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5 Essential Benefits of a Hybrid Cloud Strategy

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September 29, 2014
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Time for a gross oversimplification of the benefits of hybrid cloud services. Imagine simply pushing a button and automatically aligning your customer’s computing requirements with the most cost-effective, best-performing and highly secure services available regardless of where they are … internal, external, IaaS, SaaS, public, private, community, whatever. Then you could take it one step further and have the solution continually reconstitutes itself to provide your customers with the best solution imaginable. That’s a hybrid cloud strategy.

While the magic hybrid-cloud-strategy button may not be a reality, there are a number of tangible benefits to be realized from hybrid cloud computing, even as it continues to find its footing in strategies and preparation for future IT provisioning, management and optimization.

First, the requisite definition of what we mean by hybrid cloud services, for which we’ll turn to Gartner: A cloud computing service that is composed of some combination of private, public, and community cloud services, from different service providers, for capacity or capability.(1)

If that definition were the title of a book, that book would be a very long read. Still, that is not dissuading a large portion of the IT world from setting itself up for what many believe is the inevitability of hybrid cloud computing. (More later on what Gartner’s recommendations are for getting ready for what’s ahead.)

What’s the promise and why the interest? Here are five reasons to drive your customers toward a hybrid strategy:

Return on Assets

It is practically impossible to not overprovision internal IT operations or a private cloud as insurance against the unforeseen and/or in anticipation of future requirements. As a result, your customers leave money on the table. By setting policies around circumstances or requirements, a hybrid cloud infrastructure of the future will automatically go out and provision the best deal on capacity or functionality to augment or even substitute for a customer’s existing resources. It can also de-provision those resources and reconstitute the pre-existing infrastructure, again according to your customer’s rules. This will maximize asset utilization, while enabling better scalability.

Bidding War

Mortgage hunters, car buyers and travelers may be familiar with websites that aggregate bids from multiple vendors who want your business. Best deal wins. Your customer’s hybrid cloud strategy will look to do the same by managing service levels and functionality through competition. They set the criteria, and you, as a reseller, will offer services that satisfy the criteria as long as they are required, and according to the vendors’ own flexibility and/or asset availability at that time. It can be a win/win. You strike a deal that provides your customer with added, lower-cost capacity or functionality, and your vendor off-loads their excess capacity or close out the month by achieving their sales goals with incremental business.

Spread the Risk

If disaster recovery (DR) isn’t on your mind – and your customers’ minds — then it ought to be. From the perspective of cost, performance, testing regularly and rapid recovery, internally provisioned and managed DR can’t touch the cloud. That’s even truer in a hybrid cloud. Multiple providers can split the responsibility. Have one assume complete responsibility in the event the other is also compromised. Suggest that your customer switch to the one from which they can operate their business most effectively post-disaster because it has the space to accommodate their staff for an extended period.

Peak Protection

The road to private cloud implementation is often paved with data integrity and security concerns. In the minds’ of some, there is some data that simply cannot be entrusted outside the firewall. As with most things ‘cloud,’ security is improving among service providers who view it as a highly valued point of competitive differentiation and an avenue to growth. Whether justified or not, keeping critical data and business operations out of the public cloud affords an extra sense of security, but can be limiting in terms of scalability and cost-effectiveness. A hybrid cloud strategy will better enable customers to strike the optimum balance between data isolation, cost and scale. For example, Peak 10 excels at regulatory compliance, and could be coupled with another provider who offers inexpensive commodity computing for non-essential workloads. A hybrid cloud strategy can seamlessly bridge the boundaries between multiple suppliers.

Hybrid be Nimble, Hybrid be Quick

It’s all about efficiently and successfully running a business, and the flexible and agile nature of a hybrid cloud strategy may be its most shining attribute. If there isn’t already, there may be a service available through the cloud for most every business purpose or task that’s better and/or less expensive that going it alone. The problem is, they’re scattered hither and yon. A hybrid cloud strategy will make it easier to bring on new functionality, new resources, new business-capture opportunities faster, efficiently and reliably with just the right SLA to match.

So now what do you do? Businesses that accept that a hybrid cloud strategy is the way of the future, are among 60 percent of IT leadership. Gartner advises that businesses headed in this direction start now to prepare themselves and their companies for the future of computing. These are the firm’s recommendations for your customers.

  • Design private cloud services with a hybrid future in mind. Make sure future integration and interoperability is possible.
  • Make the strategic architectural decision: design simple cloud platforms integrated by a broker, or a complex cloud platform that also handles brokering. Which will be your core competency?
  • Commit today to a hybrid IT strategy, reorganize and reposition your IT organization as the IT services broker for the enterprise.(2)

(1)(2) Gartner Inc., “Hybrid Clouds and Hybrid IT: The Next Frontier,” Tom Bittman, VP Distinguished Analyst, October 3, 2013

Quote 1

Gartner Quote: First, the requisite definition of what we mean by Hybrid Cloud Services, for which we’ll turn to Gartner: A cloud computing service that is composed of some combination of private, public, and community cloud services, from different service providers, for capacity or capability.(1)       

Gartner quote location: Slide #5, “Hybrid Clouds and Hybrid IT: The Next Frontier,” Tom Bittman, VP Distinguished Analyst, October 3, 2013

Peak 10 Usage: Blog, Five Essential Benefits of Hybrid Cloud Resources.
Peak 10 location: Page 1, last paragraph

Quote 2

  • Gartner Quote: Design private cloud services with a hybrid future in mind. Make sure future integration and interoperability is possible.
  • Make the strategic architectural decision: design simple cloud platforms integrated by a broker, or a complex cloud platform that also handles brokering. Which will be your core competency?
  • Commit today to a hybrid IT strategy, reorganize and reposition the IT organization as the IT services broker for the enterprise.(2)

Gartner quote location: Slide 22, “Hybrid Clouds and Hybrid IT: The Next Frontier,” Tom Bittman, VP Distinguished Analyst, October 3, 2013

Peak 10 Usage: Blog, Five Essential Benefits of Hybrid Cloud Resources.
Peak 10 location: Page 2, paragraph 3

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About Peak 10

"Our values are the foundation for everything we do at Peak 10, and are ultimately what enable us to earn our customers' business and their trust."
David H. Jones,
Board Member, Peak 10 + ViaWest