If your business operates any kind of IT infrastructure, hybrid cloud matters. It´s not just there as an option to temporarily expand your compute capacity or tuck away infrequently used data – it really does matter. We explain why hybrid cloud matters and why you really can´t ignore hybrid cloud – even if you want to.
Back in 2013, despite acknowledging that “actual hybrid cloud computing deployments are rare”, Gartner predicted nearly half of large enterprises would have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017. Although the prediction may have seemed optimistic at the time, it nearly came true.
A survey conducted by Circle Research on behalf of Vodafone in 2015 found that 31% of enterprises had already adopted a hybrid cloud strategy; and the percentage of enterprises deploying to hybrid cloud environments reached 40% at the start of 2018 when TechTarget conducted its “IT Priorities Survey”.
Why Hybrid Cloud Matters to Large Enterprises
Hybrid cloud matters to large enterprises due to the benefits that cannot be achieved by operating exclusively in the public cloud or in a private cloud. Individual benefits vary according to each enterprise´s specific needs, but they generally consist of:
- Being able to take advantage of emerging public cloud technologies while retaining legacy systems within a private cloud or on-premises IT infrastructure.
- Being able to keep sensitive data on a dedicated server while running front-end applications in the public cloud to take advantage of cost efficiency and on-demand scalability.
- Being able to reduce the Total Cost of Ownership, match cost patterns to revenue and demand patterns, and transition from an exclusively CapEx model to a mixed CapEx/OpEx model.
Of course, it´s rare to get roses without any thorns; and, in a hybrid cloud environment, API compatibility and network connectivity are more important than ever because workloads are distributed across public and private clouds, and have to able to access and interact with each other.
A further issue is that a hybrid cloud environment has more attack surfaces compared to the exclusive use of a public or private cloud. Cloud security in a hybrid environment needs a holistic approach that takes into account both internal and external infrastructures and views them as a single ecosystem.
Why You Can’t Ignore Hybrid Cloud
It is not only large enterprises increasingly adopting the cloud. Smaller businesses are too, thanks to a number of tools being made available by Cloud Service Providers that seamlessly create an agile, flexible and secure environment with the same benefits as enjoyed by large enterprises.
Take, for example, a small e-Commerce business that experiences spikes in demand at certain times of the year. The business could scale its private cloud or on-premises IT infrastructure for the normal level of demand, and burst to the public cloud when demand spikes.
A hybrid cloud of this nature is a far more cost-effective way of operating than scaling a private cloud or on-premises IT infrastructure to always accommodate peak requirements, and it gives businesses with dynamic or highly-variable workloads a commercial advantage over businesses who ignore hybrid cloud.
Migrating to a Hybrid Cloud Environment
Migrating to a hybrid cloud environment brings challenges. Not only do you have the challenges of connectivity and security mentioned above, you also have to understand what you are migrating and why in order to achieve the benefits enjoyed by large enterprises.
The best way of achieving a successful migration is to develop a cloud migration strategy after first identifying the workloads that are candidates for migration and examining the downstream application and infrastructure dependencies of these workloads.
The workloads suitable for migration should be optimized for cost, usage, performance and security so you can plan your strategy with complete confidence of achieving your objectives. It sounds complicated, but there are Migration Assessment Solutions that can help with these processes.
Managing Hybrid Cloud Deployments
Once you have migrated to a hybrid cloud environment, you don´t necessarily have more assets to manage, it´s just they are divided between different infrastructures. Consequently, it can be harder to keep track of them and ensure they are optimized for cost and performance.
CloudHealth is an excellent solution for managing assets deployed on multiple infrastructures as the platform aggregates and analyzes information from all data sources in order to provide a single-pane view of your entire hybrid cloud environment.
With total visibility of all your assets you can ensure your assets are interacting with each other as they should, identify threats to the security of your hybrid environment, and maintain optimization of your assets through CloudHealth´s policy-driven automation functionality.