Category Archives: Hosting Industry

Chief Information Officer: One Day, I Will Collect Information

As mentioned previously in this blog, cloud portfolio management company RightScale has now completed its third run of the State of the Cloud Report. In the spring, the firm questioned 1068 computing executives throughout a spectrum of industries. Amazingly, a total of 94% of the organizations represented by respondents were using a cloud: 29% public, 7% private, and 58% a combination of both. (Since large companies often behave differently from smaller ones related to technology, it’s noteworthy that only 24% of survey participants were with firms that have a workforce in excess of a thousand people.)

As the cloud grows, the general IT landscape rapidly evolves. One basic fact of the evolution is that the job responsibilities of many professionals are changing, so the skillsets that are most needed are under revision as well.

Family Dollar CIO Josh Jewett notes that enterprises no longer need individuals who excel at putting together hardware. Instead, they need computing professionals who have a knack for monitoring a third-party company that is in charge of the hardware. Jewett said that the process is basically the same but performed by another party: “You go from managing outcomes yourselves to managing outcomes through others.”

Ann Bednarz of CIO interviewed 16 enterprise technology heads about the transition from traditional computing to the cloud, resulting in a series of articles on the same general theme. (For example, one article was related to challenges of the technology, while another discussed simple and straightforward strategies.) One installment of the batch of reports, published October 14, specifically focused on how the expectations and practices of recruitment and knowledge development are adjusting to the emergence of cloud hosting.

Everything is changing. One CIO who spoke with Bednarz said that someday soon, people would start asking information-technology departments to bring them information.

Don’t Virtualize Everything, Sonny

Randy Spratt, who is the chief information and technology officer for the healthcare company McKesson, mentions that everything has been tweaked by the rise of distributed virtualization: not only have the professional skills needed for a strong tech team been altered, but vendor interaction has become more critical now that the deployment is so often performed as a service rather than on-site.

A smooth transition to the cloud is best achieved by an individual who is good at rallying people behind a cause. It requires someone who can explain and convince regarding the nature of systems, rather than simply a strong engineer. “You need to educate businesses about what they have,” he notes. “It’s like an internal sales job.”

Many businesses want to consider what they will virtualize and what they won’t – such as businesses wanting to continue to utilize dedicated hardware that they already own in conjunction with cloud hosting. In those cases – says computing support firm SAIC’s technology chief, Bob Fecteau – the skill needed by staff is an understanding of the systems most suited for virtualization.

Fecteau believes that the technical skills of computing professionals, such as coding or managing a network, will become less essential than information exchange. He envisions a future in which technologists are asked, “‘How can you get me the info we need to make key business decisions?’”

You can’t just give someone another title, shifting someone from data center specialist to cloud specialist: that’s the primary message of top Dow Chemical information executive Paula Tolliver. She notes that integration is a critical approach with the cloud, the ability to fuse together various cloud infrastructural and software components (potentially from more than one provider) and any internal systems.

Dow has recruited new computing professionals with virtualization focuses, as well as trained continuing staff in the technology so that experience and business continuity is maintained.

What’s Your Provider Done for You Lately?

One CIO likes to look for the strongest option available at a competitive price point, after which he works out a combination hosting and consulting package with the provider, so that his organization can test services, get help deploying them, and have access to expertise.

That executive, Brian LeClaire of Humana, says that the insurance company deploys more than one pilot of various platform options at one time. Once all the tests are active, the cloud provider directly trains his team. He also has recruited individuals that are strong at certain cloud elements, aware that specific knowledge is often the only avenue for success: “The tool is no good if you don’t understand the applications the tool is meant to help.”

Hitting the Books

Willingness to adapt to developing technologies is fundamental, according to The Vanguard Group technology head John Marcante. He says that his computing staff is able to adjust rapidly to different expectations, especially since many more tasks are now being assigned to the machines: “Cloud allows for a lot more automation and less sophistication and deep knowledge.”

Adaptation has been fundamental for us at Superb Internet since our founding in 1996. Nothing epitomizes adaptation and flexibility like our Flex Cloud offering. It gives you access to optimal performance On Demand, and you only pay based on use. In fact, you can create your own Flex Cloud VM now for free.

By Kent Roberts

Free Use Image via Wikipedia

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

Note: Part 1 Can be Found HereCloud 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

State of the Cloud 2014: Only 6% of Businesses Cloudless

We see it every day, and it’s more than enough to make a grown man cry. Sadly, one out of every sixteen businesses has no access to the cloud. We must do something about this small pool of companies that can’t quite reach the cloud. Superb Internet is here to help, with a better understanding of where the cloud is headed via the RightScale 2014 State of the Cloud Report.

