The IT industry is experiencing profound change as it reinvents itself to meet the needs of enterprises embarking on digital transformation. Just when you thought you had the cloud figured out, now everyone’s talking about multi-cloud and hybrid cloud computing.
“For the majority of organizations, the IT deployment balance tips toward off-premises during the next two years,” reports 451 Research’s Cloud team[i]. Specifically, the firm’s survey results show:
59% of organizations report that the majority of their IT resides on-premises now.
In two years, that will flip, with 60% of organizations expecting to have the majority of IT off-premises.
Learn more: [webinar] Enterprise IT Shifts Off-Premises: Cloud, Data, and Digital Transformation presented by Melanie Posey of 451 Research (on-demand)
Most organizations are taking a multi-cloud approach
Aligning with this trend is an enterprise shift toward “cloud first” IT strategies. While only a third, 33%, of organizations in a 451 Research survey reported employing a cloud-first strategy in 2016, nearly half, 49%, said they were on board with a cloud-first strategy in 2017.
What’s more, organizations are picking and choosing their cloud services and cloud providers based on the needs of each application and workload, making multi-cloud and hybrid cloud computing the new normal. Often, one cloud isn’t the best for all workloads, because different types of clouds and cloud providers offer different advantages:
- Only 32% of organizations reported they would focus on a single cloud over the next two years.
- The other 68% anticipated a multi-cloud computing strategy.
Organizations taking a multi-cloud approach to IT do so at different levels:
- 40% of multi-cloud implementations will have no or minimal interoperability
- 35% expect to migrate workloads or data between multiple clouds
- 25% will have multi-cloud environments where the delivery of a single business function across the different clouds is seamless – that is, hybrid cloud computing deployments
4 common use cases for hybrid cloud computing
Like hybrid IT, where an organization uses a combination of on-premises and off-premises resources, a hybrid cloud deployment may use a mix of on-premises, private cloud, and public cloud computing services to deliver a common solution.
Choosing a hybrid cloud strategy is a design choice based on the needs of the specific application and the resources available, such as for:
- Disaster recovery: To minimize impact to the business during a failover event, organizations are utilizing hybrid designs with their DR solutions when associating source environments with target clouds.
- Archiving and data storage: An organization may use a hybrid cloud strategy for cost-effective data storage, including storage tiering, long-term backup retention, data lake and data warehouse services.
- Bursting workloads: A developer may choose a hybrid cloud strategy to accommodate variable use or computation-intensive workloads, using a public cloud to burst a private cloud- or data center-based workload during spikes in demand.
- Development and testing: Dev-test may employ hybrid cloud computing to take advantage of the rapid availability and scalability of public cloud resources when developing applications destined for production in another location, even on premises.
Multi-cloud: the right cloud for each application
Every day the IT industry becomes more and more service-oriented with a proliferation of Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings. A business may subscribe to a payroll app running on Azure and use a cloud CRM solution such as Salesforce.
Excellent cloud-based services are readily available by subscription to meet specific IT needs, such as a platform to replace legacy systems, on-demand media encoding for video streaming, user desktop virtualization for user mobility, and data warehousing.
Using one or more solutions from multiple clouds is often the best solution. Many of today’s businesses require a multi-cloud strategy, which simply means subscribing to or deploying different solutions that may reside on different clouds.
CIOs today are choosing a multi-cloud strategy as they look to transform current applications, and the thinking goes like this: Can the application be replaced through SaaS? If not, is there a PaaS option? If not, can I lift and shift it into the cloud? Rather than working at the server level, organizations are looking for the best solution on a per-workload basis.
At TierPoint, we know every business is at a different point on its path to IT transformation. We specialize in being your partner and work to understand your business and your requirements on an application-by-application basis to select the best environment for each workload – private cloud, multitenant cloud, hyperscale public cloud, hybrid cloud or colocation. Contact us to see how we can help with your IT transformation.
David McKenney serves as TierPoint’s Azure product evangelist and subject matter expert in customer, partner and industry influencer interactions. He oversees the strategy, product rollout and technical direction of all of TierPoint’s cloud solutions. Dave is a 15-year veteran of the industry and enjoys wearing the hat of ‘problem solver’ and jack-of-all-technical-trades.
[i] 2018 Trends in Cloud: Cartography for the Cloud – Mapping Trends in the New IT Era, 451 Research