Richard Slyfield is the UK&I Storage Business Manager, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. He is responsible for creating and driving the business strategy in the UK&I and enables HPE sales and the channel to sell storage solutions effectively.
The modern business is digital – there’s no denying this. Those that aren’t have either been left behind already, or are in the process of being so. The connectivity we enjoy today, and the technology available to us, is creating countless possibilities in a world where everything computes and where everyone and every ‘thing’ – billions of devices, cars and homes, workplaces, stadiums, hospitals and factory floors – shares data. It’s what’s driving our businesses, and us as society, to a faster, more intelligent world.
But as these businesses become increasingly digitally native - run more applications, produce more data, and require increasing amounts of storage capacity – how do they ensure the mobility, reliability and visibility of data and information that enterprise IT applications require?
Over the last decade or so, we’ve seen this requirement drive a great deal of organisations to migrate towards cloud technology – arguably one of the most influential disruptors of business IT over the last ten years. Cloud computing has changed business by making it easier, cheaper and faster to run state-of-the-art IT architecture in any type of company – particularly within large enterprise.
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However, not all workloads are suited to only being stored within private or public cloud – this may be due to complex legacy systems, regulatory requirements within certain industries, or a multitude of other reasons that makes it unfeasible for some organisations to move everything to cloud environments. This has led to the rise of hybrid cloud solutions. Hybrid cloud combines public cloud and private cloud into a seamlessly blended infrastructure. Adding traditional, on-premise IT into the mix results in a full hybrid IT model that allows companies to take advantage of the public cloud pricing, the general flexibility of cloud computing, and the security of dedicated hardware.
Why migrate to hybrid cloud
What are the benefits of this? It’s simple – you have the flexibility to place workloads in their perfect operating environments, whether that be private cloud, public cloud, or on-premise infrastructure. The right hybrid cloud strategy can benefit business enormously; speeding migrations from months to weeks, reducing the risk of poorly executed migrations, controlling the cost of migration and properly forecasting ongoing cost, prevent cost overruns and ‘surprises’ once migrated, and allows organisations to invest with confidence by basing decisions on data.
But. There’s always a ‘But’ – making the shift from existing storage, to a hybrid cloud environment, can be complex, and comes with real challenges. One of the most prominent of these is the issue of data mobility, or how you move business-critical data safely and securely between on-premise storage and cloud environments. Many of the IT decision makers I speak to on a weekly basis tell me that the on-premise storage arrays and native cloud storage services they use simply aren’t set up effectively enough to easily enable a simple migration to a hybrid cloud strategy. They don’t feel comfortable that their existing services will be able to provide the data mobility they need, or the enterprise-grade capabilities, such as high durability, instant snapshots, volume resizing, and encryption, that allows them to easily move their data and applications around without risk and costs.
This is where businesses need to explore other options available to them to take the pain away from the process, making the migration of data and applications between an organization’s datacentre and a public cloud easy, cost effective and risk free. Organisations don’t need to own or manage a datacentre, any equipment, or even virtual storage devices – they simply pay for the storage resources the provision and use each month, without the long-term commitment associated with public cloud providers.
Benefits of hybrid cloud
So what are the benefits of this kind of option?
- It provides the enterprise-grade features and reliability that enterprise applications require – such as instant snapshots and clones, configurability, and better data durability. Traditional public cloud storage operates at 99.9% vs. that of enterprise standard 99.9999% availability.
- It ensures data mobility – there’s no ‘lock in’. Organisations have complete data mobility between multiple cloud providers, making hybrid cloud strategies easy and flexible. Businesses can simply flip cloud services based on new feature sets rolling out or cost changes without incurring any egress charges.
- It allows for visibility into current usage, and the ability to estimate costs easily. Current storage cloud essentially operate as a black box
In today’s world of tight budgets, data sensitivity and pressure to innovate, it’s no surprise that taking the step towards a hybrid cloud model is one that is being thought about long and hard by IT decision makers within business. But it doesn’t need to be a challenging process, if you can mitigate all the risks.
Richard Slyfield, UKI Storage Business Manager at Hewlett Packard Enterprise
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