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The future of cloud is hybrid

17 April 2018

We are living amid a time of unprecedented changes, as pervasive hyper-connectivity and digital disruptions put increasing pressure on the status quo. In a bid to defend their market share and leapfrog the competition, businesses are looking for ways to drive innovation and digital transformation.

 

On this front, cloud computing promises a new model to deliver collaboration, improve speed to market and increase IT efficiency, without the hefty upfront purchases lengthy deployment times of traditional IT.

 

Why the road ahead is hybrid

While public cloud providers often outline the benefits of an all-cloud deployment, some enterprises have come to realise that accurately predicting the operational costs of their cloud deployment is often not as straightforward as they had assumed.

 

Spikes in cloud operational costs could stem from a variety of sources, from an unexpected successful marketing campaign, denial-of-service attacks by hackers, or even oversights such as forgetting to shut down unused cloud instances. Depending on the safeguards and preconfigured limits, the result could be a “bill shock” moment at the end of the month.

 

Many mid to large enterprises are often saddled with legacy equipment and are unlikely to simply discard existing infrastructure on whim. Moreover, an on-premise deployment does offer the advantage of supporting customised or tailored hardware to meet the needs of specific services and their performance characteristics.

 

It is for these reasons, as well as external considerations such as compliance with regulatory rules that organisations are increasingly deriving to the conclusion that a hybrid cloud deployment gives them the best combination of control and flexibility to scale to their needs.

 

Advantages of hybrid

In recent years, technology company, Adobe, began bringing their servers powering a specific section of its Advertising Cloud business back to private data centres1, citing cost and performance considerations that could not be resolved despite years of working with their public cloud provider.

 

A hybrid cloud deployment offers the best features of public cloud with the inherent control and performance of an on-premise deployment. For a start, unexpected bursts of capacity could be drawn from the public cloud as needed, or to facilitate the testing of new services. Enterprises also retain the ability to decide whether a workload is better suited for a multi-tenancy deployment in a cloud deployment or within its own facilities.

 

In Singapore, local banks such as OCBC Bank and DBS Bank have also embraced a hybrid cloud approach. Indeed, OCBC Bank announced in March2 that it has constructed its own purpose-built data centre to meet its regional requirements. Operational since the third quarter of 2017, the new cloud-enabled facility was designed to support its move away from traditional IT deployments – and towards a hybrid and private cloud approach.

 

Similarly, DBS Bank shared that its hybrid cloud environment is optimised for “rapid changes of capacity and functionality” 3. According to the company’s group CIO, this gives the bank the ability to iterate and deliver products to its customers at a much faster rate than before.  Ultimately, by melding public cloud with private cloud into a hybrid deployment, it is evident that organisations – even those from highly-regulated sectors such as financial institutions, are now able to innovate faster than before.

 

Anchoring your hybrid cloud

One crucial factor that is not always highlighted in a hybrid cloud deployment is the fact that the private cloud component has to be hosted at an on-premise data centre that adhere to the industry’s regulatory compliance. In most cases, this means that the IT team must work with a data centre provider that can meet their reliability and capacity requirements. Unlike a cloud provider that is comparatively easy to migrate from, the multi-year nature of a data centre deployment means that due diligence must be rigorously applied.

 

Aside from basic capabilities such as network connectivity and their service level agreement (SLA), other important considerations would be the data centre’s track record and experience in running these highly mission-critical facilities. And in a world increasingly plagued by terrorism and violence, the adoption of the TVRA (Threat and Vulnerability Risk Assessment) under TRM Guidelines by Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) can give businesses the assurance of being hardened against unauthorised access or physical attack.

 

Given the cost of even a minor system outage4 in today’s highly-connected world, businesses are well advised to also evaluate how their data centre partner can help them with maintaining business operations in the event of an outage. With more than a decade of experience running the data centre business, StarHub is committed to add more capacity to serve customers of different needs, including the highly regulated financial industry. Our strength in connecting enterprises both domestically and regionally, allows them to grow their businesses.

 

Contact us today to find out more on how we can empower your business’s IT infrastructure.

 

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