Cloud adoption continues to accelerate, as the cloud is increasingly seen as the key to business technology transformation. It’s a goal for many enterprises that are dealing with aging infrastructure combined with increased demand for new or enhanced application portfolios. This was echoed by a recent Forrester Research study where 68% of enterprise decision makers rated developing a comprehensive cloud strategy a high or critical priority.
However, cloud migration does not mean abandoning on-premises applications and workloads. Enterprises are increasingly adopting a hybrid IT approach that includes one or more cloud providers along with on-premises infrastructure. For example, databases may need to be located on-premises for regulatory, security, or latency issues, while customer-facing and web applications may be better suited to a cloud provider, thereby keeping those transactions off the local network and preventing them from consuming bandwidth better used in other ways.
This shift to an all-encompassing hybrid cloud environment is further evidenced by the Forrester study, which showed that, on average, organizations have between one and three of each type of cloud platform (i.e., hosted private cloud, internal private cloud, and public cloud).
Why are these hybrid, multi-cloud approaches becoming more popular? In a word, flexibility. Integrating public, private, and on-premises clouds gives businesses choice and access to innovation, enabling a “right workload, right place” strategy that ensures each workload is paired with the infrastructure and location that are best suited to the individual application.
A hybrid cloud strategy also accelerates overall IT modernization. Our “there’s an app for that” mentality, driven by the consumerization of IT, is well served by today’s cloud-native applications, which take advantage of development tools and environments suited to an enhanced user experience. At the same time, enterprises can benefit from many born-in-the-cloud tools to update and modernize on-premises applications and infrastructure, ensuring that workloads not suited to cloud hosting are able to take advantage of the performance, efficiency, and economic gains that are realized by modernizing, including lower power and cooling costs as well as the ability to run more workloads in less physical space.
What are the stumbling blocks? Complexity kills efficiency, so cloud decision makers should reduce complexity by investing in consolidated and unified monitoring tools, and by working with cloud platform vendors to leverage established security, performance, and compute environments.
Consistency is important not only between cloud providers, but across cloud and on-premises infrastructure too. Since many core business applications are better suited to on-premises execution, consistency between cloud and on-premises enables workloads to “burst” or move from one environment to the other seamlessly. This too is a challenge; 58% of those responding to the Forrester study are not yet optimizing workload configuration and cloud placement, and thus fail to maximize the benefit of their hybrid deployments.
Hybrid cloud adoption is here today; now enterprises need to adopt a hybrid IT strategy that helps ensure the highest levels of reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS) by simplifying workload migration and management tool overhead.
Intel proposes the easiest way to achieve this while lowering TCO is by adopting the same infrastructure on-premises that cloud providers increasingly rely on. To find out how IDG’s Influencer Network is thinking about workload placement, read: Private, Public, or Hybrid: Where Should the Workload Go?