The ‘Solid’ Cloud Is the Hybrid Multi-Cloud

  • Dom Poloniecki, Vice President & General Manager, Western Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa at Nutanix

  • 25.05.2021 02:45 pm
  • Cloud

At some point during the early mists of cloud computing (pun intended), we thought all virtualised or containerised applications were intended to be delivered from public cloud compute and storage resources. But very quickly and collectively, users and the technology industry itself got to grips with the need to offer some cloud resources outside of multi-tenant public cloud facilities in the form of private cloud. 

Not all mission-critical data is suited to the undeniable flexibility and service breadth offered by public cloud, so naturally where sensitivities exist due to privacy or various forms of compliance legislation, the private cloud steps up to the job.

Over time, we had learned to develop a more sophisticated degree of balance and equilibrium in our adoption of cloud computing, a seasoned and reasoned approach that has given rise to the popularisation and proliferation of hybrid cloud. 

A coalition of combined cloud power

By now, adopting a combination of public, private and hybrid cloud resources, organisations in every vertical can rationalise, optimise and operationalise themselves for maximum business growth and profit. In doing so, these same firms who adopt the use of hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) technologies put themselves in a differentiated position versus their peers by building the foundation required for a unified experience on premise and in the public Cloud, ie: a unified hybrid cloud experience.

But let’s stop and consider how many cloud types, instances, forms, shapes, services and specialisms we’re potentially talking about now. 

This is not just hybrid cloud as a combination of public and private cloud in 1 +1 = 2 equation; the modern forward-thinking organisation will be using hybrid multi-cloud options to gain the flexibility offered by different clouds, with different benefits based on their native cloud services, under different governance restrictions, on different licenses and with different consumption model billing agreements.

By strategically bringing together a hybrid multi-cloud deployment, organisations can reap the highest potential levels of portability and flexibility. Put into practice, this portability means that applications and data workloads can be portable across any vendor’s hardware and across any vendor’s cloud. 

Eschewing traditional three-tier infrastructure 

To close the loop and make that portability achievable, organisations will gain maximum control by using the software-defined power of a hyper converged infrastructure, which eschews the traditional three separate silos of compute, storage and networking to bring all resources under a single software umbrella.

Without the simplicity of unified management offered by a hyper converged infrastructure, cloud operations teams find it naturally much more complex and troublesome to manage and run highly distributed computing environments. 

Any single instance of cloud needs to be capable of being instantiated in the public cloud and then portably moved to a hybrid (or indeed private-hybrid combination) operational environment at any time. No business wants to go through the pain and rigour of the ‘lift and shift’ refactoring needed if clouds can’t seamlessly move to where workloads need to be executed.

Core validations for a hybrid multi-cloud world

Whilst founded on the power of microprocessors and the strength of software-defined infrastructure, the benefits of adopting a hybrid multi-cloud approach translate directly to the world for businesses where constant change is the accepted norm.

Leaving legacy IT infrastructures behind enables businesses to elevate themselves above legacy economic models where one product or service is ‘manufactured’ for a defined market. Often consumed by one group of customers at one defined price and through one quite static channel, the old way of doing business is fast disappearing. 

Organisations can now harness the controllable and flexible nature of hybrid multi-cloud to create new economic models capable of rapid change when conditions require. Users follow this dynamism and start to find new ways of working and demand new application functions and services; but the hybrid multi-cloud organisation has already come to anticipate change, so it sees this behaviour as part of the virtuous cycle of improvement. 

It can then act to ensure computing resources are allocated or reallocated accordingly. This is because an IT team that uses hybrid multi-cloud architecture can instantly deploy new infrastructure, whether in the public cloud or private cloud. Response times of hybrid multi-cloud IT teams are much faster than those of traditional on-premise IT teams.

Brighter than just ‘keeping the lights on’

Architected and orchestrated prudently and professionally, the sum result of this move to hybrid multi-cloud enables the IT department inside any business to start doing more than just keeping the lights on. This is the point at which the IT function can start to develop and prototype Proof of Concept (PoC) innovations to create real value-add, rather than just being a support utility for the business.

There is very little one-size-fits-all in business, so adopting hybrid multi-cloud is a natural means of enabling a path towards embracing the flexible benefits of a hyperconverged infrastructure for maximum business agility.


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