As the public cloud evolves to address more enterprise IT operating requirements it will have to evolve into being a strategic part of a hybrid cloud operating model. Enterprises will demand agility and control for the vast majority of their critical apps, and that is where the cloud opportunity is greatest.
The ability to leverage the cloud when and where needed with minimal constraints and maximum control is perhaps the most disruptive IT capability to be unleashed since the dawn of the PC era.
Treating the cloud as another fixed environment in an increasingly complex collection of stovepipe environments is the natural extension of “data center think”, but that perspective will become obsolete as clouds become integrated with data centers.
ð Hence recent Gartner predictions about the key cloud driver shifting from cost to agility.
Today, cloud migration and cloud integration are at the forefront of this new IT age, yet the tools and solutions are immature, offering varying degrees of the key steps (discovery, blueprinting, provisioning, synchronization and service initiation) required to deploy existing apps without modification into a hybrid cloud operating model. Some apps will no doubt have to be re-architected and other apps may reside in dedicated data centers for their operating life. Some may be delivered by SaaS models into dedicated data centers or various clouds.
ð The key is thinking beyond the cloud as a fenced environment as I said in Hybrid Cloud: Two Competing Models and Hybrid Cloud Market Will be Won in the Middle Ground.
Using the Cloud for Disaster Recovery Requires Integration
One of the most powerful use cases for the hybrid cloud will be leveraging the cloud for “pay as you go” cloud DR. Cloud-integrated disaster recovery has the potential to significantly enhance the business case for disaster recovery, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (by reducing expenses and improving RPOs and RTOs) and for large enterprises (by allowing for an extra layer of protection over and beyond the duplicate infrastructures already under management).
The basic promise of cloud-integrated disaster recovery is the ability to use the massive investments by Amazon, Microsoft, VMware, Google and OpenStack sponsors instead of having to purchase duplicate hardware and infrastructure for rare or occasional use during planned downtime or unplanned outages.
Yet using the cloud for DR will require cloud migration and integration capabilities, versus treating the cloud like an additional stovepipe. With integration, testing, dry runs and aggressive RPOs and RTOs become economically viable for the vast majority of companies. The transition from the data center to the cloud becomes seamless. That makes the cloud transformative versus simply additive.