State of the Cloud 2014, Part 2: Hybrid Cloud Bonanza

Note: Part 1 Can be Found Here – Cloud Adoption Reaches 94%

Continuing with our exploration of the RightScale 2014 State of the Cloud Report, we will now look at the growing interest in hybrid clouds, further describe the systems of a Cloud Focused organization, and assess challenges such as policy development and misalignment of perspectives within companies. Before we get into additional discussion of the results of the survey, we will first provide further description of the Cloud Maturity Model, as indicated in Part One.

Cloud Maturity Model – 4 Stages

RightScale break businesses up in terms of different stages of integration with the cloud: Cloud Watchers, Cloud Beginners, Cloud Explorers, and Cloud Focused. These distinctions are somewhat important because the researchers found that the more cloud-mature an organization is, the more likely it is to experience increasing value with cloud solutions along with diminishing challenges related to new cloud deployments. Here’s what each one entails:

  • Watchers – Businesses that are interested in the cloud and considering various approaches but do not yet have any active cloud systems.
  • Beginners – Organizations that have taken their first steps into cloud technology and are either testing solutions or working in their first cloud environments.
  • Explorers – Companies that have more than one cloud application established, configured, and in use.
  • Focused – Firms that have extensive elements of their computing architecture hosted in the cloud.

Hybrid & Other Growing “Cloud Focused” Trends

The 2014 State of the Cloud revealed that enterprises typically are not fully committed to one type of cloud but instead have elements that are public, private, and/or hybrid. Most enterprises seem to be moving toward the hybrid or multi-cloud model (essentially, the first term referring to multiple clouds that are integrated and the latter one referring to ones that are not). Beyond the cloud itself, systems in place at Cloud Focused organizations are of particular interest since those companies were often early adopters of today’s most recognized hosting technology (cloud), so their other IT choices – of which we will discuss two – could suggest developing trends.

Multi-cloud vs. hybrid – three out of every four (74%) companies surveyed described their path forward as multi-cloud, while one out of two (48%) said they were moving toward a hybrid solution. Specifically, 15% of firms said that their multi-cloud setup would include more than one public cloud machine or tool, while 11% were strategizing two or more private cloud environments.

Hybridization under way – As described above, three out of four companies are going the direction of multi-cloud. Over 50% of multi-cloud companies have cloud apps that are both public and private. In other words, the two components of a typical hybrid cloud scenario are present at the vast majority of organizations, even if they are not integrated into one hybrid system.

Ingredients of next-generation computing – Cloud Focused organizations have fully committed to the cloud, at least in terms of their current technological makeup. Two other ingredients that are typically involved in a company with heavy cloud computing are DevOps (71%) and self-service IT (68%). The former (DevOps), sometimes a basis for collaborative software, is a system or set of parameters based on the philosophy that development should be conducted as a partnership between software creators and operations IT staff. The latter, in the case of cloud deployment, gives personnel in certain teams access to immediately deploy cloud servers; broadly, it refers to a more questionable idea, directing users to solve their own computing problems.

Beyond the specific tools being used to enhance a cloud-heavy computing environment, Cloud Focused companies are ahead on speed. More than 7 out of 10 firms in this category can provide a user with the ability to access and work within a cloud system in less than 60 minutes.

Tricky Aspects of Cloud Adoption

Many businesses are deploying cloud environments, but plans are often not well organized, and leadership is frequently ill-defined. Two out of every three businesses has yet to release a policy of stipulations for what types of clouds can be deployed and accessed; business continuity and disaster recovery strategies; and budgeting.

Businessworthiness – More than 50% of companies have calculated and delineated the real-dollar payoff they expect to achieve from cloud projects and plans to maintain security.

Policy creation – Although many (yet far from all) organizations have looked at the value of the cloud, the vast majority do not have very well-established policies:

  • Only 36% have enacted policies that described the selection process for public or private models.
  • Only 32% have ones that provide parameters for improving resource availability or disaster recovery.
  • Only 29% have policies that provide administrative rules to control cloud expenditure.

Conflicting perspectives – The cloud is lacking in definition of leadership, which is perhaps one reason that the cloud is viewed in different ways by different IT personnel. Central IT views the cloud in terms of choosing between various options, creating policies, engineering private environments, and provisioning applications. On the other hand, tech staff assigned to non-central locations or specific non-computing departments saw IT involvement in cloud development “as much narrower” (per RightScale).

Superb Integration with Next-Generation IT

The 2014 State of the Cloud revealed that hybrid clouds, along with multi-cloud environments, are becoming the dominant computing structure for companies. In fact, along with DevOps and self-service IT, it has been embraced by many companies as a fundamental component of next-generation computing. We agree at Superb, which is why we offer performance-guaranteed, resource-guaranteed public, private, and hybrid clouds. Chat with us now.

By Kent Roberts

Image Credit: WIRED