Hybrid, multi, and now? Just cloud.
From Chris McDuffie, VP Cloud Architecture
I have joked internally at Structured that pundits, strategists, and customers all have the cloud wrong.
Many folks are choosing cloud for all the right reasons, but many don’t know why they would or wouldn’t. Cloud is easy, but it takes all new skills. Cloud is cheap, but you have to watch your costs. Cloud is limitless, but you are locked in to a particular vendor. Cloud is speed, but were my controls in place for a reason? Cloud transforms my business, or does it?
That said, I have never been more excited about what’s happening in the industry. Right now. Cloud is finally moving past the hybrid and multi-cloud stage to just cloud. That’s the best news I’ve heard in a long time. I can now engage my customers with solutions that allow them to have incredibly flexible infrastructures under their cloud’s unified management. Unified management is the key, allowing anyone to build and run a hybrid cloud.
What do I mean by that? We have a lot of friends and partners that have great consoles to wrap cloud services together. Typically, these are managed by an MSP. Many enterprises have mastered Ansible, Puppet, or Chef and have built their own management platforms as code. But there is a huge segment of customers in the middle that either don’t want a managed platform, or don’t have the skills to make it happen. So it’s been multi-cloud. Some stuff over here, and some stuff other there. Different skills and even different goals in many cases. That’s where these new technologies are going to make such a huge difference and begin to accelerate digital transformation.
Azure Stack is one cloud with many regions. Nutanix is building extensive integrations with Google. VMware’s partnerships with AWS and Softlayer. Midfin is a distributed cloud with growing management of multiple public clouds. Stratoscale can be managed as an AWS region. It’s just the beginning of true hybrid cloud for the masses, not just some pieces bolted together.
I predict datacenters and clouds will both grow. First with software, and then targeted hardware upgrades that make business sense—supporting applications and teams at the point they need and not just for the sake of upgrades. Investing in a direction and growth will have much lower risk.
It’s never been a better time for our customers. They can now focus much less on IT and more about growing their business.