The relativity of time – or why we’re only seeing a mature cloud now

Posted on 22/05/2019

Hervé Renault, Head of Cloud Providers, EMEA.

 

For anyone that’s been in IT for any length of time, the concept of cloud isn’t new.

The actual term has been in use for about 15 years or so, yet the idea of an enterprise-level, internet-based way of accessing services has been around for much longer than that.

Like most technology, however, it is only in the last few years that we have seen cloud environments maturing to the point at which the concept is being adopted on a broad scale.

It’s been through the classic hype cycle – first come the hyped benefit claims, the end of pain points, the revolution in terms of how we’re going to operate. Then comes the backlash – the flaws, the limitations. These trundle alongside each other for a few years until proofs of concept, projects and other successful ventures start to deliver evidence to support the hype.

Finally, we arrive at a point of maturity – major vendors delivering cloud solutions, assuaging the fears of conservative organisations that may not wish to back unproven tech delivered by start-ups; growing businesses seeking new solutions to supercharge their progression; start-ups going all in to reduce upfront costs and increase flexibility.

It’s a multi-layered approach and, before we know it, everyone has some form of cloud environment in their IT operations.

So, now that we’re at that point, is it all done and dusted? Is cloud a given?

A blended, consistent approach

If only it were that simple.

As cloud has been maturing, so too have enterprises been searching for other solutions, maintaining existing systems and evolving their operations – sometimes strategically, sometimes less so.

The result is a complex weave of technologies and environments covering the full gamut of importance to the business – from once vital to still mission-critical. Getting all this ready for the cloud is a huge undertaking. Some applications can be lifted and shifted, some can be refactored or transformed, some might be replaced by cloud native versions. Yet others will need to be kept in their original, on-premises environments.

That means different environments for different applications. As I highlighted in my last post, the average enterprise can now have between 6 to 8 environments hosting its applications. It’s all to do with providing the right context for the application to operate at an optimal level.

We’ve seen unprecedented growth in applications, which at the same time are becoming increasingly demanding of the computer they need to perform. This is overlaid by broader business objectives, operating in disrupted markets, which require ever faster speed-to-market of products and services.

Currently, that means having multiple cloud and on-premise environments to support established enterprises. It’s meant a proliferation of providers, all delivering quality, high performing solutions. While the next few years will probably see some consolidation, we’re still going to have a situation where an enterprise looking for a public cloud, or private environment, or edge deployment, or a hybrid approach, will have a significant amount of choice.

 

A mature approach to meeting customer requirements

What that means is that they’re also going to need a consistent way of delivering operations and infrastructure across any environment.

In many ways, the work we’ve done with Amazon on the development of VMware Cloud on AWS is a mirror of how the cloud market has matured. Historically, when discussions were more private versus public versus on-premises, one might have considered VMware Cloud and AWS competitors.

However, as we’ve both evolved our propositions and seen how the enterprise cloud space is developing, we’ve come to the understanding that the traditional concepts of competitors and one environment being better than the other is incorrect.

The result is a solution that service providers can use to give customers access to the environments they need, allowing them to move workloads and applications as they require it. VMware Cloud on AWS augments what the service provider can offer – VMware as the consistent denominator, the service provider providing trusted advice to the enterprise.

To move quickly requires time

We’ve been talking about cloud for a long time, but it’s only now that enterprises are able to fully realise its potential. The market continues to mature, giving customers what they need – a flexible, agile infrastructure that allows them to move quickly.

It’s only been possible by considering new approaches and not being closed off to different ways of doing business. Ultimately, it’s about helping the customer meet their business objectives, with technology that is consistent and seamless, irrespective of who provides what.

If you’d like to know more about multi-cloud and how VMware Cloud on AWS can support your plans, take a look at this discussion we conducted with Veeam, and visit vmware.com for more on our solutions.


Category: Business, Cloud

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