Earlier this year, a massive outage of AWS S3 made a lot of enterprises and businesses stop and think about putting their eggs into one basket. Or – wondering which eggs were in which basket, given that so many companies these days are managing a mix of public, private and hybrid cloud solutions.
Hybrid Cloud is the New Normal
The ramifications of downtime can make for a miserable day, and the repercussions can resonate for weeks. Customers without services. Employees unable to communicate and get work done. Off the hook executives pressuring the IT team for answers. Even in spite of business continuity plans which are designed to ensure availability, disaster recovery and redundancy – the impact of outages like the AWS S3 on the last day of February remind us that with the sheer variety of applications, clouds, and connectivity options – it’s a good idea to have a unified view and control over a MultiCloud environment.
In today’s HyperConnected, digitally driven era, downtime of any sort is intolerable.
Even a few seconds on an e-commerce, payments, transaction, exchange and even media platform can result in massive business disruption, bounce rates, flooding of contact centers, and ultimately customers leaving to head over to more stable platforms.
With historically reliable performance, over the last few years businesses and enterprises may have begun to take the public cloud for granted, with many IT teams eager to offload the painful responsibility for application availability and resiliency. While it worked out pretty well, and saved millions of dollars over the last decade, as “XaaS” continues to expand, IT teams and the executives they report into now recognize that public cloud is not a panacea or recipe for long-term success.
This becomes even more critical as all successful business transform into digital companies, including automobile companies, energy utilities, media and entertainment companies rely increasingly on real time access to manage our roads, power our homes and factories, access and share music, sports, entertainment and news.
This is driving the acceleration of private clouds – and hybrid approaches. But managing the complexity of multiple apps, on multiple clouds, leveraging a mix of public, private and hybrid – is becoming its own fresh hell.
The mix can also be more expensive than one thought when budgeting for the move to cloud, as hidden fees, layers of service charges, unexpected capital expenses and more “pile on” as IT teams are forced to move to private clouds. Private clouds used to require, for example, a circuit – an MPLS network – a VPN – or other legacy approach.
Now, however, with the advent of Network-as-a-Service, supporting Everything-as-a-Service, the move to the mix is less complicated, and therefore less risky – and expensive – than ever. As more and more DevOps groups sprout up, as enterprises develop their own competitive digital services, and as more “API Economy” systems are built, this is the perfect time for IT teams and all those supporting internal systems and applications developers to rethink private and hybrid networking.
At NetFoundry we are speaking with many of the world’s largest enterprises in the most demanding technology contexts (banks, health care systems, pharmaceutical companies, and more). We are learning from our customers and prospects, from our technology ecosystem partners and sales channel partners, that the most powerful answer to infrastructure resiliency is to adopt a hybrid or MultiCloud strategy. Our customers, prospects and partners are validating the notion that the best way to protect business applications – and the business itself – from infrastructure downtime is to spread workloads across multiple data centers and cloud providers.
In fact, Gartner says that as enterprises move more and more to the cloud, more and more are choosing a MultiCloud strategy.
By 2020, a corporate “no-cloud” policy will be as rare as a “no-internet” policy is today, according to Gartner, Inc. Cloud-first, and even cloud-only, is replacing the defensive no-cloud stance that dominated many large providers in recent years. Today, most provider technology innovation is cloud-centric, with the stated intent of retrofitting the technology to on-premises.
“Aside from the fact that many organizations with a no-cloud policy actually have some under-the-radar or unavoidable cloud usage, we believe that this position will become increasingly untenable,” said Jeffrey Mann, research vice president at Gartner. “Cloud will increasingly be the default option for software deployment. The same is true for custom software, which increasingly is designed for some variation of public or private cloud.”
This does not mean that everything will be cloud-based, and concern will remain valid in some cases. However, the extreme of having nothing cloud-based will largely disappear. Hybrid will be the most common usage of the cloud — but this will require public cloud to be part of the overall strategy. Technology providers will increasingly be able to assume that their customers will be able to consume cloud capabilities.
The move to hybrid cloud isn’t easy and is creating a land rush on solutions from all of the world’s tech giants, from HP to Microsoft to Dell to SAP. First generation hybrid and private cloud platforms are difficult to install, configure, and operate, but still enterprise IT teams are “going there” based on cost savings, elasticity and agility.
While many companies are making the move to hybrid cloud easier to manage, what many are forgetting is the importance of the MultiCloud network solutions that make it easier to manage the connectivity as well!
We have created a unique, patented service network platform enabling IT teams to “spin up” private networks over the public Internet, that can connect public and private clouds over a unified platform – dramatically simplifying connectivity.
We see the huge value in cloud and particularly hybrid, or MultiCloud, and have validated that the true value of cloud capabilities from companies like AWS, Google, Microsoft, Rackspace and others, will be unlocked when enterprises can leverage those services fully but over secure, resilient and high performance virtual, software defined, and policy controlled networks.
We believe enterprises and businesses and other HyperConnected organizations should be able to deploy and scale their applications easily, tapping the most efficient resources, whether from their own data centers, to co-located facilities, on IaaS virtual machines from the best available service providers. That can be daunting, unless organized and well managed through a unified, orchestrated approach.
In our case, we’re making headway using a highly secure, software overlay on top of the public Internet to create strong, survivable, sustainable private networks making HyperConnected, MultiConnected a virtual and real reality.