This past weekend’s Preakness Stakes winner, “Cloud Computing,” was a clear long shot. Running at 13-1 odds, the 3-year-old was the first horse to skip the Kentucky Derby and win the second leg of the Triple Crown since 2009, running 1 3/16 miles in 1 minute and 55.98 seconds. The payout was $28.80 for a $2 bet, and Cloud Computing earned a $900,000 first-place check for his owners.
At some point not that long ago, cloud computing also seemed like a long shot for enterprises. The risks of uncertain performance and security seemed too high to take a chance. But today, according to an IDG survey report, hybrid cloud is not only core to IT transformation, but it is also “the great enabler of digital business.”
In this segment of our “How to Converse in Cloud” series, we look at some of the ways hybrid cloud is leading the pack of cloud contenders toward an IT transformation finish line. But first, some definitions.
Public Cloud: A public cloud is a third-party provider of infrastructure, platform, storage or application cloud services, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Dropbox, or a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider, such as Salesforce. These services lease shared hardware and/or software resources to organizations and individuals as a pay-as-you-play service.
Private Cloud: As with public clouds, private cloud resources are shared among internal departments and users, allowing them to self-provision and scale hardware or software resources as needed. However, private clouds are not “open to the public” and are protected within a closed environment.
Hybrid Clouds: Hybrid clouds combine public and private clouds to deliver a specific IT service(s). Organizations may want to run an application entirely or partially in the public cloud but keep their sensitive data in a more secure private cloud. Or they may run an application internally, but “burst” it out automatically to a public cloud during peak demand periods when more computing power is needed.
Multicloud: Multicloud describes public and/or private cloud services used to deliver a single enterprise service, such as big data analysis or applications with multiple interactive components. Hybrid clouds are a subcategory of multicloud, since you can have a single private cloud with multiple public clouds integrated together, or vice versa.
Hybrid IT: Hybrid IT is defined by a company leveraging both on-premises IT and public cloud services. Much like the hybrid cloud model, more sensitive systems, applications and data are run within a company’s data center, while the public cloud typically helps to scale on-premises compute and storage resources, or more cost-effectively access cloud-based platform, infrastructure or application services as needed.
This brings us to IT transformation. Information technology (IT) transformation typically involves a complete overhaul of an organization’s IT systems. This can include changes to network architecture, hardware, storage and software, as well as changes to a company’s business models. An example would be moving from large IT capital equipment purchases to renting processing power and storage capacity in the cloud.
IT transformation conjures up “rip and replace” scenarios, and even the most seasoned CIO will second guess whether it’s worth it to rip out their old IT infrastructure and replace it with a new, unproven one. However, with the advent of hybrid cloud and hybrid IT, IT organizations can start slow and finish fast when it comes to increasing the efficiency and productivity of their IT infrastructures, as well as their overall business.
According to IDG’s report, “Hybrid cloud not only makes IT—and the entire company—more agile, but it also streamlines operations and frees up budget for the things that really make a difference for corporations: acquiring new customers, improving the customer experience, increasing engagement and loyalty, and driving innovation.”
Some ways that IDG has seen enterprises they’ve surveyed benefit from hybrid clouds include:
- Automating administrative tasks
- Providing self-service access to infrastructure and applications
- Boosting the scalability, availability and utilization of IT resources
- Transforming traditional IT into a services model that delivers flexibility and speed to market while lowering operational costs
In addition, we’ve seen our customers at Equinix distributing hybrid cloud infrastructures at the digital edge, where commerce, population centers and digital ecosystems meet. This provides them with an efficient and cost-effective way to make applications, data and IT services more readily available for their customers, employees and partners. Placing a hybrid cloud at the digital edge brings rich ecosystems of networks, clouds and users closer together, enabling direct and secure access to IT resources with LAN-like performance and less risk and cost than going over long-distance networks or the public internet.
Want to see if hybrid cloud is a safe bet for your company? Read the “Home of the Interconnect Cloud” white paper.
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