Building your infrastructure for a hybrid cloud future

29 October 2020

According to Gartner, the worldwide public cloud services market will grow to US$266.4 billion1 in 2020. While it remains to be seen how the ongoing pandemic will taper this prediction, it is worth noting that this metric was just US$175 billion in 20152, highlighting just how quickly the public cloud has grown.

Yet enterprises are not giving up on non-public cloud platforms but are continuing to make substantial private cloud and on-premises deployments. Indeed, Nutanix noted that its business in ASEAN grew by over 40 per cent3 during the Q3 of its fiscal year 2020, while IBM’s mainframe revenue soared 63% year over year4.

Why the hybrid cloud is growing

 

So why are enterprises still investing in mainframes and hyperconverged systems? A survey of 153 IT directors by Forrester hints at the answer: 88 per cent of organisations are adopting a hybrid IT approach. In a nutshell, enterprises are not taking a pure cloud approach, but have instead turned to hybrid cloud deployments to meet their IT needs.

Triggered by factors such as higher than expected costs culminating in “bill shock”, or performance bottlenecks, cloud repatriation is a growing trend in recent years. What’s more, IDC thinks up to 50 per cent of public cloud workloads could be repatriated to private clouds or on-premises infrastructures.

Here are some other possible reasons for the growing interest in hybrid cloud deployments:

  • With practically all “low-hanging” public cloud deployments deployed, businesses are finding that many core enterprise workloads are either better suited for on-premises operation or too expensive to migrate.
  • Evolving compliance regulations, cybersecurity considerations, and data laws might mean that certain types of workloads or data must now be kept off the public cloud.
  • Rare as serious public cloud outages might be, there is often a lack of control and visibility when they do go down. This results in an inability to predict recovery timeframes.

 

Keeping workloads connected

One often unspoken mention of hybrid cloud and private cloud deployments is the importance of the network. From failover sites, backup infrastructure, or keeping geographically dispersed elements of the enterprise core connected, the presence of fast, reliable, connectivity is the linchpin of modern IT environments.

For instance, some enterprise applications and inter-site database replication often don’t function correctly if the latency is too high. Moreover, private cloud deployments where a secondary site serves as a backup location for business continuity are typically designed with the assumption of 100 per cent uptime to keep virtual machine states between the two locations synchronised.

Of course, IT infrastructure cannot be designed just for today’s needs but must cater to the future, too. Some considerations include next-gen processing such as advanced analytics, or artificial intelligence applications such as machine learning, expert systems, and natural language processing, or funnelling a high volume of data from a myriad of IoT sensors back to a processing core.

Finally, 2020 has brought many new challenges to both the macroeconomic situation and how businesses operate. To cope with the new scenarios including meeting the demands of a work from home (WFH) workforce, IT departments had to make redeployments of IT systems, including ensuring adequate network capacity to meet the diverse needs of users now working from home.

 

Designing your network

Fortunately, the state of connectivity today is mature with multiple offerings available to give enterprises the network they need. This includes the availability of point-to-point fibre optics for organisations that require heightened levels of security and reliability.

For instance, organisations such as government agencies and financial institutions often demand the highest levels of security with private connectivity and the securing of in-flight data at the transport layer using optical encryption. Moreover, organisations with mission-critical equipment such as those in healthcare might also require high-performance WAN connectivity between data centres and corporate offices to support their hybrid cloud deployment.

StarHub’s Super Direct Service (SDS) is a fully managed wavelength-based private, domestic connectivity service that is especially suited for requirements around security, reliability, and high bandwidth. With speeds of up to 100Gbps, it also comes with 100% SLA with around-the-clock support from a local network team, full redundancy options, and auto-fibre reroute paths.

Network security is assured with StarHub’s full ownership of the fibre infrastructure and dedicated pathways through wavelength multiplexing. This can be further enhanced with fibre encryption for the secure transmission of information.

Keep your business fully protected and on the fast track. Learn more about StarHub’s Super Direct Service (SDS).

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