The Option Value of Hybrid Cloud

As much as the public cloud has revolutionized technology infrastructure and opened up entirely new application architectures and business models, the future for large enterprises is still predominantly hybrid or multi-cloud. Instead of viewing this as a ball and chain for large organizations, it should be seen as maximizing a company’s option value. That is, a hybrid and multi-cloud strategy can open up organizations to more choices and greater flexibility, contributing to their own competitive advantage.

The Reality of Hybrid and Multi-Cloud

Many enterprises have embraced a cloud-first strategy which focuses on building new applications and solutions in a specific public cloud environment, However, with the exception of younger organizations that have smaller legacy footprints, most large organizations will still need to deal with multiple environments for a number of reasons:

  • Mergers and acquisitions: Large enterprises often deal with organizational changes due to mergers and acquisitions which require blending technology stacks. Even if a company is “all in” on Microsoft Azure, it may be acquired by a  company that is “all in” on Amazon Web Services. The ability for a large company to rapidly absorb a different company’s tech stack is slow due to differences in APIs and standards. As a result, many organizations that span multiple business units end up with a mixed bag.
  • Gravity of legacy systems of record: Large enterprises that have been around longer tend to have important data and core systems of record residing in existing data centers. It is difficult to lift and shift this data to the cloud as it is often well ingrained in other subsystems and interdependencies. As a result, organizations are often more inclined to or forced to place new applications closer to the core data
  • Data sovereignty and privacy: While public cloud services can often exceed the requirements for data privacy and security, many highly-regulated industries are still more comfortable keeping data on-premises.

The Practical Benefits of Choice and Flexibility

Prioritizing a hybrid or multi-cloud strategy is sometimes viewed as hedging bets, but it’s just the opposite – it’s recognition of the option value of having infrastructure choices. There are a number of reasons why this is important to an enterprise:

  • Kubernetes is leveling the playing field: For years, every infrastructure offering had some form of lock-in. On-premises workloads were built on VMware and each cloud provider had their own flavor of hypervisor, making workloads incompatible from one environment to the other. Kubernetes and containers have democratized infrastructure with a standard set of open source frameworks that are compatible from one cloud to the next and to on-premises as well. For the first time, true multi-cloud portability is actually achievable.
  • Access to emerging technologies: With Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform competing for market dominance, each cloud has chosen to invest in different emerging technology areas such as AI/ML, IoT, and serverless. Having a multi-cloud approach allows organizations to pursue new technology without constraint.
  • Optimizing infrastructure choices based on application needs: Finally, not all applications are created equal. Different applications have different importance levels and different performance requirements. Some applications are stateless and some are stateful. Some require backup and data retention plans, while others do not. Having the flexibility to select a platform based on the application’s needs can help to get better results while also optimizing costs.

Optimizing Costs for Different Applications

For organizations with a hybrid and multi-cloud strategy, a critical factor in determining where specific workloads should be deployed is the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). That calculation isn’t just the operating costs of the compute resources, but also the costs to secure, protect, backup, and operate the workloads. High-value applications like databases and data analytics workloads typically have more demanding requirements than stateless web applications. These applications often benefit from purpose-built infrastructure like the Diamanti platform. By delivering better performance with integrated data protection and security features, the Diamanti platform can help organizations reduce TCO by at least 50%.

To learn more about what makes purpose-built infrastructure more efficient: