For some time, analysts have claimed that the hybrid cloud movement eventually will be the norm; it seems that time is now. Businesses around the world are pursuing hybrid cloud strategies in an effort to balance cost, security, functionality and flexibility.
InformationWeek recently surveyed more than 380 respondents across industries and revealed that 47 percent of participants have either implemented, are piloting or are developing private clouds. The majority of these respondents said they are also building hybrid architectures that will enable the easy migration of data and applications between private and public cloud environments. This figure highlights the ongoing trend to embrace more scalable networks that can keep up with the speed, size and flexible requirements of today’s virtualized IT landscape.
The evolving digital business world is a fluid ecosystem that requires service providers to move away from traditionally rigid IT environments and adopt more malleable alternatives, such as cloud computing and software-defined networking (SDN). These offer new financial and operational opportunities. This move toward virtualized technologies is sparking innovation, allowing operators to bring new services to market faster and more cost-effectively. At the same time, however, the phenomenon is introduces new risks that must be addressed.
Why Orchestration Matters Now
One of the biggest challenges organizations face when pursuing hybrid cloud strategies deals with orchestration. Many companies use both in-house, onsite architectures as well as third-party, offsite environments. As a result, decision-makers must ensure that both ecosystems function well with one another and do not replicate unnecessary resources to cause downtime and latency.
A recent survey of more than 2,000 IT professionals by 451 Research echoed these concerns, revealing that more than half of respondents have not configured their cloud solutions for interoperability. This means that cloud users are not taking full advantage of the hosted services and are failing to optimize networking capabilities. Orchestration will become an increasingly important contributor to the success of the hybrid cloud.
A proper cloud and virtual services orchestration strategy requires a balance of automation, best practices and integration. This means managing and simplifying resource usage, performance, scalability and other network management aspects through a single, consolidated platform. Maintaining end-to-end manageability will be critical in the future as the virtualization market expands, drives creative evolution and introduces more sophisticated services and functions.
Smaller businesses were the first to experiment with cloud technologies in an attempt to level the playing field with larger organizations. This means that orchestration strategy can be key in establishing new, near-term competitive advantages. Soon, cloud technologies will be the norm, forcing decision-makers either to integrate and orchestrate their virtual environments or fall short of opportunities because their clouds are siloed.
Cloud services, especially those built on hybrid in-house and off-site strategies, undoubtedly will gain momentum in the coming years. Businesses across industries are seeking innovative ways to optimize operations without compromising the bottom line. Service providers that pursue hybrid cloud initiatives must be aware of their constantly changing inventory and data centers and will require the right tools and solutions to orchestrate hybrid networks and services under one end-to-end umbrella.
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