This article contains the top 10 reasons for having Hybrid IT Infrastructure Consulting for employees, customers and clients. First of all, we must agree that Technology trends ebb and flow over time. However, one consistency is that with each December, new trends and recommendations replace the known old ones. Well, 7 years after the first release of this article, there’s a new report. The findings show that everything in this original article remains the same today as it has been when it was first written. With that in mind, there have however been some new changes that promote everything that was reported years back. Now lets look at the Rise of Hybrid Cloud: Ten Reasons Why It Might be a Better for your enterprise.
Software as a Service (SaaS) Element
In the year 2013, Software as a Service (SaaS) was relegated to your Customer relationship management (CRM) or email. A lot has been renewed in the past 7 years. Software as a Service (SaaS) is now a very real option for nearly all of your enterprise workloads. Salesforce for example is now so much more than a sales tracking application. Also, it is extremely extensible, even allowing for complex workloads. Additionally, there’s so much available in FinancialForce.
In the reports of 2013, the private cloud was usually linked with physical infrastructure running in the data center of your choice. The infrastructure could mean a virtualized environment, a physical server or an OpenStack deployment. So, during the interceding years, hyperscale cloud providers have developed services that support capabilities within your data center. take a good example; Microsoft offers Azure Stack to extend Azure services across data centers. Their services also cuts across edge locations and remote offices. In recent times, Microsoft has also recently launched Azure Arc. This is to help users create management consistency across Azure. This service includes on-premise data centers and other clouds.
The Private & Public Cloud
First and foremost, a public cloud is like renting an apartment, while a private cloud is like renting a similarly sized house. Therefore, another enhancement is the ability to run VMware-based virtual workloads natively on AWS or Azure. Even though this might feel like it creates confusion, you can think of this still as a private cloud. It’s just that the underlying infrastructure is running on a hyperscale cloud provider’s infrastructure.
One Last Amendment
Seven years ago, the original article on hybrid cloud computing identified security as a driver for which cloud infrastructure to choose. However, security today can be delivered consistently across all platforms of clouds system. Thats being said, security should be delivered consistently to customers. As of today, we now have the ability to monitor and manage the entire attack surface uniformly. Also, we can do this effectively with a range of security services on the market. This can be from both managed service providers and specialized boutique firms.
What this Hybrid Cloud means to you:
Previously, infrastructure decisions used to be made on a frequency of every 1/3 years. But technology and business are changing so quickly. Now, a company’s entire technology stack can be on a roadmap for reconsideration every quarter. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you change direction every quarter. It simply means you have to stay aware of what has changed in your business, market and in the larger technology market generally. You need to specifically reconsider in which platform each of your applications should be running. Available here are the broad buckets:
- Private cloud (Microsoft, OpenStack, RedHat, VMware, HP, DellEMC)
- Public cloud (OpenStack, Microsoft 365, AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform)
- Software-as-a-Service (ServiceNow, Marketo, Salesforce, Workday, Okta, HubSpot)
My challenge to you: Its either establish a good team that can focus on this as a full-time job, or partner with a company who can bring an outside-in view to your technology stack. Its your choice.
It is worthy to note that the hybrid cloud is the future for many companies. Both small and large scale businesses are turning to mixed infrastructure. This is because it combines the best of all worlds: private cloud, public cloud and dedicated servers working together in combination.
Singularly, the private cloud, public cloud and dedicated servers can stand on their own as valuable architecture. However, what users have discovered is that; when it comes to the cloud, one size does not fit all. Instead, you can gain a synergistic value from combining different infrastructures into a single product portfolio. First, the ability to create a common computing architecture can deliver better reliability. It can also optimize performance and greater cost value. But that’s not all.
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10 reasons why a hybrid cloud might be better for your business and your customers:
1. Greater architectural flexibility
First of all, a complete hybrid cloud portfolio enables you to place workloads where they make the most sense. You can align your architecture to take advantage of performance requirements. That is what only dedicated servers can offer. In the same vain, you can meet financial objectives with contract term billing to meet regulatory or investor expectations. You can do this while also taking advantage of utility billing for unknown or short-term needs. And of course, the cloud enables rapid deployment times that come in handy when requirements change or deadlines get shortene-d.
