Complexity, Centralization and the Case for Hybrid Cloud
Senior IT leaders are pushing for the adoption of hybrid cloud. It makes sense — with IT now a line-of-business initiative as opposed to a mere cost center, C-suite staff and technology leaders alike are looking for ways to integrate legacy solutions with emerging cloud offerings. But even beyond cost-effectiveness, hybrid options offer another key benefit: centralization. Here’s a look at the role of hybrid IT environments in boosting data organization while reducing total complexity.
Currently, the cloud market is shifting as providers and customers mark out their territory and discover which solutions drive solid ROI. For example, the public cloud arena is particularly competitive, as providers look to boost their customer base via easy, cost-effective access.
Meanwhile, private solutions offer enterprises total control by keeping technology in-house; deploying private clouds often makes sense for companies with substantial legacy infrastructure and software that doesn’t translate well onto the public cloud.
The newest player in cloud competition is multicloud, which allows organizations to adopt multiple public and private clouds to meet specific needs. Hybrid fits in the middle: a combination of public and private solutions that remain under the purview of local IT experts.
The Multicloud Minefield
It’s no surprise that for many companies, multicloud seems like a natural stepping stone from hybrid or pure-play environments; the ubiquity of cloud technologies makes it possible for almost any software, platform or infrastructure function to be converted to an as-a-service model. But multicloud also comes with challenges — first and foremost, the concern that the various aspects of the environment will play well together.
In addition, the impending arrival of complex data protection measures such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) could make it difficult to manage multiple off-premises cloud environments. And while multiple clouds offer the potential benefit of data redundancy, organizations may struggle with increasing complexity due to the lack of a centralized access point. This is especially applicable to cloud security; defending a unified data storage solution is far easier than securing multiple access points.
Hybrid cloud may offer the solution to the increasing complexity of multicloud environments. Major providers are now getting on board with hybrid solutions, allowing organizations to run cloud stacks within their own data centers and on public clouds. And unless companies can control performance and visualize resources across their entire technology stack, multiclouds may mean more problems than potential.
What does this mean for enterprises trying to streamline their cloud portfolio and reduce total complexity? It means that the middle ground — managed hybrid clouds — may offer the best way forward. By partnering with experienced cloud advisers and implementing automation to offset the labor costs of necessary data compilation and reporting, it’s possible for businesses to design hybrid environments that support multicloud deployments but retain centralization and control of data. This, in effect, makes enterprises captains of their own cloud ships instead of simply passengers going along for the ride.