The challenges & benefits of hybrid cloud migration
In the quest to remain competitive within the market, businesses are introducing more and more innovative applications to improve processes and efficiency. However, maintaining this progress requires companies to have full control of spending on data centers - something that is often challenging for many businesses. However, the increasing availability of and confidence in Public Cloud solutions now allows you to combine private data centres with public cloud resources to form a unique hybrid cloud environment.
By migrating applications to cloud services based on certain criteria, such as data protection policies, legal agreements and whether the application can be supported by cloud technologies, an increasing number of businesses are discovering hybrid cloud migration and the benefits that come with it. According to IDC, research suggests that by 2016, over 65% of IT enterprises will be using hybrid cloud technologies, which shows the market is without doubt moving towards a hybrid cloud environment.
Before a completely hybrid cloud is achieved deployment is viable, there are a few hurdles that must be overcome. Firstly, all applications transferred to the cloud need to be supported by an array of services in order to ensure high levels of security and performance, which has both time and cost implications.
Secondly, IT organisations often use a variety of solutions from multiple vendors to support their infrastructure. Trying to condense these down to the solutions of a single vendor can prove difficult. Finally, the idea of abandoning an on-premises solution where the level of control and existing investment is high, and switching to an external cloud service provider, remains unappealing to many.
Although all these factors can be overcome, it is important that the process of hybrid cloud migration is both simple and secure for businesses, which it can be through the use of constantly evolving security designs. Examples of these approaches include the segregation of customers at the network level as well as the storage level, and ensuring appropriate protection is in place against malicious attacks.
A key benefit is the ability to have on-premises IT infrastructure that can support the standard, day-to-day workload for your business, while retaining the ability to leverage the public cloud for excess demand when the workload exceeds the computational power of the private cloud environment.
In addition, having services that can be easily orchestrated can simplify the process of making applications available, whilst maintaining security through keeping critical infrastructure on premises.
The $84.64bn question
Progression towards a totally hybrid cloud environment is definitely underway, with research conducted by MarketsandMarkets suggesting that the hybrid cloud market could grow from $25.28 billion in 2014 to a staggering $84.64 billion by 2019. This not only proves how businesses are investing heavily into hybrid cloud migration, but also that they are aware of the benefits this technology can provide.
By simplifying IT systems for organisations as well as the delivery of business applications, a hybrid cloud environment has the potential to save customers costs and time, whilst reducing risk. In addition to this, the hybrid cloud model means the building and management of multiple data centres will become a thing of the past. As a result, more time and money can be focused towards innovation and the production of high quality applications, which in turn allows businesses to grow and remain competitive.
Paul Dignan, Field Systems Engineer, F5 Networks