By Nitin Mishra
Cloud computing industry is evolving at a lightning speed with new trends and developments emerging every year. However, one thing has become quite clear—the future of cloud is hybrid. Combining the higher security for mission-critical applications that comes with private cloud with the flexibility and scalability offered by public cloud, hybrid cloud promises organizations the best of the both worlds.
Given the advantages, hybrid cloud has emerged as the preferred implementation model that will drive the progression of the cloud industry. This trend is corroborated by the findings of the research firm Gartner, which reveals that 77% of enterprise global infrastructure decision makers that are planning, implementing, or upgrading cloud technology say that they are in a hybrid cloud environment.
As hybrid cloud space continues to mature, it is undergoing a rapid evolution. Let’s look at some definitive trends that will define the hybrid cloud future in the coming year:
Consistent hybrid experience
The talks around hybrid cloud being the future have been doing rounds for quite some time. The year 2020 will see that turn into reality. With new innovations in hybrid cloud space, organizations will be able to ensure seamless experience across the environment instead of looking at public cloud and on-premise or private cloud as separate pieces. Organizations will be able to move past the latency challenges and experience truly consistent hybrid experience.
Hybrid multicloud on the rise
Organizations across industries are picking and mixing technologies and services from multiple cloud providers as per their specific business needs to avoid vendor lock-in and gain from the best-of-the-breed capabilities. As multiple cloud providers get added to the public piece of hybrid cloud puzzle, hybrid multicloud will become the new IT normal. Using a mix of on-premise and/or private / public cloud from multiple providers, hybrid multicloud offers organizations freedom and flexibility to run their workload on-permise or cloud and even change cloud providers, if required. Further, a hybrid multicloud approach enables organizations to adopt common management and software development capabilities across the environment. Through 2020, hybrid multicloud will emerge as a dominant trend that will shape the cloud industry. As per McKinsey & Company, hybrid, multicloud is set to be a USD 1.2 trillion market opportunity by 2022.
Edge computing gains greater relevance in hybrid cloud strategies
Edge computing, a model where computations are performed as close as possible to the sources and sinks of data and content, will become a critical element of hybrid cloud strategies. Combination capabilities of hybrid cloud and edge computing brings a great value proposition for organizations, wherein hybrid cloud ecosystem can be used to aggregate most relevant data and back-end functions, while edge can support processing and real-time analytics. In 2020, as number of IoT devices increase, more and more enterprises will tap into the advantage of edge with hybrid cloud model to discover key business insights.
Containerization continues to rise
Industry pundits are widely recognizing containers as the core of an effective hybrid cloud model due to their capabilities to provide consistency, regardless whether a workload is deployed on-premise or on one or more clouds. Containers simplify deployment, management, and operational concerns associated with a hybrid cloud, helping organizations to maximize the business value from their hybrid cloud strategy. In 2020, while containers will not become mainstream, we can expect stronger adoption. With every tech giant introducing platforms to simplify deployment and management of clusters, organizations will consider tapping into the power of containers in making hybrid cloud heterogenous and workload agnostic.
Hyperconverged infrastructure for hybrid cloud gains traction
Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is emerging as a best match to support the hybrid environment as it addresses the biggest concern with the environment—increased complexity. HCI enables organizations to integrate cloud into their environments by eliminating the need to manage compute, storage and network resources as separate tiers. Organizations gain the ability to manage everything from a single pane of glass. Further, pre-integrated, consolidated compute and storage resources of HCI solutions enable cloud implementations to run faster, scale higher and respond quicker. As hybrid cloud continues to gain momentum, HCI solutions are evolving in order to align with the needs of hybrid cloud world. In 2020, expect more and more organizations to run their hybrid cloud on HCI, which according to industry watchers, will eventually become the go-to infrastructure platform for hybrid cloud.
DR and backup requirements will spur hybrid cloud adoption
In today’s always-on business scenario, effective DR and backup has become more important than ever to ensure business continuity and data safety. Providing scalability, flexibility and cost efficiency, a hybrid cloud approach for DR and backup can prove extremely beneficial for businesses. DR is complex and cost and resource-intensive activity, hence cloud-based DR and backup is emerging as a viable option. Using hybrid cloud model enables organizations to have the secondary off-site backup location in the cloud, which is way more effective than traditional storage, while having the flexibility to host sensitive data on private network and meeting compliance requirements. Increasing DR and backup requirements will continue to drive hybrid cloud adoption through 2020.
Stronger uptake for hybrid cloud managed services
In 2020, a large number of organizations will partner with cloud service providers to define and determine the optimum approach to cloud management. Organizations will choose providers to handle complexities associated with hybrid cloud and effectively manage instances across cloud providers and hosted on various deployment models (private cloud and on-premise). Cloud providers offering a combination of robust Cloud Management Platform and Managed Services will emerge as preferred partners on account of their capabilities to help organizations ensure a single view and holistic and seamless experience of their hybrid infrastructure.
As we enter a new decade, cloud is certainly braver and stronger than ever before. Hybrid cloud will continue to grow and evolve to offer organizations more flexibility and consistency and help them speed up application deployment cycle.
(The author is the Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Product Officer, NTT-Netmagic)