The report is based on a survey that software-as-a-service company RightScale performed during February 2014. The software firm polled IT personnel throughout all types of industries about their organization’s usage of cloud hosting. Almost 1100 individuals – including executives, supervisors, and engineers – from small, medium, and large businesses completed the survey. (Notably, those who completed the survey were not all clients of RightScale, although 28% were. It can skew results when companies only poll their own clients in a survey, as seemed to be the case with a recent study from Microsoft related to cloud computing.)

Note the terminology used within the “Cloud Maturity Model” established by RightScale for each annual State of the Cloud Report, dividing the business world up into companies with clouds at various stages of development (and for the sake of space today, I won’t go into specific definitions for each because you can probably get the idea; although I will provide descriptions in Part 2, linked at bottom):

  • Cloud Watchers
  • Cloud Beginners
  • Cloud Explorers
  • Cloud Focused.

One of the key findings of the study directly relates to maturity. The research team found that there is a learning curve with the cloud that is eventually accompanied with payoff: cost-benefit gets better over time, and it becomes less difficult to implement cloud strategies and integrate them into the computer system and operations.

Cloud as the Standard Technology

Everyone in the cloud industry wants to discuss where things are headed, but the real stunner from this survey is not future plans of companies. It’s where they are now.

Omnipresence – As noted above, 94% of businesses are using some type of cloud service, with 87% accessing a public cloud. Just as it took many online businesses a while to figure out that mobile was the new standard for web access, it’s taking companies a while to figure out that cloud is the new standard for IT. Of course, desktops devices are still incredibly relevant, as are legacy systems for certain situations (basically if the hardware is owned and the money makes sense), but the cloud is now an accepted go-to choice for business hosting.

Enterprise acceptance – Enterprises with workforces of 1000+ are now more typically at the Cloud Beginner stage or above. Last year 68% were at or above that category, while this year that proportion grew to 84%.

Diversification – As companies grows more familiar with cloud, the different kinds of computer loads and general tasks conducted become more differentiated. For a sense of that end of the spectrum, let’s look specifically at the Cloud Focused group. Here are the types of applications that are most often used within a cloud environment by those “cloud-mature” organizations (with many using more than one of these):

  • Test Environments for Project Development – 85%
  • Web Apps for Customers – 78%
  • Web Apps for Internal Use – 70%
  • Batch Processing (processing huge groups of data at one time, often at the end of the day, such as the updating of user databases or the conduction of numerous transactions simultaneously) – 62%
  • Mobile Applications (54%)
  • Social Applications (18%).

Interestingly, the one type of application that had a significant reduction in deployments between the 2013 report and this one was social. Last year those apps (apps built for use with Facebook, Twitter, etc.) were using cloud scenarios with 23% of the Cloud Focused firms. It’s possible that the companies that took the survey are now focusing more on web applications for their own sites rather than ones for use with the social networks, but that’s unclear.

Security – As is expressed above, the cloud becomes more advantageous for organizations as they become more familiar with the technology. Cloud also proves less problematic as companies become more engaged in the cloud. Security is the problem that is listed most frequently by companies in the Watchers group (31%), while it is far down the list (13%) for companies described as Cloud Focused. Essentially, as the report argues, when companies become more knowledgeable about cloud security best practices, the less likely they are to view data vulnerability as an obstacle.

Also note that the other factor that I believe to be involved here, particularly with security, is that the landscape has changed. It’s not just that these companies have become more familiar with best practices themselves but that the security of all types of cloud services have generally gotten better over time (as understanding, technology, and skill have rapidly advanced). Furthermore, companies can deploy hybrid or private clouds as necessary for compliance and/or to further protect highly sensitive data.

Evidence that Hybrid Cloud is Reaching Liftoff

In the next part of this summary and analysis of the RightScale 2014 State of the Cloud Report (see Part 2, linked below ), we will look at the new focus on hybrid clouds, as well as a further, more strategic peak inside the Cloud Focused organization. We will also look at policy development and the diverse views of IT by company players.

About Superb Internet

Since we are so heavily engrossed with the cloud at Superb Internet, with a performance-guaranteed public cloud and cutting-edge services including hybrid and private clouds (both of which are also resource-guaranteed), this survey is incredibly good news. Chat with an expert today.

Note: For Part 2, Click Here – State of the Cloud 2014, Part 2: Hybrid Cloud Bonanza

By Kent Roberts

Image Credit: WIRED

Network World Exclusive: Introducing the NSA Private Cloud

A Gartner report released in October 2013 contrasted the developmental stages of the private and hybrid clouds. The study, “Private Cloud Matures, Hybrid Cloud is Next,” revealed that from 2010 to 2013, the private cloud grew from a technology under consideration by many enterprises to one that had become widely adopted.

