Organizations’ best bet in an emerging hybrid business landscape

Hybrid cloud models provide organizations with greater flexibility to manage their unique IT infrastructure, data security and customer needs

Cloud computing stems from a vision in which everyone is interconnected and has the ability to access applications and information from anywhere. The most important enabler of this vision is high-speed internet connectivity, which has allowed businesses to shift to a new operational model that enables consumers and employees to access information at any time and from any location. As a result, businesses are increasingly using the public cloud to perform various functions, such as storage and computing, and are progressively paying for such services.

However, while trust in the public cloud has increased tremendously over the years, the cloud isn’t perfect. Security and reliability concerns continue to be a challenge and show no signs of abating. A data breach could result in the loss of a firm’s brand equity, customer trust, and subsequently, loss of customers. Industries dealing with highly sensitive data, such as healthcare and financial services, are subject to compliance and data privacy laws that deem public cloud unviable. Therefore, the need for a managed “bridge” between on-premise compute and the cloud was born, and the concept of a “hybrid cloud” emerged.

According to Gartner, hybrid cloud is defined as policy-based and coordinated service provisioning, used and managed across a mixture of internal and external cloud services. These services could include IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. Ideally, a well-deployed hybrid cloud model enables organizations to place workloads on the most appropriate infrastructure depending on business priorities and workload and compliance requirements.

Taking a Hybrid Approach

A true hybrid cloud needs to manage workloads, storage, and network resources, limit risks, and ensure productivity gains.

As remote work becomes the norm, businesses are transforming and multi-cloud integration is essential to ensure scalability. This combination of flexibility and robust security infrastructure is the need of the hour. Here are some of the classic hybrid cloud – use cases that are gaining a lot of attention:

  • Workload testing – IT departments use resources in the public cloud to test new applications in their development cycle.
  • Availability – For certain non-critical workloads and applications, data can be replicated across the public cloud with other resources remaining non-operational until needed. This should significantly improve availability in case of any exigencies.
  • Cloud bursting – Temporary, high-capacity demand spikes can be “spilled over” to a different cloud environment to meet situational workload demands.

Hybrid strategy – it’s all about data management

The criticality of on-premise infrastructure remains. Storage demands continue to increase. Critical core applications continue to prioritize in private clouds. Businesses require an IT infrastructure that can manage data from edge locations to core data centers to the public cloud, while also embracing automation and cloud-like operations. Enterprises that wish to achieve competitive differentiation need to manage their data efficiently, regardless of where it resides.

With more infrastructure management consistency across clouds, it would take 35% less time on average to change where an application runs and as applications become more portable, organizations can adjust where workloads run in real-time to capitalize on changing economic profiles among clouds. In fact, increased cloud management consistency drives down overall costs, and the average estimated savings is 19%.

The sky’s the limit

A hybrid cloud deployment should always aim to bring the best of the public cloud to the data center and vice versa. Businesses need to continue modernizing their core infrastructure and drive new innovations through an open ecosystem, which will help them protect, manage and support traditional and modern applications across edge locations, core data centers and hybrid clouds.

The sky’s the limit where the hybrid cloud is concerned. Thus, enterprises should start evaluating their hybrid environment today to pave the way for business enablement as companies strive to fulfill the demands of the emerging hybrid workplace. Leadership must plan ahead to ensure success in a digital-first word, taking into account budget, geographic implications, security, and data accessibility.

The article has been written by Srinivas Rao, Senior Director, System Engineering, Dell Technologies, ndia

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