Hybrid Cloud Washing – What’s Real, What’s Not?
Five years ago, the prevailing wisdom was that the value of cloud was solely cost-saving. Now, enterprises need to look at the whole picture—not all IT belongs in the cloud. There is no one-size-fits-all cloud solution—organizations have different requirements for different types of applications and workloads. IT managers must identify and assess business requirements before committing to any one cloud solution.
It has now become clear that for most enterprises, a hybrid cloud strategy—one that mixes a private cloud base with a public cloud option—offers the essential elements of business agility and flexibility. Armed with this knowledge, enterprises can then make rational decisions and map out an appropriate hybrid cloud strategy.
However, before we delve deeper into strategy, let’s ask these questions:
- What is a hybrid cloud?
- Why does it matter?
- What’s real and what’s not?
It’s time for a little hype-busting to help you determine the most suitable enterprise-grade cloud solution for your cloud journey.
First came cloud washing, then “aaS” washing … now there’s hybrid washing
When the cloud started to really disrupt the IT world, many companies attached the “cloud” buzzword to their products and services with no real offering to back it up. The practice became known as “cloud washing.” Once cloud washing took hold, a tsunami of software and infrastructure began to be offered “as a Service” (aaS), creating customer confusion.
Today, with a proliferation of public, private and managed cloud solutions and services on the market, enterprise vendors are jumping onto the “hybrid” bandwagon, pasting this latest catchphrase onto every solution. Now “hybrid washing” is compounding confusion about the cloud.
While few offer—or, for that matter, understand—a real hybrid cloud solution, the future of enterprise IT is with some form of hybrid cloud. In fact, according to research conducted for HP,1 75 percent of enterprise IT will utilize a hybrid delivery model by 2016. But to get there, every enterprise first needs a plan.
True hybrid cloud and essentials for hybrid IT success
An organization’s journey to the cloud is not an all-or-nothing transition—it is incremental. After enterprises determine how they need to use IT to reach their business objectives, it’s time to map the steps to successfully implement a cloud strategy. To achieve a hybrid cloud model that meets business needs, business and IT managers must take a holistic approach, focusing on openness and interoperability. It’s all about choices, from deployment models to platforms to services, because not everything fits in the (public) cloud.
Of course, moving to any kind of hybrid cloud strategy is not without complexity. Better business outcomes can be achieved by a well-reasoned distribution of resources and solutions across private, public and managed clouds. While it’s not imperative to use one provider for everything, it is imperative that all pieces of the solution are open, interoperable and allow seamless integration and portability. And don’t forget the importance of cloud security and governance. IT must control the entire environment to optimize resources and ensure compliance with standards.
Take all of these pieces and consider them as composable building blocks that can be stacked in the way that works best for the organization. Think about hybrid cloud as an end-to-end solution spanning infrastructure, applications, SaaS, platforms and services that fit together in a unique configuration to meet business requirements.
So, when you decide how to distribute workloads and resources, find an enterprise cloud solution provider that offers a real hybrid cloud solution—like HP Helion, built on OpenStack® technology. HP Helion is a portfolio of cloud products and services that make it easy for organizations to build, manage and consume in a hybrid IT environment. Because you gain the confidence of knowing that when your priorities change, when your requirements change (and they will), so too can your application and the cloud that it’s running on. In other words, you are never locked in.
(1) “HP Research: Big Data and Cloud,” Coleman Parkes Research, Ltd., May 2013.
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