I have written several hybrid cloud articles over the last 30 days, based on interviews with a variety of tech analysts and executives. See, for example Microsoft and the 2014 Hybrid Cloud Showdown, Microsoft, VMware and the Year of the Hybrid Cloud and The Top Three Benefits of Hybrid Cloud Deployment.
One of the common themes across these articles is that with Microsoft and VMware entering the cloud IaaS market, we are about to see a massive battle for enterprise cloud deployments; and the most likely winner will be enterprises who are able to leverage the cloud for unprecedented agility, protection and efficiency.
Enterprises won’t be able to get those benefits by treating the cloud as just another rack or data center in an empire of racks or data centers, but rather by treating the cloud as an integrated extension of the data center. I talked about this important hybrid cloud distinction in The Hybrid Cloud is an Integrated Cloud.
For the winners the cloud will exceed the power of server virtualization and allow enterprises to leverage clouds on an “on demand” basis. The much over-hyped concept of cloud bursting, for example, isn’t even close to the power of leveraging the cloud for disaster recovery for production apps. The 2013 barrier is essentially automation and standardization. That will likely change in 2014, as cloud migration solutions and platforms mature.