The global supply chain shortage is having a massive impact on the entire technology industry, affecting both availability and price of IT hardware, as enterprises are struggling to secure semiconductor chips, servers and other key hardware components needed for their datacenter and IT infrastructure. This shortage likely won’t be fully resolved for at least another year, proving critical that CIOs and IT decision-makers find ways to efficiently and effectively leverage cloud resources to keep digital transformation efforts on track.
The cloud presents an attractive solution to this widespread problem in IT. However, most CIOs will encounter significant hurdles when looking to transition their IT infrastructure, temporarily or long term, to the cloud. Enabling applications, including the most business-critical ones, to run in public cloud when they were not built to do so requires a costly and time-consuming refactoring process. This is very often so cumbersome that it simply is not an option for many, and definitely not a quick fix. Operations are also very often disrupted when moving from an on-premises datacenter to public cloud as the two require different skill sets to manage as well as different security, data protection and governance policies. This leaves IT leaders with limited options to manage supply chain issues.
Bridging the Gap Between On-Prem and Public Cloud
Hybrid multi-cloud, or an IT environment providing unified infrastructure operations and management across private and public clouds, is perfectly poised to help bridge the gap businesses face due to supply chain issues. This IT operational model enables businesses to run their existing applications, including business critical applications, on public clouds the same way they would run in their existing datacenters, without refactoring.
Implementation can be a temporary, stop-gap measure to get through the current disruption, but the increased agility, streamlined operations, and significant cost savings it offers should also be an important consideration for business’s cloud strategies for the future. In particular, hybrid multi-cloud can provide a long-term solution to many of the challenges businesses are facing when managing multiple cloud environments.
Here are three ways a hybrid multi-cloud platform can help enterprises currently grappling with IT hardware shortages while also planning for future cloud journeys:
1. Enable flexibility and agility
Hybrid multi-cloud allows seamless application mobility across on-premises and different public clouds without making any changes to the application. As we enter the new normal where uncertainty is commonplace, the flexibility of hybrid multi-cloud provides access to on-demand elastic resources to drive scale and cost agility as needed. Streamlined cost and operations with a unified management plane ensures flexibility in choosing the right cloud for each workload without additional operational and technical overheads.
Businesses can easily scale into the public cloud and then bring workloads back on-premises -- once supply chain issues subside -- or to another cloud provider. For instance, clothing retailer Land’s End is leveraging hybrid multi-cloud to burst their virtual desktops into the public cloud during peak shopping seasons. It allows retailers to quickly scale when needed to meet customer demand. The cost savings can also be achieved by removing the need for different teams to manage each cloud environment, as well as eliminating the need for complex application refactoring efforts.
2. Provide scalable capacity
Businesses can see up to 97% faster time to day one infrastructure deployment in the cloud than on-premises, according to ESG. A key benefit to hybrid multi-cloud is the ability to quickly scale capacity but also have the flexibility to ultimately choose the right cloud for each workload, including the option to move a workload back on-premises. This approach gives organizations the opportunity to figure out what capacity is conclusively needed without the costly and time-consuming process of shutting down services and manually migrating them. For example, a large US government agency leverages hybrid multi-cloud to quickly scale in public clouds when dedicated environments are required for new projects; when workloads are stable, they source the needed hardware and move them back on-premises for greater control and long run cost optimization.
Whether for seasonal demands or as part of their overall cloud journey, hybrid multi-cloud is ideally suited for organizations needing to rapidly add capacity. This is especially true when speed is of the essence and adding capacity is a lengthy process.
3. Streamline operations
One key advantage of hybrid multi-cloud is being able to maintain the same operations, data protection, data security, and performance between public clouds and on-premises datacenter. This consistency and streamlined operations across different clouds minimizes the work required to get up and running while still ensuring efficiency and reducing risk. A unified management plane can deliver the same infrastructure and workload anywhere. This single management platform also removes the need for separate teams to manage each environment, or the re-skilling of teams, and greatly simplifies application mobility between clouds.
As organizations continue to grapple with supply chain challenges, the right hybrid multi-cloud strategy can help them address short-term capacity constraints. More importantly, being able to leverage the scalability of public clouds without needing to refactor applications or disrupt existing IT operations, can help organizations better respond to future disruptions and changes without impacting business operations.