As enterprises continue their march toward the cloud, the questions IT leaders are asking about the path ahead are getting more nuanced. “Should we go to the cloud?” has given way to “Which cloud should we adopt?” and “What are the hidden cloud pitfalls we’ll face along the way?” CIOs are grappling with how best to move their organizations from traditional CAPEX mindsets to OPEX-oriented futures. To make that shift, there’s one more question they must ask: “Which cloud is right for each of our apps?”
Happily, the public cloud is no longer a one-size-fits-all marketplace. AWS had been the sole game in town for years, but Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, IBM SoftLayer, Oracle, Virtustream and other clouds are now as compelling for some companies and some applications.
This multi-cloud landscape lets IT stick with one of its core principles: avoid vendor lock-in. RightScale says nearly 70 percent of organizations are reporting hybrid cloud use. Hybrid includes public and private cloud offerings. Today’s hybrid environments often involve a distribution of data among custom and legacy applications, private clouds, virtualized data on-prem and in more than one public cloud.
“Hybrid cloud” has become the launching pad to “multi-cloud.” A cloud-agnostic approach can be the best way to capture the efficiencies and economic benefits of public clouds, but the mix of cloud providers from which companies choose should be driven first and foremost by the needs of their apps.
There is no guidebook for easy lifts and shifts to the cloud. Which app should go to which cloud depends on its needs for availability, performance and latency. Does the app demand on-prem-level high availability? How much compute does it require every day? Will its performance SLA match up with the cloud? These are among the questions teams should ask BEFORE they ask, “Which cloud?”
As hybrid cloud transformation progresses, enterprise IT leaders must think beyond the physical or virtual limitations of their apps and make sure the data is accessible wherever it’s needed. To do that, teams must evaluate their own environments, benchmarks and cloud choices. Then they can make the best decisions in a landscape where hybrid cloud is a necessity that includes multiple, compelling public cloud options.
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