The overarching story for the cloud during 2014 is that the hybrid cloud is on the rise. Some of the evidence includes:
- General interest in a model that combines the benefits of public and private clouds was already piqued in October 2013, when Gartner predicted that half of enterprises would have a hybrid cloud deployed by 2017.
- A study was released by MarketsandMarkets in March 2014 that projected the hybrid cloud market will grow to $80 million by 2018, which represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30.2% between 2013 and 2018.
- Tech Pro Research conducted a survey of IT professionals throughout the business world. They found that a large proportion of companies of all sizes were either considering a hybrid cloud or already had one in place: 67% of businesses with 50 or fewer employees, 59% of businesses with 50-249 employees, 65% of businesses with 250-999 employees, and 59% of businesses with 1000+ employees (overall, a remarkably even distribution).
We get it. The hybrid cloud is getting big. What we really need now from IT news sources and research firms isn’t more convincing that organizations are gradually becoming convinced to transition to a hybrid cloud. We see the future, and it is hybrid. What we can really use now is a better sense of its advantages and thoughtful questions, so we can develop actionable strategies to optimize our hybrid cloud.
Gartner: Six Benefits of the Hybrid Cloud
When we wish upon a star, it makes no difference who we are: Gartner and ZDNet will hear us and send us some ideas on hybrid cloud benefits and how to get the most out of hybridization.
Gartner notes that the past three years have seen the private cloud transition from an idea into deployment for almost half of enterprises. As indicated above, hybrid is now in a similar position – “where private cloud was three years ago” in Gartner’s assessment – with surveys and forecasts showing strong interest but with actual adoption rates lagging behind IT agreement that hybrid is the way to go.
It’s worth noting the definition that Gartner is using. The firm defines hybrid cloud as a system that involves both public and private cloud components (both of them provided by third parties) OR integrates an in-house private cloud with an external public or private cloud. Gartner also notes that the hybrid interconnection allows synchronization, replication, and migration of data and services between the private and public clouds it includes.
Here are six hybrid cloud benefits listed by Gartner managing vice president Milind Govekar:
- Retains asset utilization while reaching outside for public cloud – By using a hybrid cloud, an organization can continue to utilize its own assets for the private component (if continuing to maintain it own servers) while using external facilities for the public component to allow scalability through on-demand resources.
- Keeps costs low systematically through a cost-efficient model – Cost-efficiency is enhanced through automated competition, especially the case with capital expenditure.
- Isolates data as needed through the private piece – By mixing two cloud models, an enterprise doesn’t have to choose between isolation, expense, and the potential for rapid growth. Instead, these elements exist in tandem.
- Allows for business continuity and high-availability – The use of two different computing systems better prepares a business for disaster recovery (DR) and provides an additional layer of reliability.
- Makes new features more immediately accessible – A hybrid infrastructure is built in a way that improves speed and customization when new features are created.
- Minimizes barriers to entry – With a hybrid cloud, exit strategies are built into the system, which is characterized by diversity and easy implementation.
ZDNet: Six Questions for Hybrid Cloud Optimization
Understanding the basic benefits of a hybrid cloud through Gartner’s analysis allows us to form a more well-reasoned strategy. Larry Dignan of ZDNet offers the following six questions to refine our hybrid cloud approach:
- For many enterprises, a hybrid cloud now means that the vast majority of the system is on-premise, while a negligible amount (perhaps 10%) is represented by the public cloud. How will that balance shift over the next five years?
- If it seems that by that time your system will be split down the middle between public cloud and your own datacenter, does it make any sense to keep investing in hardware?
- How do the long-term expenses of private and public cloud offerings compare?
- Does it make sense for you to keep maintaining a computing infrastructure, or would it be best to offload that responsibility?
- Is your CFO preferential toward capital expenditure (server purchases) or operational costs (public cloud and possibly third-party private cloud)?
- How do you set up your hybrid cloud so that you avoid vendor lock-in and can experience the highest degree of flexibility?
It’s obvious that the hybrid cloud is growing, and most businesses have either deployed one or are considering deployment in the near future. It’s not a question of whether or not, then, but how. Beyond the strengths offered by the model and the right questions to ask to allow for an ideal design, you want a cloud hosting provider that delivers Superbly. We offer guaranteed resources and performance. Chat with an expert today.
By Kent Roberts
Image Credit: Disney’s “Robin Hood” (via Sacastickled)