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Five Essential Benefits of a Hybrid Cloud Strategy

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Time for a gross oversimplification about the benefits of hybrid cloud services. You have one enormous pile and one smaller pile. The big one is all the cloud services available to you. The smaller pile is all the computing requirements you have for your enterprise. Press a button and all your computing needs automatically align with the most cost-effective, best performing and highly secure services regardless of where they are … internal, external, IaaS, SaaS, public, private, community, whatever. That’s your hybrid cloud — or rather, your hybrid cloud strategy, and it continually reconstitutes itself to give you the best solution imaginable.

Maybe in 2025, but that’s not today. There are, however, 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 believe:

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. That’s leaving money on the table. By setting policies according to 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 existing resources. It can also de-provision those resources and reconstitute the pre-existing infrastructure, again according to the rules set by you. 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 own hybrid cloud strategy can accomplish the same in real time, allowing you to manage service levels and functionality through competition. You set the criteria, and a pre-vetted list of capable suppliers bid on the services you require for as long as you require them, according to the vendors’ own flexibility and/or asset availability at that time. It can be a win/win. You strike a deal for added, lower-cost capacity or functionality, and the vendor off-loads their excess capacity or closes out the month by achieving their sales goals with incremental business.

Spread the Risk

If disaster recovery (DR) isn’t on your mind, then it ought to be. And 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. Use multiple providers to split the responsibility. Have one assume complete responsibility in the event the other is also compromised. Switch to the one from which you can operate your business most effectively post-disaster because it has the space to accommodate your 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 you to strike the optimum balance between data isolation, cost and scale. Again, one provider may excel at regulatory compliance, while others offer inexpensive commodity computing for non-essential workloads. A hybrid cloud strategy can seamlessly bridge the boundaries between these and other suppliers.

Hybrid be Nimble, Hybrid be Quick

It’s all about efficiently and successfully running your 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 than 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? If you accept that a hybrid cloud strategy is the way of the future, you are among 60 percent of IT leadership. Whether you do now or come around later, Gartner advises that anyone headed in that direction start now to prepare themselves and their companies for the future of computing. These are the firm’s recommendations.

  • 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 with 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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