Last month Gartner announced that more than $1 trillion in IT spending will be directly or indirectly affected by the shift to cloud in the next five years, making cloud computing one of the most disruptive forces of IT spending since the early days of the digital age. With Gartner going so far as to predict that a corporate ‘no-cloud’ policy will be extinct by 2020, there is little doubt that cloud should be on the must-have technologies in the near future.
The growth is fuelled by an increasing awareness of the variety of benefits offered by cloud computing – rapid deployment, freeing capital to invest back into the business, the ability to scale on demand and enabling IT staff to focus on tasks that are less operational and more aligned to business objectives.
Today’s IT landscape offers a myriad of choices when it comes to critical business applications and services. Choice however, can sometimes be a double edged sword. On one hand it creates competition, drives value and encourages innovation, which in turn promotes growth.
On the other, amidst the pervasive marketing claims and constantly evolving feature sets; decision makers are met with a bevy of deployment options, service models, promises and small print that make it difficult to identify the right cloud environment. Add to this privacy requirements, compliance obligations or a few legacy applications, and suddenly, trying to identify the single cloud platform that best meets business needs can seem like an impossible task.
Public Cloud + Private Cloud = Hybrid Cloud
When it comes to cloud computing, there is no one-size-fits-all solution – each organisation has a distinct set of needs and objectives, aligned to their business and IT goals. Whether you choose Public Cloud, Private Cloud or a “best of both worlds” option with Hybrid Cloud; identifying the ideal cloud platform will often come down to the five C’s – control, cost, convenience, compliance and connectivity.
As on-premises solutions are rapidly disappearing, Hybrid Cloud is now cited as a combination of distinct Public Clouds and Private Clouds. The more accessible Public Cloud is typically used for generic applications, development environments and storage; while tailored Private Cloud environments deliver legacy applications, business critical data and regulatory and compliance components.
Leveraging both options with Hybrid Cloud allows you to retain control and security of critical data and applications with Private Cloud, while still taking advantage of the low cost and flexibility offered by Public Cloud.
Top 3 reasons why Hybrid Cloud may be right for you
1. Architectural Flexibility
It is not always viable for organisations to move their entire operations to Public Cloud. Legacy solutions, complex integrations, compliance and regulatory constraints can prove prohibitive for public environments. With a Hybrid Cloud model you can tailor a Private Cloud environment to meet your more complex requirements, and adopt Public Cloud for common applications and resources.
By allowing data and applications to move between Private and Public Clouds as technology and business needs change, Hybrid Cloud provides greater flexibility and more data deployment options than in turn, can create competitive advantage. This was highlighted in a recent Avanade survey that showed 73 per cent of senior executives expect a Hybrid Cloud strategy to deliver a distinct competitive edge in the market.
2. Security and Privacy
Concerns over security and data privacy are often cited by many organisations as the main barriers to cloud adoption. While these concerns have decreased significantly in recent years, some decision makers remain very apprehensive when considering Public Cloud adoption. Private Cloud however, does not invoke the same security and compliance concerns.
Used together, Hybrid Cloud provides the flexibility to store sensitive data and intellectual property within a managed Private Cloud environment, while allowing less sensitive applications and data be stored in a larger Public Cloud.
3. Data Sovereignty
One of the biggest drivers of cloud adoption – its ability to offer simplification and standardization without regard to physical or geographic boundaries – is also the source of its key challenge; ensuring data sovereignty.
As was seen in the USA vs Microsoft court cases, there have been instances of overseas governments and agencies attempting to lay claim to and access data in foreign countries, or when it passes their borders. This results in decision makers questioning whether their data backups are being stored internationally on lower cost environments, whether reporting tools are hosted overseas or if any extraterritorial jurisdiction concerns need to be addressed. Each of these may lead to a potential privacy, regulatory or compliance risk for your organisation.
Organisations can mitigate these risks by using a combination of Public Cloud, typically owned by large overseas entities, and a Private Cloud that is locally owned and operated. The key is to identify a Hybrid Cloud provider who has local datacentres and can deliver data security, sovereignty and privacy functions within Australia where required, and direct integration into Public Cloud for functions that do not require compliance or privacy governance.
blueAPACHE’s emPOWER Cloud platform is an award-winning local Private Cloud environment built on world-class infrastructure that delivers ‘five nines’ availability, multi-layered redundancy and consistent performance.
Residing entirely within Australia, emPOWER Cloud provides on-shore data guarantees that help you meet data sovereignty, privacy and compliance requirements. For Public Cloud, we provide direct MPLS connectivity into Microsoft Azure and AWS Public Cloud platforms, and tailor all Hybrid Cloud solutions to meet our client’s evolving needs.
If you want to learn more about how to leverage Hybrid Cloud technology to your business advantage, contact the blueAPACHE account team.