The move to the cloud is inevitable as businesses increasingly search for a way to have lower costs and lasting scalability on demand. Among the varying cloud solutions, multicloud stands out as a top choice among enterprises.
“I view the multicloud as something similar to the internet, in that it is going to be a fundamental part of the IT landscape from here on out,” David Cope, Cisco’s senior director of cloud products and solutions market development, told attendees at CDW’s Core-to-Cloud SummIT in Las Vegas Thursday. “It will change the way it looks and the way we use it, but it is here to stay.”
Multicloud services, the combination of multiple cloud solutions into one architecture, can give businesses the benefits of both public and private cloud infrastructure to drive business innovation when combined strategically.
While there is significant interest in multicloud, only 14 percent of businesses feel they have a cohesive strategy to have visibility and control over their cloud infrastructure. Summit experts note this lack of faith as interesting, as many businesses are already operating under a multicloud model.
“Because of this tension often between developers and IT to get access to resources and swiping the credit card, many companies are multicloud and don’t even realize it,” said Cope. “As a matter of fact, when you look at the statistics, the average number of public clouds that a Global 2000 company uses today is four.”
5 Ways Multicloud Will Evolve
To approach multicloud infrastructure, businesses must adjust their thinking away from using the cloud as a replacement for existing infrastructure. Cope identified five key areas for cloud development in the coming years.
- Blurring the lines between the cloud and the data center: The data center and the cloud are no longer siloed, said Cope. Management, security and analytics functions are spanning between the data center and the cloud. Businesses are also establishing data governance policies that cover both data housed within the data center and data stored in the cloud.
- New application technologies going mainstream: “We’re starting to see Kubernetes go from being just a tool that developers like to now moving into production,” said Cope. “This shift to production will mean a new set of requirements.” Additionally, application extraction from the infrastructure will continue, including an increased movement to serverless architecture.
- Rethinking application migration to the cloud: IT leaders will not have to choose between creating applications on the cloud, refactoring or “lifting and shifting” workloads. “Today, there are many different tools, like service mesh technologies and API brokers, that allow you to keep legacy applications in place, access cloud services or develop on the cloud and have it access legacy resources,” said Cope.
- Making data more transparent: Providers now offer a new set of solutions that allow businesses to access data across landscapes, limiting the risk of security and latency issues that can arise from having to migrate data to the cloud. “Now, using these data hub technologies, you can do discovery, you can catalogue and you can connect to these data sources regardless of where they are,” said Cope. “Depending on your workload, there are also a number of services where you can do some intelligent preprocessing, which becomes interesting for IoT workloads.”
- Moving the cloud to the data center: While workloads in the cloud are growing at a more rapid pace than those in the data center, businesses will eventually reach a natural balance of work between the two based on business priorities. Cloud providers now offer solutions such as Google Anthos or Microsoft Azure Stack, which function as cloud services but are on-premises.
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