The Future Of Cloud Is Hybrid

by Sohini Bagchi    Sep 18, 2015


Hybrid clouds are rapidly evolving as the platforms for managing the extended computing environments in the enterprises.  In an exclusive interaction with CXOtoday, Prakash Ramamurthy, Senior Vice President, Product Development, Systems & Cloud Management, Oracle throws light on the various aspects of cloud computing, with a special focus on Hybrid cloud, and what  CIOs need to keep in mind when building their hybrid cloud infrastructure.

What is your view on Cloud computing in India?

Cloud computing has gone beyond boardroom discussions and is now seeing wide-scale adoption across sectors throughout the world, including in India. As cloud solutions mature and seep into large and small enterprises, we are starting to see that companies are no longer content with relying on the cloud for non-mission critical functional requirements. Enterprises are betting big on the cloud, not only for internal systems but also for customer and partner enablement across business functions including financials, supply chain, HR and manufacturing. While Software as a Service (or SaaS) solutions have occupied the larger chunk of the cloud computing market to date, followed by Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), we are now seeing wide scale adoption of Platform as a Service (PaaS). In fact, PaaS adoption could overtake SaaS growth in the coming years since in most enterprises there is far more bespoke or custom-built software than commercial off-the-shelf software.

Are enterprises still trying to figure out the best approach – Public Cloud, Private Cloud or Hybrid Cloud?

According to a study, conducted by IDG Connect on behalf of Oracle, private cloud adoption is rapidly reaching maturity, with almost two thirds (60%) of enterprises having reached intermediate or mature levels of adoption. Public cloud adoption has been also high, but largely in a silo-based model, and traditional barriers to public cloud adoption, such as concerns over security, are being joined by newer worries such as IT standardization across private and public silos and the ability to integrate public clouds with existing on-premises applications. These more “grown up” concerns reflect the lessons learned from 40-plus years of enterprise IT and help to explain why a large number of enterprises are choosing the Hybrid model. As per research firm Gartner, 2016 will be a defining year for cloud as private cloud begins to give way to hybrid cloud, and nearly half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017.

What is the value proposition of Hybrid cloud and how does it address the traditional challenges of public and private cloud?

Hybrid cloud is a complete approach to the consumption of IT across on-premises and cloud, applying the best practices from traditional on-premises IT such as governance, management and standardization – regardless of where the underlying assets are located. It is about matching the right solution to the right job. Public cloud, private cloud and dedicated servers are combined and work together seamlessly as one platform — extracting maximum benefit and improved performance from each component and thereby allowing businesses to focus on driving business forward.

Since Hybrid cloud mixes dedicated and cloud resources, security and compliance concerns must be addressed to the fullest – which places a substantial requirement on the technology provider that only a few of us have the wherewithal to fulfil. But since we have made the investment to offer a hybrid cloud that functions as a single unit, businesses who leverage it get access to vast public cloud resources, the ability to test new capabilities and technologies swiftly, the chance to get to market faster without huge upfront investment – all without compromising the risk-reduction and high-performance best practices they leverage on-premises today.  So we’ve taken the best of the benefits of private and public cloud environments and eliminated the tradeoffs.   

Does hybrid cloud offer the same power and functionality of public cloud without compromising on security?

Yes, but with an important qualifier.  A hybrid cloud – built the way we at Oracle have built it – offers the same power and functionality of public cloud without compromising on security. Because we use the exact same industry-standard software and hardware on both sides of the equation and a secure, enterprise-grade communication and management regime between them, we can allow customers to consume and operate their entire hybrid environment as a single unit.  That way, they can decide where to place any give application or service based on the business need rather than on technical restrictions, and can apply the same rigorous security practices they apply to their existing IT estate.  However, that’s only possible because of the specific way we’ve built our hybrid cloud offering. 

Customers should be aware there are other “hybrid” offerings out in the marketplace that at the technical level offer only inconsistent silos, with different technology stacks and “lightweight” security on one side or the other (or between them).  Those cobbled together offerings often do compromise on security and other operational aspects.

What is Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c?

Enterprise Manager 12c (EM 12c) is Oracle’s integrated enterprise IT operations management product line, and is the centrepiece of our hybrid cloud offering. Enterprise Manager creates business value out of IT by leveraging the built-in management capabilities of the Oracle stack for traditional and hybrid cloud environments, enabling customers to achieve unprecedented efficiency gains while dramatically increasing service levels.

What do CIOs need to keep in mind while building their hybrid cloud infrastructure?

The capabilities of hybrid cloud create new strategic options for businesses. CIOs need to understand the benefits those options can provide, the proper ways to consume those benefits and the architectural considerations to mitigate risk in those options.  They need to realize that if they view cloud computing as a silo, or as a dev/test environment only, their organizations will not reap the full value of cloud computing.  But as they consider moving into mission-critical services they also need to face the hard reality that regardless of the hype, there are very few vendors in the market who truly have the capability to simultaneously offer both exciting agility gains and enterprise-class security and performance. 

What is Oracle’s hybrid cloud strategy?

Oracle’s hybrid cloud strategy combines a proven technology stack across on-premises and Oracle Cloud with a unified management experience for all services, allowing customers to migrate, monitor and manage their entire Oracle estate from a single pane of glass.

What opportunities do you see for your solution in India?

Indian enterprises have the same hybrid cloud requirements as their peers throughout the world.  They demand substantial agility gains with freedom of movement within the hybrid cloud, coupled with top-notch security and performance.   Easy to say, very hard to actually do – but Oracle has done it.  As such, we are witnessing very good traction for our Hybrid Cloud solutions in India, and expect that hybrid cloud will emerge as the preferred model for most enterprises.