Businesses are bombarded on a daily basis on matters of cloud computing, and although significant, there are other factors that should be considered when talking IT infrastructure.
It increasingly appears as though the labour-intensive and traditional capital model of IT infrastructure ownership has become unmanageable. It is no longer sustainable to over-provision due to financial restraints and it’s unjustifiable for short-term or temporary workloads.
On the other hand, creating a private cloud requires a large amount of financial investment, skilled resource and continued operational cost, making it an asset-heavy exercise. Servers are gradually becoming virtualized and transferring workloads to a third party cloud is a logical move in order to harness economies of scale and agility.
Migrating an enterprise-scale IT model has its complexities, with few enterprises being born in the cloud. These enterprises are still using old operating systems that can’t be virtualised due to legacy hardware hosting telecommunications systems or being required to support specialized hardware devices. These enterprises may also offer some vital services in-house, while partnering with vendors to provider other unique application functionality. IT teams therefore have to deal with a mix of new and aging IT services, which are in a range of locations.
In a recent survey carried out by Vanson Bourne, IT leaders shared their reservations towards public cloud adoption; highlighting concern about how much management and control resource would be required and the anticipated difficulty of integrating cloud with their existing infrastructures.
However, by using a hybrid model, workloads can be accelerated from physical, virtual and cloud services, allowing enterprises to choose how, when and where their applications and data are stored and in what environment – managed, colocation, on premise or cloud.
High costs for changes in resource are removed through using hybrid frameworks, as businesses gain cloud’s pay-as-you-grow flexibility. An example would be burstable colocation which avoids the need to provision headroom on a “just in case” basis by providing an on-demand capacity in the cloud, allowing memory consumption to be scaled up and down from one day to the next.
Hybrid cloud ensures the right fit for the specific performance requirements of each application and ensures it is optimised within a cohesive framework for meeting individual technology, policy and regulatory requirements.
The traditional on-premise, in-house owned IT model is still favoured among organisations but in time the outsourced cloud will achieve dominance over all other models. Until then, we must embrace a hybrid mix of outsourced IT infrastructure models.
Mike Bennett is vice president of global data center acquisition and expansion for CenturyLink Technology Solutions.