Find The Right Path To Hybrid Cloud Enlightenment

Posted by Philip Bindley

Hybrid Cloud promises a consistently managed environment across public, private and managed Clouds. Supporting secure and seamless mobility of workloads, it makes for a compelling model of IT service delivery, but realising this ‘Cloud Nirvana’ is not easy.

Many firms have encountered failed or stalled migrations as CIOs and IT decision makers struggle to translate their vision into an optimum technical solution. They’re also finding it difficult to get the right advice and support, with the scarcity of relevant skills and knowledge available in house compounded by confusing or incorrect advice from consultancies and key suppliers.

Little wonder then that Hybrid Cloud is languishing in Gartner’s ‘Trough of Disillusionment’ – the section in the market watcher’s Hype Cycle reserved for technologies in which interest is waning as experiments and implementations fail to deliver.

To delve deeper into the obstacles faced, The Bunker commissioned Vanson Bourne to quiz 100 IT decision makers from private enterprise organisations (1,000+ employees) in the UK about the types of applications and data they’re migrating to Cloud Infrastructure and their successes and failures thus far. Crucially, we wanted to gauge how achievable Hybrid Cloud strategy is for their business today and identify the key elements necessary to develop a defined path forward.

The results provide fascinating insight into current Hybrid Cloud adoption levels, objectives and success rates. An overwhelming majority of the mid-market and large organisations interviewed are already implementing Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure, while more than half identified a mixture of in-house and outsourced IT infrastructure using private and / or public cloud as their organisation’s preferred model for future IT service delivery.

Losing their way

Firms are choosing Hybrid Cloud to realise greater cost efficiency, flexibility and scalability, as well as a lower total cost of ownership (TCO), and to transition IT service delivery from a capex to an opex model. But whilst it’s clear they value the agility and flexibility that Cloud Infrastructure brings, we also discovered that nearly two-thirds of those that had already migrated an application or data to Cloud Infrastructure had experienced some kind of failure.

Although the factors contributing to a failed or stalled migration varied by the type of application and data being migrated, overall the top three were a lack of in-house skills; confusing, biased or incorrect advice; and lack of integration of Cloud Infrastructure and non-Cloud resources.

Quite often we find a business has unreal expectations of what its internal IT team can deliver. In the majority of cases, the problem boils down to the fact that their IT personnel are accustomed to conventional ways of working, whereas Cloud technologies require not only new skills sets, but also the ability to work in a hybrid way – with data storage being a prime example.

Under the old ways of working, block-based storage – where chunks of data are stored in files in a number of blocks – was the solution of choice. But ‘block and file’ storage has limitations in terms of read/write capacity and, with data volumes growing rapidly, performance drops and costs devour IT budgets at an alarming rate.

Object Based Storage offers a powerful solution to this block and file challenge by allowing data to be managed as objects in a single storage pool where every object exists at the same level. When delivered on a Cloud platform with a layer of security and governance that gives 100% assurance of data location, it fits perfectly with the Hybrid model and means firms can store valuable, sensitive or regularly accessed data on-premise, while reducing cost and ensuring scalability by storing other data off premise.

Engaging at the right level

We provide the optimum technical solution to address their business requirement.

We continue to be approached by firms who have been advised by their suppliers to continue buying storage hardware, when this approach has clearly become unsustainable for them. It is our belief that this scenario is reflective of the wider Hybrid Cloud market in particular.

Our survey found that more than half of IT decision makers engage externally with suppliers to help them plan and execute on their strategy, as well as internally with departmental managers, C-Suite executives and stakeholders. Meanwhile, more than half also said that they had yet to identify the optimum technical solution to address their business requirement.

With so many different messages and disruptive technologies to choose from, CIOs and IT decision makers are suffering from a serious case of clouded vision. They understand how important it is to align business and IT strategy, but what they don’t know is how to join up the dots.

Ultimately, our research underscores the importance of working with the right partners to develop a Hybrid Cloud strategy that is deliverable and properly aligned with the needs of the business, and to close the disconnect that currently exists between the skills and knowledge available internally and advice received externally.

Is your organisation’s Hybrid Cloud languishing in the doldrums? Download our survey report to find out how to get your strategy and your business shipshape for Hybrid Cloud.