There are many avenues being followed to hybrid clouds. Some companies with physical data centers opted to build out their own private clouds, not an inexpensive endeavor. Others with physical data centers, who tested the waters of public cloud services with application development and testing or simple non-critical workloads, now run production workloads there. Others – typically start-ups to mid-size businesses – bought into cloud computing in a big way. Some eschewed the data center business altogether.
Mid-size businesses picked up on the business case for using public clouds early on, seeing that the financial benefits of storage and application hosting were compelling, especially for fast-growing companies. For those with particularly stringent security and regulatory compliance concerns, secure virtual or hosted private clouds provided an alternative to fortifying their data centers or building on-premise private cloud infrastructure and all the costs and complexity that entailed.
On-premise private clouds share a limiting factor with traditional data centers. Their computing, storage and scalability capabilities are constrained by the hardware, software and storage that comprise them. The advantages of elasticity and unlimited scalability require more time, capital investment and over-provisioning to accommodate growth, unless used in combination with public cloud. Virtual and dedicated hosted private clouds, like those Peak 10 provides, have no such constraints, alone or in combination with other enterprise cloud services or remote data centers.
The leap to hybrid cloud is not all that far. For small- and mid-size businesses, a hybrid cloud is more likely to be a virtual or hosted private cloud, which can also provide ready access to many shared resources and services of a public cloud. This hybrid cloud model gives companies tighter security than the traditional public cloud, while offering more flexibility at lower costs than a pure private cloud. The optimum balance, using the lowest-cost services for any particular workload or security concern, can be dynamically provisioned. Scaling up and scaling down can happen automatically.
The global hybrid cloud market is expected to grow from $21.27 billion in 2013 to $79.54 billion in 2018. This represents CAGR of 30.19 percent from 2013 to 2018, according to a Research and Markets Report. Half of all large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017, according to Gartner Inc.; the slower adoption by large companies is likely due to the enormous investments big companies already have made in their computing, storages and networking infrastructures. It’s easy to see why hybrid is becoming the cloud of choice.
Since no company is structured the same with identical requirements or business models, the ability to tailor a hybrid cloud to the precise requirements of applications, data storage tiers, security levels, compliance adherence and business flexibility makes hybrid cloud the superior future cloud model hands down. For example, in a law firm email is a critical application that could potentially affect litigation outcomes. However, in a small manufacturing company the importance of email pales in comparison to the propriety of its product formulations. Hybrid clouds can provide companies with more choices for personalized solutions while also saving money and providing additional security.
Making sure that the same vendor can offer all the options allows customers to embrace the cloud on their terms without being forced to make choices they don’t want to do – or aren’t ready to make yet.
If you’re a small- or medium-sized business, IT is most likely not a core competency. Make sure that you partner with a local IT infrastructure and cloud services advisor that understands your business and can guide you through the right choices. Your role is to run your business. Your advisor will be able to translate your business needs into the right cloud solutions and most cost-effective options.