How much of your business is run in the public cloud?
You’ll probably say somewhere between none and all. Only a tiny fraction of businesses run either all on-premises or all in the public cloud. For the most part, IT departments just aren’t at the extremes. They run a hybrid infrastructure – a mix of on-premises and public cloud compute. But, why?
- Some businesses run a hybrid infrastructure because they choose to.
They don’t listen to hype like “the data center is dead.” They rationally looked at their environment, their industry, their business, their objectives, and their workloads to decide what’s best for them. They discovered that a hybrid IT model provides them with the most of many things. Things like flexibility. The most control over things like security and costs. If you were to ask, they’d tell you they run a hybrid infrastructure because certain workloads are more suited for running on-premises, while others are better suited for the public cloud.
- Some businesses run a hybrid infrastructure because they have to.
They are on a journey to move everything to the public cloud. But not everything is movable, yet. So they are stuck. The number of applications running on-premises is dwindling, but they still have to keep the data center operational. These businesses spend a big chunk of their effort trying to abandon their on-premises infrastructure.
Why are some businesses planning to move everything to the public cloud?
For some, the public cloud’s sweet siren songs about things like unlimited capacity and scalability are irresistible. Others see the public cloud as a cure for what ails their on-premises data center. It’s important to remember that an all-in public cloud approach doesn’t immunize you from all the problems plaguing your on-premises environment.
Changing people, process, and technology in current on-premises environments is hard. It can be really hard with outdated IT equipment and no upper-management support for investing in the data center. So, they opt for a clean slate to draw their future.
Regardless of the reason, if this is you, or if it’s your company’s strategy, here are 3 things you really say when you move everything to the public cloud.
- “We don’t need a workload placement strategy.”
Public clouds have amazing capabilities and you should take advantage of them. However, with an all-in public cloud approach, you are guaranteeing that no other environment is better for a particular workload. Governance, risk management, and compliance analysis may suggest that running an application on-premises is optimal. Maybe service quality can be improved with infrastructure closer to home. With an all-in public cloud approach, you don’t get to make those assessments. You don’t need a workload placement strategy because nothing is run on-premises.
- “It’s actually better to put all our eggs in one basket, because we get more out of it.”
It’s true that it’s much easier to learn one technology and deal with one vendor. You’re able to go deep and take advantage of a lot of features. But, it’s rarely advised to give anything or anyone too much power or control. No one wants to be vulnerable to a supplier driving up prices. The tech industry has largely moved away from proprietary technology as customers try to avoid lock-in. With an all-in public cloud approach, you put all your eggs in one basket. To get the most out of a move to the public cloud, you select a primary public cloud vendor and use as many of their key services as possible. These key services are proprietary and the cost to switch to another public cloud or back on premises is high.
- “Deploying compute or having data repositories at the edge won’t be necessary.”
The use cases for the edge are just now coming into focus for business. IoT and 5G are driving much of this. Some experts predict that edge intelligence will be so massive that it will usher in the end of cloud computing. Who knows? What’s clear is that the edge is still a little fuzzy for businesses to predict exactly how it will affect them. Edge deployments of compute and data repositories will make the most sense in many cases. For instance, sending huge amounts of data to the cloud for processing may take too long. Instead, data is collected and analyzed locally, in real-time, and only the resultant data is sent to the cloud. With an all-in public cloud approach, all use cases at the edge aggregate data and move it to the cloud for processing and analysis.
The businesses who choose to run a hybrid infrastructure think of their data center as an investment, not a cost. They maximize their placement options for each workload without sacrificing flexibility, agility, or scalability. In many cases, they actually gain from running the workload on-premises compared to the public cloud.
Maybe it’s time to rethink your journey to 100% public cloud. Maybe now is the time to change course from feeling burdened by a hybrid infrastructure model to being empowered by it. IDC considers the hybrid approach to be the most pragmatic and effective in the short and long terms.
Dell Technologies can help you navigate how to do hybrid well. Start by downloading and reading the ebook, Developing an Effective Workload Placement Strategy. It’s a guide to help you choose where to run your workloads – in the public cloud or on-premises.
 Source: Workload Placement Separates the Winners from the Losers in IT, an IDC White Paper Sponsored by Dell EMC, 2019.