesses must overcome – have visibility into and control of their cloud workloads and resources. All too often, organisations looking to adopt hybrid cloud as a means to increase agility within their IT operation get stuck in the implementation stage. They are left fighting for control of their environment because the majority of cloud providers don’t offer the same level of visibility teams are accustomed to from their on-premise resources. They also struggle to maintain consistent network and security policies meaning that migration becomes a far bigger headache than initially expected. As companies make cloud computing a more strategic part of their overall strategy, having that visibility and management control over areas such as performance, billing, security and compliance reporting, is more important than ever.
At iland, we find that while customers continue to value and leverage our support teams, they increasingly want to take a more strategic and self-sufficient approach to cloud management in order to fully leverage all of its benefits. This means having the capability to perform data analytics, adjust resources, do DR testing on-demand, generate security reports and manage networking. And, increasingly, customers are using our APIs to link essential data about their cloud resources and workloads to their own IT systems which are invaluable in managing both public and private on-premises cloud environments in a holistic way.
As adoption of hybrid cloud increases, IT teams will need cloud service providers to provide the visibility and end-to-end cloud management tools that will help them approach and manage cloud in a more strategic way. The need for agility continues to be one of the biggest drivers of cloud adoption and with more complex hybrid cloud environments becoming the norm, management is key.
You can find out more about how customers leverage the iland cloud management console here.