Public, Private, Hybrid: Navigating the Cloud Landscape

    Cloud computing has become the de facto platform on which enterprises are fueling digital transformations and modernizing IT portfolios. Organizations are increasingly finding business agility or cost savings by renting software through vendors such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Google and IBM. The global public cloud market will hit $178 billion this year, up from $146 billion in 2017, according to Forrester Research. Cloud adoption in enterprises will cross 50 percent for the first time.

    Not only does cloud adoption enable scale and cost savings, but it also introduces significant operational benefits: storage services and data services rather than hard drives; application services rather than virtual machines; software-controlled networks rather than physical cards and cables you have to connect. As cloud offerings have moved from IaaS to SaaS to PaaS – adding monitoring, data analytics and machine learning as well as development frameworks and application services – cloud management has become increasingly complex.

    There are several types of clouds, and businesses are tending to use each type of cloud depending on their service delivery needs:

    Public clouds are hosted by a cloud service provider, who rent space on the cloud to their customers, or ‘tenants.’  Public clouds let you offload management, where you don’t mind giving up control – that’s why they’re a popular choice for hosting everyday apps, like e-mail, customer relationship management, HR, and other business support apps.

    Private clouds are private because they only have one tenant – the cloud can be customized and controlled to your needs. That control is why many companies are migrating their data centers to private clouds, to run core business apps that provide unique, competitive advantages, like research, manufacturing, supply chain management, and more.

    Finally, hybrid cloud environments are a combination of both public and private clouds. You get all the benefits of both, and more – like the ability to create new, innovative apps with uncertain demand. Apps you can deploy on your private cloud, which you can migrate to your private cloud when demand spikes.

    Private and hybrid cloud models in particular play a critical role in the next phase of enterprise cloud computing. These types of deployments will help organizations leverage the cloud’s scalability, agility, and flexibility to drive new results across the entire business. Positive business outcomes from adoption of these cloud models include increased flexibility, risk reduction, improved customer experience, and collaboration/productivity gains.

    Enterprises are growing particularly omnivorous in their consumption of cloud services, opting to mix and match services in hybrid or multicloud environments. Over 85 percent of enterprises will commit to multicloud architectures encompassing a mix of public cloud services, private clouds, community clouds, and hosted clouds, according to IDC. Additionally, more than 50 percent of enterprises will subscribe to more than five different public cloud services. The resulting complexity will make it all the more important to get cloud management right from the start.

    When considering an investment in cloud solutions, a common concern is management complexity. How will companies retain control and security as the number of cloud platforms expands? The ever-increasing number of tools and platforms adds complexity, and approaching multi-vendor cloud adoption can be daunting to IT professionals who are already stretched thin.

    If your organization is looking to modernize existing apps and infrastructure; to consolidate and drive up efficiency in your data center; or to leverage the public cloud for new apps, it’s important to consider the following:

    • Adopt modern efficient platforms: Look for both public and private cloud platforms based on the most efficient, performant, and manageable modern infrastructure components, from compute to storage to networking.

     

    • Optimize your workload strategies for multi cloud environments: if your IT organization has not already started modernizing infrastructure and processes, you will need to in order to keep pace with your competitors. Evaluate your requirements to determine what makes sense to modernize in the cloud and what makes sense to modernize on-premises.

     

    • Take an app-driven, step-wise approach to becoming more cloud-native: run an app portfolio analysis to identify which of your existing apps are best modernized in your own data center because of security, performance or integration requirements. Continuously review and prioritize all legacy apps as your transform your business. At the same time, build new apps as cloud-native.

     

    • Start with a unified and cross-cloud approach to management: Choose public cloud providers that offer modern converged infrastructure and private cloud security platforms, so you can take advantage of your existing IT skillsets and monitoring tools as your hybrid cloud expands.

     

    • Demand consistent security, high availability and the lowest cost amongst platforms: it’s up to you to make sure that the public side of your hybrid cloud is secured to the same levels as your data center, to ensure consistent protection.

     

    • Find the right partners: Don’t go it alone. Reach out to your trusted infrastructure, support, and software ecosystem providers. The right hybrid partners take on some of the multi cloud integration complexity and let you consistently and seamlessly expand your use of the hybrid cloud with confidence.The journey of migrating legacy infrastructure onto modern cloud infrastructure doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a complex process, typically involving multiple application teams, each with different skill sets and development methodologies. Depending on complexity, this process can even take a few years in total. At Advantel, we have the experience, expertise, and resources to guide your organization to a cloud-based architecture, so you can harness the power and advantages the cloud can bring to your business. Ultimately a more agile, scalable, and secure environment balancing governance and flexibility will help you drive positive outcomes for your organization and its business at large. To learn more about how Advantel can help your organization transform with the power of the cloud, contact one of our cloud experts today.