2. More Technical Control
A Root access can be granted to appropriate personnel. Also custom network segmentation can be defined to logically and physically segment your architecture where required. Unlike cloud-only solutions, a hybrid cloud portfolio helps users to define if and where multi-tenancy is acceptable. Finally, you can also request customized hardware as needed to meet your specific application or performance requirements.
3. Better Security
Over time, the common concern about cloud technology among enterprises is security and multi-tenancy. Seriously, a hybrid portfolio eases these concerns by allowing you to choose dedicated servers and network devices. These can isolate or restrict access. Furthermore, your devices can be configured so your cloud servers and dedicated servers can communicate on a private network. This is turning what were two separate solutions into a single integrate-d architecture. Good providers has been providing this option to customers for many years.
4. Compliance options
Look at it this way; with better security comes the ability to address compliance needs. Many auditors frown upon multi-tenancy. They usually require dedicated solutions for some (and sometimes all) aspects of your hosted infrastructure. With proper network security, a dedicated hardware and hybrid solution blending cloud can satisfy audit needs.
5. Complete Peace of mind
Believe me when I say managing vendor relationships can be traumatising. There are different billing capabilities, pricing methodologies and differences in technological priorities. Also, there are varying levels of support can make it difficult to keep your outsourced solutions running smoothly. Using a single provider that offers both a robust portfolio and customer-centric account team can greatly reduce your stress levels. A very big thanks to the concepts of “a single throat to choke” or “a single person to hug”.
6. Utility billing system
Recall that we have often said that the cloud is for everyone, but not everything. Notice that there are simply some workloads that demand the security and performance that only dedicated hardware can give out. However, you’ll still need the flexibility and speed to market of cloud services when it comes to completing batch computing jobs. You havr to brace yourself for traffic surges (whether expected or not). Additionally, you will prepare for peak business periods, among other reasons. A hybrid cloud lets you rent the spike and own the base configuration. Why? So you can pay only for what you use.
7. Technical predictability
Developers work hard to create stable applications. Development and testing are common uses for cloud servers (think “rent the spike”), but when it comes time for production, you want to know exactly how your platform will perform. In many cases, public cloud will work fine, but some businesses may prefer to stick with dedicated servers for at least some of their mission-critical launches. For example, dedicated servers can be configured to meet performance needs. And then be supplements with multi-tenant cloud servers for overflow traffic.
8. Operating system choice
Most public cloud vendors offer a wide variety of operating system choices. This can be valuable if you need to test products or engage different technical audiences. If you resell hosted services, your customers will have the flexibility to choose their preferred environment, and you will know that you have the ability to rely on dedicated options for customers that need them.
9. Fostering innovation
The ability to spin up and spin down cloud servers is very appealing to developers, especially if they can do so on their own without the process or time restrictions often required by internal IT departments. This building block mentality can promote research and development flexibility by liberating technical creators quick set up/tear down of cloud servers — think proof-of-concept projects, pilots, software trials, etc. Once goals are achieved and tests are complete, cloud or dedicated resources can be deployed to meet production requirements going forward.
10. A technology safe harbour
See that Application sprawl is the concept of business units purchasing IT resources from external vendors for a wide variety of reasons. Take for example, maybe your developers are going to a provider to spin up. They can also tear down servers to meet a short-term project timeline. An organization can create a single sandbox environment on dedicated servers with the performance and security features you need. They can do this while also being able to connect to flexible cloud resources. This could then provide a controlled and finite reusable technology pool. This is where internal departments, external vendors, partners and maybe even customers can deploy and test solutions. Internally such a configuration might even become a profit center.
11. Hybrid Cloud Cost & Pricing
One consideration we’ve deliberately excluded from the list is cost. That’s because there are many variables that determine the value and cost of any given hosting solution, at least from our perspective. Is a cloud solution less expensive than a dedicated solution? Sometimes. But in reality, that answer depends on a number of factors.
In summary, every hosting solution is unique. Conversely, every customer has specific requirements related to technology, support, financial and business objectives. Finally, working with a hybrid cloud provider can give you the luxury of choice with the confidence of consistency.
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Editor’s Note: We’ve updated this post, originally published in 2013, edited 2020, to reflect the realities of cloud in 2021.