Although the hybrid cloud is now experiencing increased popularity, with the same Gartner report predicting that almost half of large enterprises would have hybrid clouds deployed by 2017, the private cloud continues to attract new customers. After all, hybrid clouds typically include a private cloud component (along with a public one), so both models are strong options for organizations that require more robust security and compliance capabilities than is available through a 100% public cloud.

Despite growing emergence of the hybrid cloud, the market for clouds that are purely private is growing at an enormous rate as well, according to a 2014 survey by Technology Business Research. The survey polled more than 2000 tech buyers at enterprises around the world, and its findings suggest the private cloud is going to easily outdo the growth of the public cloud for the next few years. While public cloud had expanded approximately 20% year-over-year in late spring (when the findings were analyzed), the private cloud appeared likely to grow at a 50% clip over the next four years. While TBR noted that the private cloud industry was worth $8 billion in 2010, it had expanded 300% to $32 billion by 2013. Although the technology’s growth rate is slowing, the market will continue to amplify rapidly, attaining $69 billion by 2018.

Private Cloud Adoption by the Pentagon

One major reason that the private cloud has experienced such strong growth is high-profile deployments by organizations with incredibly rigid security concerns. A great example of that is the National Security Agency. In 2011, Microsoft content strategist Rik Fairlie was interested in profiling a big-name US federal government project that was utilizing cloud computing. Fairlie describes his research findings as “all but astonishing” and what he viewed as a tipping point for the cloud market: use of the cloud by the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security.

Specifically, what caught Fairlie’s attention was a March 2011 article in Army Times. The piece reported on statements made by Army Gen. Keith Alexander, head of both the National Security Agency and US Cyber Command, as he argued to a House Armed Services subcommittee that cloud computing was secure enough for the Pentagon: “We are convinced the controls and tools that will be built into the cloud will ensure that people cannot see any data beyond what they need for their jobs and will be swiftly identified if they make unauthorized attempts to access data.”

NSA Cloud in Action

In a September 29 report on the NSA’s private cloud infrastructure, Network World noted that the move to the cloud occurred because the agency was undergoing a challenge that many enterprise CIOs have experienced: space was getting short for hundreds of disparate databases that ran the gamut from foreign intelligence details to internal administrative data. What was needed was consolidation, and CIO Lonny Anderson proposed to Gen. Alexander that the organization transition to a cloud system.

Dirk A.D. Smith, reporting for Network World, interviewed Anderson at the main NSA facility in Fort Meade, Maryland. Anderson noted that the systemic change by the NSA is the same migratory pattern seen by other US intelligence agencies. When the Department of Defense had to respond in 2011 to what Anderson describes as “‘huge budget cuts,’” several related agencies – the NSA, CIA, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) – decided that the most reasonable solution was to integrate their systems.

Anderson said that the NSA’s private cloud is “an integrated set of open source and government developed services on commercial hardware that meets the specific operational and security needs of NSA and Intelligence Community (IC) mission partners.” The NSA is essentially using strategies that have been refined in the private sector, including efficiencies optimized by commercial cloud providers and what, in many cases, is identical hardware. Although the hardware is commercial, the bulk of the software is open source, including Apache Hadoop, Apache Accumulo, and OpenStack.

Security in the Age of WikiLeaks

Smith remarked that after the large-scale, embarrassing, and troubling (regardless of political perspective) leaks by WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, the legality of data being stored and managed by the NSA is of grave concern to US citizens. To that concern, Anderson noted that the private cloud  “makes it easier for us to track and enforce compliance with our legal responsibilities to protect privacy and civil liberties – something we have always taken very seriously.”

The NSA cloud integrates various datasets, protecting every individual piece of data with tags to control its usage. This tagging system is core to determining what users are able to see what information: “Our team has developed a way to tag data at the cell level and, accordingly, through PKI certificates, every person.”

Improved Protection with Innovative Software

Anderson noted that the private cloud offers better protection than legacy systems, safeguarding it against theft like the one achieved by US soldier Bradley Manning, who obtained and released classified documents in 2010. Generally, the agency’s migration to a private cloud has helped to minimize the impact of budget cuts and increase the productivity of the NSA’s analysts.

If a private cloud has proven so effective for the National Security Agency, what could it do for your organization? Chat with an expert now.

By Kent Roberts

Image Credit: SlashGear

Will it Blend? Yes, It Will, Say Various Hybrid Cloud Studies

Small-scale demolition expert and YouTube star Tom Dickson has proven to the world that you can blend just about anything – iPads, aftershave, and even skeletons. On Tom’s web series “Will it Blend,” typically sturdy objects are ground down into tiny pieces that look like shavings or even fine powders. Although that’s not the goal of mixing when integrating technological infrastructure, the word is in that cloud computing WILL BLEND, and it will be blended more and more as companies act on their interest in the hybrid cloud.

