Whichever definition of “hybrid cloud” and “multi-cloud” you subscribe to – and there are several – most enterprises are using more than one cloud for the foreseeable future.
And this isn’t an opinionated VMware perspective either. Any cursory web search will reveal a multitude of research aligning on the modern consensus that multi-cloud is here to stay.
It’s no secret that much of the growth in cloud infrastructure is coming on the public cloud side. At the same time, the data center isn’t going anywhere. For most enterprises, private cloud is an integral part of a cohesive cloud strategy. There are dozens of reasons why. For example:
- Some apps must remain on-prem for regulatory reasons
- Some organizations or verticals must keep all infrastructure and apps on-prem for regulatory reasons
- Some apps are too expensive to re-architect, refactor, or migrate to the cloud
- Some apps are too complex to re-architect, refactor, or migrate to the cloud
- Some apps are too time-intensive to re-architect, refactor, or migrate to the cloud
- Some apps perform better on-prem
- Some apps are more economical to run on-prem
Of course, the classic challenge with a private + public cloud approach is implementing a cloud operating model that centralizes management, governance, and orchestration across all of them. As infrastructure becomes increasingly distributed and cloud services proliferate exponentially*, the last thing organizations need is more silos.
It’s therefore critical – table stakes, even – to make sure your on-prem infrastructure stack is as modernized and automated as possible. You might think of five evolutionary gradients on a spectrum with “legacy hardware” on one end, and “streamlined, automated, optimized private cloud with extensibility to public cloud” on the other:
- Legacy hardware
- Server virtualization
- Software-defined infrastructure stack
- Software-defined infrastructure stack with intrinsic, automated lifecycle management
- Software-defined infrastructure stack with intrinsic, automated lifecycle management, a self-service consumption layer, policy and governance, automated provisioning of infrastructure and applications, Day 2 operations management for the optimization of performance, capacity, cost, monitoring & observability, remediation, reporting, and so on**
Notice that management – both lifecycle management and cloud management – are the difference between raw virtualization and a fully functional cloud. Virtualized infrastructure alone is not a cloud.
It’s this philosophy that has guided the entirety of VMware’s approach to cloud over the last decade, particularly in the realm of VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF). VCF is our full-stack cloud platform, supporting both traditional enterprise and modern apps and providing a complete set of highly secure software-defined services for compute, storage, network, security, Kubernetes and cloud management.
IDC has published a seminal guide on full-stack VCF with cloud management, and it’s at the very top of our recommended reading list. The report outlines:
- The state of cloud infrastructure today
- The role of management software for software-defined infrastructure
- Enabling a cloud operating model
- Customer success case study
The customer case study highlights some profound benefits realized by the organization, including:
- Near-instantaneous provisioning of resources for app teams
- Consisted automated configuration of those resources
- Improved KPIs around cost, performance, capacity utilization and MTTR
- Accelerating strategic adoption of containers, public cloud/SaaS, and a holistic cloud operating model
From IDC’s perspective, this sort of approach is crucial for business success in today’s modern cloud world. We’re thrilled to offer this report free and ungated and hope you’ll benefit from it.
Read the white paper here, check out our guide on managing a VMware Cloud, and be sure to give us a follow on LinkedIn or Twitter.
*For an excellent look at the magnitude of this challenge, I highly recommend EMA’s latest research on the “self-driving data center.”
**Obviously, this is the “streamlined, automated, optimized private cloud with extensibility to public cloud” end of the spectrum.