Posted by: Greg Ness | August 15, 2013

Has Hybrid Cloud Already Won?

Enterprises are still dabbling in the cloud, and actively observing emerging cloud offering battles as megawatts of low cost and energy efficient cloud capacity comes online.  Apps running in the cloud constitute perhaps 4% of all enterprise production apps, despite the obvious benefits.

Yet a Rackspace survey announced today suggests that hybrid has won the game.

If a very small portion of enterprises have deployed any apps in the cloud, how could hybrid cloud already be declared a winner?  It appears that hybrid cloud is not what enterprises have deployed but rather what they want (by Rachel King at ZDNet):

“The first major takeaway lesson was that the hybrid cloud turned out to be the preferred deployment choice for 60 percent of the enterprises surveyed.

On top of that, 60 percent of respondents also said that they are mulling whether or not to move certain applications or workloads partially or completely off the public cloud because of limitations or benefits of other platforms.”

The gap between what enterprises want to do with the cloud and what they are actually doing is likely a wide one.  In between are strategic considerations about which apps can be deployed and whether or not there is an economic advantage for the app to be deployed in a hybrid cloud.  Predictable workloads are often cheaper on premise, while unpredictable workloads are often cheaper in the cloud. That takes us to an extreme case of unpredictable workloads: disaster recovery.

One of the most powerful use cases for hybrid cloud will likely be “pay as you go” cloud disaster recovery.  It could reduce DR costs by more than 50% versus traditional approaches and offer improvements in RPOs and RTOs for many.  Indeed, it may be the most powerful operating model for hybrid cloud.

Further Reading

How Deep is Your Cloud (Strategy)?

Cloud Migration is Bigger than Image Portability

Hybrid Cloud Services: The Final Frontier

The Hybrid Cloud is Ideal for Disaster Recovery


  1. Do you think that inroads will start to be made into Cloud App delivery when organisations move away from the traditional PC deployment and locally installed apps?

    I guess that once you’ve got into the private cloud with streaming technologies like App-V, moving to the public cloud should be that bit easier.

    No doubt that almost every software supplier will be offering SaaS versions of their products, but I think the difficulty always comes when applications transfer data between each other as it complicates data restores as they have to be made in sync to ensure consistency.

    • Yes. That’s my short answer. I think the cloud will radically disrupt the hardware-centric marketplace and transform it into a service-centric marketplace.

  2. […] grabbed my attention, both involving Rackspace.  1) Rackspace had announced that it is supporting hybrid cloud, because hybrid cloud had won (the cloud war); and  2) earlier this week Gartner released its estimates of cloud infrastructure […]

  3. I was reading on Gartner that IaaS grew 42% in 2012, clearly a huge leap. Do you think that might be a comfort factor with many existing organisations? That they maintain some control over their environments in the short to medium term before the app vendors switch to SaaS only delivery.

    • I think its is very likely that SaaS and IaaS become dominant mmethods of IT service delivery, yet enterprises still maintain say 30-50% of their legacy apps in their own data centers, because they’re cheaper, amortized, have specialized security requirements, compliance, or specialized infrastructure requirements under-serviced in the cloud.

  4. How do you think the staff profile will change as we step further towards service delivery instead of hardware and operating systems?

    I’d imagine enterprises might see an increase in the following types of role to manage application service providers:

    • Supplier account management
    • Requirements analysis and user liasion (to help decide what services & applications they need to buy)
    • User admin
    • Procurement management and tendering

    I’d imagine the “techy” roles that will remain might be application integration specialists.

    • More services managers aligned with lines of business, app managers, architects, strategists who can orchestrate across IaaS as if they were x86…..

  5. […] grabbed my attention, both involving Rackspace: 1) Rackspace had announced that it is supporting hybrid cloud, because hybrid cloud had won (the cloud war); and 2) earlier this week Gartner released its estimates of cloud infrastructure […]

  6. […] Express after the telegraph crossed from coast to coast. That may be the news behind last week’s hybrid cloud declaration of victory by Rackspace.  They see the cloud vision and it does include […]

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