The rise of the hybrid. What's next?
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The analysts are all singing its praises. With the levels of elasticity it can provide, hybrid cloud computing is looking to be an increasingly popular choice, whatever the business model.
If you work in IT today, you just can’t get away from hybrid cloud computing. Market analysts are literally falling over themselves to wax lyrical about its inexorable rise. Not only has Gartner predicted that hybrid clouds will form half of all deployments in two years’ time, but research firm MarketsandMarkets has estimated the industry will be worth a staggering $85 billion by 2019. Then there’s Technology Business Research, which predicted a 50 per cent growth rate for hybrid cloud in 2015.
So what’s the big deal? And is it something your business could benefit from?
As the name suggests, hybrid cloud computing involves a mixture of public and private deployments, with certain resources managed in-house and others by a third party provider. This allows firms to enhance security and regulatory compliance on the one hand, and the cost savings and flexibility on the other.
Here are just some of the benefits already being realised by enterprises across Europe:
Improved network capabilities: Connect branch offices to the third party provider, taking the strain off your network and – in so doing – improving latency.
Resilience: Using multiple cloud providers will boost disaster recovery efforts.
Security: Highly sensitive data can be kept on-premise, in the private cloud, to satisfy compliance and security requirements.
Cloud bursting: When the business needs sudden spikes in computing power, it can take advantage of elastic public cloud services. This can be a godsend for development/testing, where workloads are highly elastic. It also works for planned peaks such as during product launches, or holidays. It’s all about maximising your resources in the most cost effective and scalable manner possible.
Cost benefits: The idea is that you’re using IT more efficiently, and shifting from a capex to an opex driven model. The public cloud element also provides ample latitude to pick and choose providers according to which are the most competitively priced.
Hardware integration: The private cloud part of the hybrid setup integrates better with on-premise hardware like printers and fax machines, which are still commonly used in many organisations.
So how do you know if hybrid’s the model for you? Well, you’ll need a private cloud setup, for starters. That is a basic requirement. Other questions to ask are whether your current data centre is nearing full capacity; whether your requirements for compute power are particularly elastic; and if legacy systems mean key apps can’t be migrated to the public cloud.
If the answer to some or all of these is in the affirmative, it could well be time to start thinking about a hybrid cloud setup.