Hybrid cloud: what’s stuck?

After the cloud, IT providers are now encouraging their customers to move to a hybrid cloud. There would be many advantages in distributing applications, data and their backups between the site and online resources. You just need to replace local equipment with more modern versions designed to work in hybrid mode. But companies aren’t as enthusiastic as suppliers would like.

“A single site or even single cloud approach concentrates risk and does not provide the functionality or availability that companies need,” said Felicity March, director of security and resiliency consulting at Kyndry, a former outsourcing arm of IBM.

“Through a hybrid cloud approach, companies gain the ability to change projects faster, redundancy that protects their brand from downtime risks, and even possible optimization of their investments,” she adds.

In her opinion, the main barrier to multi-site deployment is the fear that companies will be even more overwhelmed by the management of multiple equipment and IT solutions from different vendors. “On the contrary, IT vendors are working to technically unify hybrid architectures to provide the cohesion, security, and resiliency that businesses need,” she promises.

Cloud or data center, but not both

Paul Stapley, a Logicalis consultant, does not have exactly the same analysis. He wants to believe that companies are now very mature in their transition to the cloud. “The initial excitement has subsided. We are now using the cloud more intelligently. Companies no longer sign up for a proposal until they ask themselves how much effort it will require on their part and how relevant the project is. »

He notes, in particular, that companies very quickly succumbed to the price realities of the cloud: according to a study conducted by Flexera, 25% of companies exceed their cloud budget before the end of the year, and 39% plan to increase next year.

“Companies have finally realized that the complexity of the cloud basically means knowing how to invest much more strategically — in talent, in rewriting applications, in building environments. Often it even means finding a way to move away from investments already made in the cloud,” he says.

In this context of investment, Stapley argues that security considerations alone justify propagating the same applications and the same data between the data center and the cloud.

“Getting out of the cloud and back on-premises is not a good sign from a management standpoint,” he says. “The maturity of the cloud inspires a certain amount of confidence. The age-old security issues that were justified three or four years ago are no longer justified. The cloud is a real source of innovation, and this is its great advantage. »

According to him, customers today prefer to update their projects bit by bit instead of choosing a hybrid solution. In short: Gradually migrate your existing data center to the cloud, rather than replacing its hardware early on with hybrid cloud-capable hardware. Moreover, they are often sold by subscription.

“No one wants to give up their investment in data centers to follow the new economic models! Companies want their IT to evolve to be more and more environmentally compliant,” he says.

It also debunks arguments that more or less overtly explain that data center hybridization will keep IT staff on site—in hybrid mode, the physical servers would ostensibly benefit from the automated administration capabilities of the cloud.

“New projects of connected objects, contactless computing (“edge”) require service management, event monitoring, security management, data analysis. IT departments never stop fighting and will always need competent internal teams,” he concludes.

Just a matter of difficulty

For Martin Percival, solution architect at Red Hat, the only problem with hybrid cloud is that it’s unclear. “All this is not always easy for clients and they need someone they can trust to guide them. The sector should better explain all possible steps. »

From his point of view, on the one hand, there would be companies that choose a solution for a project type, make it the standard from the very beginning, and then don’t change it anymore, regardless of whether this solution works on site or in the cloud. . And on the other hand, providers are eager to sell them an alternative to the hybrid cloud as soon as there is an excuse to refuse.

“Sometimes you have to be very persuasive to free some companies from trusted vendors or blocked offerings and move them to a hybrid solution that is beautiful and much more profitable,” he notes.

“Therefore, it is better to encourage customers to take a strategic approach, and not just react to problems. Moreover, the hybrid cloud will not prevent them from being in a difficult situation that they did not imagine at the start. »

“Actually, the real problem with hybrid cloud today is that as soon as one aspect of it is simplified, we rush to add a lot of heterogeneous elements before considering how everything goes well in order to be able to work together,” he concludes.

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