2017 is the year when businesses will feel the heady impact of ‘cloud’ effect – 74% of CTOs believe cloud applications and solutions will have the maximum impact this year. The adoption of hybrid cloud, which offers the best of public and private clouds and enables seamless data and application portability, grew 3X in 2016 alone – with 57% of organizations opting for it. Hybrid cloud’s most compelling benefit comes from its ability to offer on demand scalability and agility, while still enabling enterprises to control their architecture.
Let’s explore three top use cases for hybrid cloud adoption:
#1 Distributed computing environment:
Hybrid cloud is ideal for a distributed environment where users are located in geographically disparate regions and have differing capacity demands vis-a-vis their digital operations. Think large manufacturing organizations, retail and supply chain companies, government agencies, etc. In such scenarios maintaining security while simultaneously centralizing data storage to enable ‘one version of truth’ for all users is a herculean task. Hybrid cloud solutions are your best bet in this scenario as they offer not just greater security but also cater to differing capacity requirements, while storing data for easy accessibility and replication. What’s more – all this comes at reduced capital expenditure as hybrid cloud solutions often easily integrate with enterprises’ existing IT infrastructure, eliminating the need for heavy upfront investments.
In a recent study by IBM, 85% of businesses revealed they are using hybrid cloud to accelerate digital transformation and drive next-generation initiatives such as IoT and cognitive computing.
#2 Applications requiring on-demand scalability and agility:
Scaling a business generally or in response to sudden spikes in demand is not easy. It calls for adding application servers to handle workload bursts, and if these bursts are for a short duration, neither private nor public cloud alone will suffice. This is because while public cloud comes with security issues in handling sensitive data, private cloud providers often require enterprises to sign contracts with them, leading to a lengthy deployment procedure. Going the hybrid cloud way makes perfect sense for enterprises looking for quick scalability and agility, without sacrificing control and security. The flexibility and reliability offered by a hybrid cloud infrastructure helps businesses scale specific workloads as and when required. What’s more – companies can also leverage insights gained from hybrid cloud workloads to provide faster and better experience to digitally savvy customers.
Marriott hotel does a great job of this – the international chain uses VMware hybrid cloud to uncover customer insights, paving the way for delivering a better travel experience to its guests.
#3 Uninterrupted availability and disaster recovery:
With cloud, the fear of disruptive influence of conducting failover tests across physical environments becomes obsolete. It is not only easy to setup and maintain a test environment in the cloud but also cost-effective as the ‘cold’ environments simulated for disaster recovery scenarios only require the cost of data storage and replication. This helps organizations develop and test a robust DR strategy, in turn, alleviating the risk of reputational, revenue, and legal damages in the aftermath of a disastrous event. A hybrid cloud setup allows an enterprise to keep its production environment in a private cloud, while the recovery environment resides in a public cloud, in an inactive state. In case disaster strikes, the backup data in the public cloud can be pulled to maintain business continuity.
Hybrid cloud will continue to be popular even in the era of the multi-cloud
A recent report by Microsoft revealed that nearly a third of organizations already leverage the services of four or more cloud vendors. Is this just a case of wanting more options or are enterprises getting increasingly wary of keeping all their eggs in one basket?
Compliance concerns, particularly across Europe, where currently there are no rules governing cloud services, in addition to vulnerability issues with a single loud provider, are pushing enterprises towards a multi-cloud future. MarketsandMarkets predicts the multi-cloud management market to grow to USD 3,431.2 million by 2021.
In a multi-cloud environment, enterprises have the choice of using public, private or hybrid cloud options. But it appears that hybrid cloud will continue to rule the roost even in a multi-cloud environment with nine out of 10 enterprises planning to use a hybrid cloud environment over the next three years.