I read with interest a blog post from Dave Bartoletti, an analyst at Forrester on cloud management in a hybrid world. He said:
It’s inevitable that the future look of enterprise IT will be a hybrid mix of on- and off-premises services. 45% of companies rely on at least one Software-as-a-Service application today, and a third of companies are already using some form of Infrastructure-as-a-Service at Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace, GoGrid, and the like…
Hybrid cloud shouldn’t add more management complexity, it should simplify IT operations. Get out ahead of the complexity that cloud introduces by taking a close look at your IT management processes now with a hybrid future in mind. One way to get to cloud faster is to not only look at the cloud as a place to build new applications, but a place to run existing applications more efficiently and effectively. Look for hybrid cloud solutions that extend the tools you already have in place today into the public cloud.
Dave definitely echoes the sentiment of the industry that hybrid cloud is a happy medium between private and public cloud for adopters. I believe though that for a service provider it is actually a key route to providing public (multi-tenanted) cloud services. It helps service providers get their foot in the door with organizations and then sell the customer on the benefits through proving the model. So benefits include:
- Increasing revenue models with the ability to offer both dedicated servers and also support customers when they require a burst of servers.
- Flexibility – giving customers the choice of infrastructure or networking they can use will help to further prove why cloud, and public cloud, offers greater flexibility than private.
- Increased stickiness – once in the door and offering public cloud services, it will be easier for the customer to continue using that service provider.
- Increased comfort around data security – service providers can prove to a customer that they have the ability to decide how data is handled and which applications go where.
The debate on private, public and hybrid cloud will continue, but for cloud service providers accepting that hybrid cloud is a route to a new market opportunity will open new possibilities and doors.