Why The Future Of Cloud Is Hybrid?

by Sohini Bagchi    Dec 10, 2014


So much has been written about cloud computing that one might forget that the cloud is still a relatively evolving area. The year 2014 especially saw the increasingly blurred lines between private and public cloud giving rise to hybrid model, which according to many will be the de-facto standard in the coming days, as Gartner predicted half of large enterprises will move to hybrid cloud service by 2017.

In theory, hybrid cloud offers the best of both worlds. While on one hand it offers the control, security and performance of on-premises infrastructure of private cloud, on the other hand, it offers the elasticity, on-demand resources and self-service of a highly scalable ecosystem as in public cloud.

All’s well in the hybrid world

According to predictions made by Hitachi Data Systems for 2015, the market will see enterprises deploying their critical legacy applications into a hybrid cloud infrastructure. Adrian De Luca, HDS Asia-Pacific CTO, says, IT leaders are now at the forefront of taking the initiative to move enterprise and mission-critical applications onto private clouds, and at the same time experiment with public cloud for internal workloads and customer-facing web applications. This is where hybrid comes into play.

“As enterprise IT gets a handle on employee needs-those currently met using rogue consumer cloud apps-they’ll realize hybrid cloud’s attractiveness; it’s the capacity and elasticity of the public cloud combined with the security/privacy of private clouds,” Matthew Dornquast, co-founder and CEO of Code42 mentions in a VMWare blog who states that this year itself 80 percent of its customers selected hybrid cloud implementations over pure public cloud. 

However, as hybrid cloud gains prominence, experts believe that companies need to position themselves in the highly competitive hybrid cloud market – through unique offerings, acquisitions and partnerships. EMC, which is bullish on hybrid cloud promises to deliver its hybrid cloud solution in 28 days. Rajesh Janey EMC, president, India and SAARC mentioned that the IT major is looking to be one of the top three growth players in India in hybrid cloud segment by 2017.

The company is now working with VMware for a EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Federation Software-Defined Data Center Edition. In a CXOtoday interview, Sanjay Mirchandani, Senior VP and GM, Asia Pacific and Japan, VMware said that earlier the companies were built to last, but now they are built to change, “The old model of IT is not good enough in the software defined era, where traditional businesses are being challenged and a new approach to align IT with the business is needed to compete.” 

Among other companies trying to create a niche in the hybrid cloud space, IT services provider Avanade, a Microsoft-Accenture joint venture, plans to offer a new package, called the Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft Azure.

Many other companies - big and small - are bringing new innovations around hybrid cloud. Avanade also revealed about 75 percent of all businesses have expressed the desire to move to a hybrid cloud architecture, with businesses of all sizes in all geographies view hybrid cloud adoption as a priority.

Where’s the confusion then?

While everything about hybrid cloud seems rosy, experts believe the problem lies with the very term itself. CIOs are confused what is required to prepare an organization for hybrid cloud implementation and its ROI.

Most hybrid cloud deployments today tend to be fragmented, with different technologies being used for different workloads, says Kishalay Bhattacharya, Business Head at Ricoh at a recent IT event in Kolkata, who believes hybrid cloud solutions should unify all the resources within the same management framework for better manageability.

Despite concerns about manageability, security and privacy, there is a clear tipping point for adoption on the horizon. Studies show that enterprises expect hybrid cloud solutions to give them an edge over competitors. Moreover, as IT spending decisions continue to move outside of the traditional IT department, C-level executives are the most optimistic about the value of hybrid cloud solutions, and the most motivated to adopt them

They believe that organizations should start working with vendors to develop a strategy so as to use hybrid cloud as an integrated part of their IT infrastructure.