The public cloud promises great performance, reasonable cost and immense agility. But does it live up to it? Not if you are moving ALL your workloads to the public cloud. Not if you are doing it all on your own. Here’s why going hybrid is a much smarter option.

Awise man once said: “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”

That holds true when it comes to the public cloud. The fact is you don’t know enough about the public cloud. What’s more dangerous is that you don’t know that you don’t know enough.

And that’s like shooting in the dark. Organisations today are under the impression that migrating to the public cloud—completely, and on their own—is a feat. In fact, it’s a mistake. Nearly 40 percent of organisations with public cloud experience report having moved public cloud workloads back to on-premises, mostly due to security and cost concerns, according to IDG Research.

In essence, that’s what’s called ‘public cloud buyer’s remorse’.

It’s time you took whatever you thought you knew about the public cloud and threw it out of the window. And open your door to the immense possibilities of hybrid clouds.

Blinded by the cost benefits, performance capabilities and its ability to increase agility, CIOs are taking a huge leap of faith that is based on something as vulnerable as hope. Hope that their data is in safe hands, hope that they are paying for only what they use—or they need to use—and hope that what they see is what they get.

That bubble has burst. It’s time you took whatever you thought you knew about the public cloud and threw it out of the window. And open your door to the immense possibilities of hybrid clouds.

The Trouble with Public Cloud

Rewind a few years, and you’d remember how CIOs and their organizations treated public clouds like an irrepressible problem child. Like a sword hanging over their heads, the public cloud was a constant security threat. Worse, nobody really understood it and what it could do.

Fast forward to today, and you’d realize that public clouds have suddenly elbowed their way in and are winning CIOs and organizations over. According to 451 Research, while cloud adoption will continue to grow at a rate of 20 to 30 percent, the public cloud is estimated to experience nearly 40 percent growth in 2017.

That’s great. But going public for the long-haul—on your own—is one, a risk and two, you don’t have all that it takes to move completely to the public cloud. Public clouds promise the world, but the reality is quite different. They come with a baggage of complexity, compliance and cost.

You can’t just move all your workloads to the public cloud and sit pretty. Managing it is still your headache. Your current IT team isn’t capable of handling all that load because the cloud needs specialized skills.

“Complexity of corporate environments does not simply disappear in the cloud–rather it has to be purchased and administered there. In many instances, the potential for automation remains unused for lack of knowledge and resources, while excessively large capacity resources are retained because actual demand is so hard to predict,” said Carlo Velten, an analyst at Crisp Research in this whitepaper.

You can’t just move all your workloads to the public cloud and sit pretty. Managing it is still your headache. Your current IT team isn’t capable of handling all that load because the cloud needs specialised skills.

The Hybrid Fix: By sharing resources between public and private clouds, you can get the best of both worlds. This makes complexity more manageable. Think about it: You will rarely run out of resources. With the hybrid cloud, you can now move resources from public to private and back. Cloud bursting makes that possible. You could set your internal infrastructure target (private cloud) to a certain workload and then move certain workloads to the public cloud once you hit that threshold.

Also, a third-party cloud provider can help you achieve the much-needed skills that are missing within your organisation. That’s crucial because the IT department is now playing the role of a services broker. It’s the IT team’s responsibility to provide resources to users from either internal or external means. It’s their job to make it seamless for users. That requires a different kind of skill set. You need people who have the skills to understand business requirements even better than today.

CIOs and organizations that want the advantages of public cloud – but also want to keep their data on a leash – are turning to hybrid clouds.

Another example is one of the most popular social gaming companies that also moved back to its in-house data center to have more control over its data. Trusting the public cloud with all your workloads—and parting with all your data—is probably not a great idea.

The Hybrid Fix: Remember, your data is residing on someone else’s infrastructure in a multi-tenant environment. How safe can it be? The sense of losing control is real. That’s why CIOs and organisations that want the advantages of public cloud–but also want to keep their data on a leash–are turning to hybrid clouds.

CIOs started to try their hands with non-mission critical workloads on the cloud. That gave them confidence. After that, they became comfortable to provide users with the resources they need. They soon began to ask themselves: What else can I put on the cloud?

Also, public clouds are not for everything—and everyone. The more you use, the more you pay.

On average, only one-quarter of all workloads in companies require the amount of elasticity that public cloud infrastructures offer. A majority of enterprise applications can still be made available in a company’s data center–provided that the infrastructure within the company is cloud-ready.

How can CIOs cater to the growing needs of business with small budgets? By being more efficient. Hybrid cloud helps IT be more efficient with usage and therefore budgets.

The Hybrid Fix: In a cloud world, you are ideally charging users based on usage. It’s like paying for your utilities, phone, power, or water. That’s a unique sort of thing. It’s becoming more important now. Let’s admit it: IT is not getting a wholesome budget. How can CIOs cater to the growing needs of business with small budgets? By being more efficient. Hybrid cloud helps IT be more efficient with usage and therefore budgets.

You want to make sure that you can look at usage and make decisions of when to burst to be able to use your cloud infrastructure optimally. Doing this on a very consistent basis is critical.

The road to the cloud isn’t easy but with the right partner, the right skills and the right mix of private and public cloud, you can be rest assured that you have all it takes to make your cloud journey a success.

HAN CHON - DIRECTOR, DATA CENTER GROUP, LENOVO ASIA PACIFIC
CIO PROFILE
Han Chon
Director, Data Center Group, Lenovo Asia Pacific

Based in Singapore, Han leads Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) and Cloud initiatives for Lenovo in the Asia Pacific region. He has over 20 years of experience within the IT industry.