Studies from 2013 and 2014 by numerous prominent organizations have shown that the hybrid cloud is growing in popularity, as outlined below.

Microsoft: YES, the Cloud Will Blend

Microsoft hired a third-party research firm, 451 Research LLC, to develop a study called The New Era of Hosting Services. Findings were based on perspectives collected from over 1500 businesses of all sizes in 10 nations: the US, Canada, China, India, Japan, Russia, Australia, Germany, the UK, and Brazil.

A report based on the data was released May 29, 2013 by former football star and neighborhood bully Bill Gates’ mom-and-pop computer shop.

The findings of that study are as follows:

  • 52% of companies believed that through 2014 and 2015, the cloud would be a positive force in at least one of two ways, in general business development or adaptation to a novel strategic approach.
  • The study also identified 2014 and 2015 as emergence years for the hybrid cloud, with 49% hybrid cloud deployment in 2013 (a figure that seems to be revealing a lack of understanding of the term more than actual deployments) versus 68% hybrid cloud plans to be completed by 2015 (the latter figure including systems already adopted).
  • Transitioning from a legacy model to software-as-a-service (SaaS) did not mean that businesses were getting rid of their old applications. Instead, two out of three were using software through the cloud that was previously installed in-house.

Gartner: WOW, Look at the Cloud Blend

Gartner conducted a special report related to the hybrid cloud, which they released on October 1, 2013, entitled “Private Cloud Matures, Hybrid Cloud is Next.” The findings of that study concur with those of Microsoft (which provides credibility to the hybrid assessment and outlook, since Microsoft’s statistics are so high that they are a little difficult to believe). The cloud is going to blend, so go ahead and put on your safety goggles. General stats and analysis from Gartner are as follows:

  • Almost 50% of large enterprises will have adopted hybrid clouds by 2017.
  • A major reason hybrid clouds are now on the rise is that the private cloud became a proven, trusted, and commonplace model between 2010 and 2013. Gartner compared the situation of the hybrid cloud in 2013 to that of the private cloud in 2010: although there were not substantial deployments yet, many organizations intended to adopt the infrastructural approach soon.
  • Cost reduction does help to make a strong case for the private cloud (as a component of the hybrid system), but that’s not enough to convince most organizations. Although expenses (both capital and operational) can be minimized, additional functionalities such as metrics, self-service software, and automation features bump the cost back up, so ” the driving factor for going that next step should primarily be agility.”
  • Hybrid cloud will succeed now that organizations have a greater comfort level with private clouds but are deciding they make sense “only for the right services.”
  • Choice of technology is critical. A pilot project may be small in scope at the beginning, but the infrastructure should be ready for growth, both feature-rich and prepared for hybrid cloud integration. Gartner also suggested that you may want to consider fast ROI with your infrastructure so that you have your money back in a couple years, since technology is developing so rapidly.

Tech Pro Research: There’s NOTHING Like a Cloud Blend

Finally, Tech Pro Research backed up the findings of the above two studies in its report, called, “Hybrid Cloud: Benefits, Roadblocks, Favored Vendors.” The report was released on June 30, 2014. It compiled responses to a worldwide survey of 138 tech professionals conducted in May. Findings included:

  • 93% of IT professionals surveyed were familiar with the notion of a hybrid cloud. Familiarity was higher at the enterprise level: 87% of those at companies with 50 or fewer employees recognized the concept, while 95% did at organizations with workforces of 1000+ people.
  • Among those familiar with what a hybrid cloud is, 33% said they already had one deployed. An additional 37% said their organization was currently reviewing hybrid cloud for potential deployment in the near future.

Will the Cloud Blend? Three Thumbs Up.

As you can see, tech industry analysis is overwhelming that the hybrid cloud is quickly growing in popularity. However, large enterprises appear to be the primary early adopters of the technology, according to MarketsandMarkets.

What’s right for your business? Chat now with a Superb expert: we guarantee performance and resources on all our services.

By Kent Roberts

Image Credit: Will It Blend?

Hybrid Cloud Secrets! Six Benefits & Six Questions to Optimize

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Keeps costs low systematically through a cost-efficient model – Cost-efficiency is enhanced through automated competition, especially the case with capital expenditure.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Makes new features more immediately accessible – A hybrid infrastructure is built in a way that improves speed and customization when new features are created.
  6. 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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. How do the long-term expenses of private and public cloud offerings compare?
  4. Does it make sense for you to keep maintaining a computing infrastructure, or would it be best to offload that responsibility?
  5. Is your CFO preferential toward capital expenditure (server purchases) or operational costs (public cloud and possibly third-party private cloud)?
  6. 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)