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At our annual Tech Summit in September, we held a panel with leading experts exploring the question: Is cloud computing the future?
Gartner projects that, “by 2025, 85% of infrastructure strategies will integrate on-premises, colocation, cloud and edge delivery options, compared with 20% in 2020.”
The panel: Round and Round We Go: Out to the Public Cloud and Back to a Hybrid Cloud Environment explored why so many are moving back to on-premise and hybrid solutions, as well as challenges to addressing complex cloud infrastructures.
Included in this panel were the following experts:
- Colin McLean, Head of Americas Sales, Digital Realty
- Wellington Lordelo, Senior Manager, Segment Marketing, Equinix
- Jeff Bettencourt, Director of Solution Engineering, INAP
- Vicki Patten, Head of NA Mass Market Sales, Rackspace
Read on for a summary of key takeaways from the panel, and if you’re interested in learning more watch the video above.
What’s Driving the Switch to Complex Hybrid Cloud Infrastructures?
A hybrid cloud infrastructure is when an organization leverages a blend of public and private cloud infrastructure to support the needs of various interconnected workloads. These clouds are generally interconnected through a range of cross connection techniques.
Vicki Patten of Rackspace explains that after the novelty of public clouds wore off, many organizations started reevaluating what exactly they need out of their cloud infrastructures.
The move from on-premise to public cloud is an easy one, and in most cases involves the simple swipe of a credit card. The problem for many large organizations is that different teams would buy cloud solutions as needed, leading to an IT sprawl and disconnected solutions. Costs for public cloud hosting spiral out of control because the expenses are scattered across teams and not easily tracked.
Additionally, not all workloads are suited towards a metered usage model. Customers have learned that legacy applications shipped to the cloud without serious refactoring are driving utilization costs.
Now, organizations are starting to reevaluate their software expenditure and assess their data storage needs. Organizations are moving back to private clouds that can be hosted in their own data center or co-location facility.
According to Patten, it’s all about “really digging into what they’re trying to accomplish from a business point-of-view.”
Complex Pressures on Hybrid Cloud Systems
Many organizations implement hybrid cloud systems that require complex cloud computing because they want customized, flexible, and scalable cloud solutions.
But is cloud computing the future?
The expert panelists shared with us some of their thoughts about the most pressing challenges to complex cloud systems, and what solutions they have in mind.
Jeff Bettencourt of INAP shared with us that with the increased reliance on on-premise and co-location data centers, supply chain issues have become a challenge in implementing hybrid cloud systems.
The reality is that customers are waiting six months or longer for switches. While they wait, INAP helps clients understand what applications they need to deploy in the meantime and find solutions that are not reliant on hardware.
“There are a couple of different ways we can skin the cat, so to speak,” says Bettencourt, “It just depends on what their long term plans are.”
There was also a discussion about how new methods are adding complexity and the need for integration in cloud systems. SaaS, hybrid cloud configurations, as well as co-location, are increasingly becoming sought-after parts of hybrid cloud infrastructure.
The real challenge lies in interconnecting all of these disparate networks.
Colin McLean of Digital Realty spoke of the importance of purpose-built data centers and starting any infrastructure build with a keen understanding of the needs of the organization.
Plus, Wellington Lordelo of Equinix added that a digital core, digital ecosystem and digital edge are the three main components of digital infrastructure. Coming back to those three main components creates an infrastructure that can be applied to any enterprise or industry.
Another outcome of complex hybrid cloud systems is that multi-cloud orchestration will be more in demand. Putting applications in containers or Kubernetes can help give the kind of flexibility in orchestration that multi-cloud systems need.
Given all of the added complexity that hybrid cloud infrastructure brings, how do these systems impact the fundamental tasks of IT, like data protection?
Jeff Bettencourt sees automation as the key to not overburdening IT teams. Automating tasks like data protection, backup services, and offsite replication frees up IT teams to build and manage systems instead of devoting time to menial tasks.
Is Cloud Computing the Future? The Path is Clear.
The varied questions explored in the panel all point to a future where cloud computing is key in providing scalable and sustainable data solutions for organizations of all sizes.
While the implementation of complex hybrid cloud systems are not without their challenges, new tools are emerging to address these challenges and move the cloud industry forward.
Interested in hearing more about what the experts have to say? Check out the video above to watch the full panel and listen to discussions about:
- The resurgence of co-location services.
- Where the experts see the cloud industry going in two to five years.
- The top three challenges companies in the public cloud are facing.
- The importance of in-house talent in developing cloud systems.
- The benefits of edge computing elements to a hybrid cloud.
- How data centers are adapting to rising utility costs and climate-induced blackouts.