Five Emerging Requirements Impacting Hybrid Cloud Strategies

As companies turn to the hybrid cloud to future-proof business and innovate faster, there are some emerging needs that they should address.

Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary

December 8, 2017

4 Min Read

Customers’ hybrid cloud expectations have evolved from just connecting environments. They are requiring a new level of flexibility and agility to develop and deploy anywhere, renew applications, and enable new applications with services, whether in a public cloud or on-prem.  Here are five new requirements impacting how customers think about their cloud strategy.

Ability to develop in the cloud and deploy anywhere. Rapid software development needs a flexible infrastructure that can change as the code evolves. In a hybrid cloud world, workloads can run in many locations concurrently. For one application team, development may be in AWS while production is on-premises. App “A” may be a mobility application that needs to be in the cloud to have a better user experience. App “B” may now have cloud-like agility, but needs to remain on-premises due to regulatory compliance or adjacency to corporate data.

Increase software velocity without compromising security or sacrificing control. IT needs to be able keep up with the business requirement to rapidly deploy software, while maintaining tight security and compliance. Everyone wants to be the first to market, but managing different security controls across a multicloud environment and aligning that with on-premises policies can slow development and time to market. Ideally, network and security administrators could enforce policies as if the hybrid clouds were one single environment giving them a holistic view of the security events and correlated behavioral patterns across this extended environment.

Extend existing management frameworks and tools across on-premises and cloud. Most cloud providers have their own management processes and tools so public cloud services may not be manageable from the tools running on-premises. It will be critical for IT to have common management capacities so they can have approval workflows based on cost or integrate into existing ITSM platforms to create needed CMDB records in real time. A common management platform will enable them to more securely deploy and manage applications across multiple data centers, private cloud, and public cloud environments.  

Choose your cloud provider based on the needs of your workload. Customers evaluating hybrid cloud have many options when connecting existing, legacy, or current data centers to private and public clouds. Some might have initiatives to push private cloud stacks to a public cloud, like VMware working with Amazon. Others may be pushing public to public with AWS to Azure or AWS to Google Cloud. And then others may want public cloud stacks pushed to a private cloud-ready infrastructure solution. The ability to match workloads with the right environment, as well as move workloads as needs change, will enable companies to rapidly develop new applications, get access to new services, and innovate faster.

Bridge existing application investments with new digital initiatives. Every business is going to be challenged with striking a balance between their legacy apps and the new technology that will elevate their business offerings. New development teams can write their apps using microservices, containers, and API-driven connections. Enterprise IT can provide a similar new API interface for a legacy system that, by itself, does not provide that kind of interface. Developers are able to consume legacy processes/data in the method they are most familiar with, wherever they want. By having on-premises and public clouds accessible through the same architecture, businesses can benefit from faster integration, enhanced user experiences, and increased data portability. 

Hybrid cloud will be a way many companies, across industries, future-proof business and innovate faster than ever before.  So it’s critical to understand these requirements to ensure optimal returns.

Kip Compton is Vice President, Cisco Cloud Platform and Solutions Group. Kip is responsible for driving Cisco’s multicloud infrastructure strategy designed to help customers create and manage both public and private cloud environments. Kip's team builds and delivers secure hybrid cloud infrastructure, platforms, and services that offer customers the freedom to choose the best environments and consumption models for their traditional and cloud-native applications.

Kip has over 20 years of senior leadership experience driving innovation in cloud and IoT systems, software, and network engineering, including roles with both vendors and service providers. His areas of expertise include video, distributed systems, content distribution, collaboration technologies, and digital media security.  Previously, Kip served as Vice President of Cisco’s Internet of Things Systems and Software Group (IoTSSG).  Before joining Cisco, he served three years with Comcast as Vice President of Video and Media Engineering, responsible for development of Comcast’s digital cable, content security, video on demand, and streaming media infrastructure and services.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science and a Master’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science, both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a MBA degree from the Wharton School.

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