With various forecasts and cloud predictions floating around, it is hard to make sense of what cloud formations (private, public, hybrid, multi) enterprises should invest in. But if you consider that cloud survey information is heavily reliant on client feedback on cloud adoption, it’s apparent that trends are still shaping up in favor of hybrid and multi-cloud architectures.
- RightScale’s “2015 State of the Cloud Report” shows 82% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy, with 88% using public cloud and 63% using private cloud.
- A Dimensional Research survey, sponsored by Equinix, showed a high proportion (79%) of global enterprises deploying multi-cloud infrastructures to accommodate various application workloads.
- IDC’s “Worldwide Cloud Systems Management Software Market Shares, 2014: Year of Hybrid Cloud” reports that 63% of worldwide cloud spending in 2014 was private/hybrid cloud enablement. By the end of 2015, over 65% of enterprises will commit to hybrid cloud, with more than 60% of enterprise-class businesses subscribing to more than 10 different public cloud services by 2017.
- Cisco’s “Global Cloud Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2013-2018” shows that by 2018, 31% of the cloud workloads will be in public clouds and 69% will be in private clouds. Cisco also predicts that by 2018, 76% of the global data center traffic will be coming from cloud services and applications, equaling 6.5 zettabytes (ZB). Total data center traffic in 2018 is estimated at 8.6 ZB or 21 trillion hours of business Web conferencing with video.
The bottom line is that a lot of business is happening in not just one cloud, but multiple clouds. How you take advantage of this enormous opportunity for your business depends on a number of factors.
First, decide which workloads are most applicable to private vs. public cloud deployments. In many cases, the answer is that you need both (aka: hybrid cloud). For example, many data applications require the security of a private cloud to store the data, but leverage the scalability and reliability of public clouds configured for high availability. We have customers, such as Northumberland County, who are running private storage, with database or analytics applications running in public clouds, for a secure and highly reliable data access environment. This type of hybrid cloud scenario can scale to accommodate both day-to-day and disaster recovery scenarios.
Do you have a business application that requires the collaboration of multiple cloud services, such as online payments? If you are Uber providing taxi/shuttle services, then 1) credit card processing; 2) analytics on passenger/driver data; and 3) data services to access live traffic and event schedule data all need the support of multiple private and public clouds (again, back to the hybrid cloud).
Regardless of which cloud formation fits your various workloads, the first and foremost consideration is interconnection. You need to quickly, securely, reliably and economically connect to any cloud you want, using any device you want, no matter where you or the cloud are in the world.
This requires an Interconnection Oriented Architecture™ that enables an agile, flexible and scalable foundation for deploying high-speed, direct connections to dense ecosystems of global cloud service providers, business partners and customers. The key to this level of interconnectivity for cloud services is automation and the ability to provision connections to cloud services quickly (in hours) and adjust the level of engagement with those services on demand. The cost savings comes into play by leveraging multiple virtual connections to clouds via a single physical port and dynamically allocating bandwidth as needed by fluctuating workloads.
So, as you ponder what cloud formations can best take your business to greater heights, remember: Think “interconnection first.”