Cloud adoption is accelerating at the blink of an eye, easing the burden of managing data-rich workloads for enterprises big and small. Yet, common myths and misconceptions about the hybrid cloud are delaying enterprises from reaping the benefits.
According to the RightScale 2017 State of the Cloud Report, the percentage of enterprises that have a multi-cloud strategy only grew three percent since 2016. In this article, we will debunk five of the top most commonly believed myths that keep companies from strengthening their infrastructure with a hybrid approach.
Myth #1: Cloud Provider Lock-In
There are advantages and disadvantages to every cloud service provider, so organizations turn to multiple providers for different workloads.
One of the advantages of a hybrid cloud environment is that it is flexible and allows on-premises resources to interface with multiple cloud providers, allowing organizations to strategically use their resources to address business and customer needs.
A hybrid cloud model allows data to easily move between on-premises environments and cloud, or even between cloud and cloud. Understanding how to manage multiple clouds provides value to any enterprise looking to start using public clouds for various workflows.
While learning what is involved in configuring each cloud and managing these configurations can be tricky, there are options like writing your own automation tool or using commercially available tools that already exist to make it easier to configure your systems.
Going beyond automation, if a more precise configuration setup that understands the meta model differences between each respective cloud is needed, organizations can turn to multi-cloud orchestration tools like Cycle Computing which begins with automating workflows, and then orchestrates the entire process to streamline the respective configurations for each cloud provider into one hybrid model.
Myth #2: Cloud Is Not for Mission-Critical Applications
Due to the fear of highly publicized poor performance, high latency and resource outages in the public cloud, IT decision makers run on the notion that cloud environments are not equipped for mission-critical applications and workloads.
What they may not know is there are hybrid cloud technologies available in the market that cluster to scale performance, cache to hide latency, and provide high availability to continue to operate through outages.
The RightScale report found that cloud users are running applications in an average of 1.8 public clouds and 2.3 private clouds, and they are experimenting with an additional 1.8 public clouds and 2.1 private clouds.
While there are challenges to moving applications to the cloud, such as moving the application storage into bulk storage or into elastic storage, each path comes with their unique issues, but there are solutions as well: cloud bursting and performance caching.
Cloud bursting allows enterprises to keep data on premises and “burst” to the compute cloud and performance caching helps maintain the same performance levels and confidence as you get with everything on premises. For this reason, IT teams are able to run high-performance, demanding applications in the cloud.
Myth #3: Hybrid Cloud Infrastructures Complicate Data Management
Managing data in multiple locations may seem like a nuisance, but the cloud is actually simplifying IT infrastructures for many enterprises.
Taking a hybrid cloud approach allows administrators to manage, move and analyze data across the infrastructure from one administrative interface – a great way to scale your infrastructure.
Incorporating cloud into your infrastructure eliminates a significant percentage of the on-site hardware that needs to be managed and maintained.
Some of the main concerns of IT managers today are scaling infrastructure without losing latency and migrating legacy systems to the cloud, which can come with roadblocks in application protocols and time investments.
To ease the process, organizations are using a network attached storage (NAS) infrastructure, which can accelerate integration with on-premises legacy systems and provide flexibility to communicate to an object store in a cloud provider.
The NAS solution lives inside the compute cloud resources and as data is being operated in the cloud, it automatically pulls up that working data set from the local data center. The compute resources access the data directly, perform operations and send the data back to the data center.
Myth #4: Hybrid Cloud Is Expensive
A formal analysis of an organization’s IT resources and costs can reveal savings as you extend your infrastructure to the cloud. It is important to consider the cost of investing in additional physical servers and the support agreements to maintain the physical devices as data and compute needs grow.
Data center operational expenses such as hardware overhauls, maintenance and space, and power cooling, should also be considered when reviewing the costs of cloud.
With cloud, you only pay for what you use. When making a decision to install a hybrid cloud architecture, consider nearline or archival storage offerings, which continue to decrease in cost.
You can take advantage of lower-cost public storage options like Amazon S3 and Google Cloud Platform, which can easily integrate with a NAS infrastructure and introduce abundant opportunities and flexibility to deliver cost-savings solutions and protect data from unstable volatile solutions.
Myth #5: Data Is Not Secure in the Cloud
Many IT professionals fear the lack of control over their data since cloud activity lies outside of their data center and by definition a “cloud” asset’s location is not necessarily known.
They understand and trust the security they have in place within their data centers but believe they lose this control in the cloud. The concern over securing hybrid cloud environments is a top reason for the slow rate of cloud adoption in the enterprise.
Hybrid cloud providers are required to provide the same complementary security offered by major public clouds such as AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure. In addition, hybrid environments should include technology that encrypts data and puts the user in control of the encryption keys.
Hybrid cloud vendors also consider geographical location, and comply to regulations, standards and certifications required in different regions.
More enterprises are taking advantage of the benefits of hybrid cloud strategies as evidenced by cloud adoption rates. Hybrid cloud technology is changing the way organizations across diverse industries manage, move and analyze data, and accelerates solutions to some of the biggest challenges in IT.
- Scott Jeschonek is the Director of Cloud Solutions at Avere Systems
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