Toby Owen is the VP of Products for Peer 1 Hosting.
It’s no surprise that hybrid cloud adoption is growing. In fact, it is expected to triple by 2018 as companies seek to realize better elasticity, availability and security, all at a manageable price in their hybrid environments.
This growth isn’t all about the technology, though. There are some strong market influences that have contributed to an uptick in the use of hybrid cloud computing – namely, businesses’ price preferences, more sophisticated technology components, and the growth of big data.
A Custom Price for Custom Needs
According to research conducted by Vanson Bourne, cost has consistently ranked as a top factor for IT decision makers in their cloud investments. That likely doesn’t come as a surprise to many; after all, businesses can boost profits by increasing revenue or cutting costs, and the latter is generally easier to sell to company leadership due to a faster turnaround time.
Cloud computing works to lower costs by moving workloads to cloud environments so companies no longer need to invest in their own infrastructure – they simply pay for how much power and RAM they use. That has helped propel cloud uptake overall.
Hybrid clouds take those cost benefits a step further by allowing companies to build a cloud environment a la carte, choosing everything from the OS to the firewall to the load balancer. By customizing every piece of the hybrid environment, companies have complete control over the pricing as well. As a result, they may find significant cost reductions by moving away from the more “cookie cutter” public cloud approach. With so much emphasis on price in the enterprise world, this has generated huge interest in hybrid cloud.
Building a Cohesive Hybrid Cloud Takes Time
Beyond cost, the technology that makes up hybrid cloud environments has also become more sophisticated, attracting enterprise users.
For example, OpenStack, one of the most widely used open source cloud platforms, now includes Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), offering single sign-on for web properties. This allows businesses to more easily and seamlessly conduct B2B and B2C transactions without fear of the data being exposed.
Many hosting providers are also facilitating cloud federations with trusted cloud environments to help IT decision makers maintain security throughout their hybrid clouds. For instance, by integrating SAML into OpenStack-powered clouds, businesses can now more easily federate with other cloud environments, ultimately giving cloud buyers more hybrid options.
Finally, advanced hybrid cloud solutions that incorporate many advanced offerings from infrastructure and software providers are coming onto the market. Because these environments incorporate more sophisticated components, including disaster recovery, firewalls, bare metal and virtual servers, self-service online portals, and HPC capabilities, hosting providers are able to bundle high-performing, enterprise-grade hybrid cloud solutions that meet even the most demanding business requirements. With more use cases and wider applications, hybrid cloud is a natural solution for businesses of all sizes.
Hybrid is the Perfect Match for Big Data
Beyond the capabilities and price of hybrid cloud, companies are facing more and more situations where pure public or private cloud environments are not well-suited. Take big data, for example. By 2020, Gartner predicts that big data will be used to reinvent, digitize or altogether eliminate 80 percent of business processes and products from a decade earlier.
Contending with vast amounts of data requires that companies invest in a cloud solution that can quickly and reliably process large data sets. But, can a pure public or pure private environment handle that much data? Many companies would say no, as the public cloud is seen as too unreliable to successfully process and transfer big data, while private clouds limit scaling and availability.
Therefore, hybrid cloud proposes a “best of both worlds” solution for the growing demands of big data. And, as big data pushes the limits of today’s infrastructure, more and more companies are opting for hybrid cloud environments to make the most of their data.
The Best of Both Worlds
Although hybrid cloud hasn’t overtaken public or private environments quite yet in terms of adoption rates, the interest in it isn’t slowing down. Hybrid cloud capabilities are quickly expanding to tackle concerns about IT costs and capabilities, and many decision makers now see it as a far more attractive offering than they did even a year ago. At a lower cost than on premise infrastructure, hybrid cloud has become a natural fit for companies across verticals and around the world.
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