It's a familiar story: IT leaders are desperately trying to solve the complex problems of their workloads. They are pressured to deliver better, faster performance and are scrambling to manage their workloads within budget. As they do this, IT departments must consider whether they want to fully transition their workloads to the public cloud or adopt a hybrid IT strategy. Before going one way or the other, understanding the differences will eliminate the common "boomerang" back and forth between both worlds.
Workload Data Storage: Which Location Is Best?
Every IT workload has different needs, costs and complexity profiles, meaning there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. As an organization begins to consider migrating its data to cloud-hosting environments, it should first conduct a formal, objective IT assessment to understand which workloads would be best hosted in private, public, hybrid or multicloud environments. Factors to consider when determining which workloads should go where include security and compliance, latency, cost and performance.
The factors that play into this decision will be different for every business. Companies that are planning to go or have already gone all-in on public cloud should ensure they have thoroughly evaluated the elements that will determine which workloads are best to remain in hyperscale environments and which can succeed in public atmospheres. Subject to enterprise needs, the benefits and drawbacks of both public cloud and hybrid include the following.
Public Cloud Pros
Collaboration: For businesses seeking a collaborative environment that provides continuous new workload service offerings, a multitenant managed public cloud environment may be the best option. The high capacity of these environments means this is an ideal environment for applications like web servers and websites, which are continually being modified.
Complex Capabilities: Performance needs will always be based on the type of workload you are storing. High-touch and mission-critical applications can thrive in public community clouds.
Seasonal Workloads (Scalability): With public cloud environments, it is easy to provide additional compute space for ever-growing workloads.
Flexibility: For environments where there is a need for rapid build and teardown of VMs in other words, short life cycle workloads public cloud provides great flexibility to customers without much lead time.
New Features And Functionality: Often, a customer would benefit from the constant influx of new and improved features in the public cloud.
Public Cloud Cons
High Cost: Public cloud structures often mean low front-end costs, but given their workload requirements high levels of compute, memory, bandwidth and storage required these costs can rise quickly. The failure to understand how these needs affect cost frequently results in monthly invoices that are higher than initially anticipated.
Low Privacy: Anytime you are storing private information, sensitivity is paramount. With public cloud infrastructure, the level of privacy desired is not always available.
Resource-Intensive Workarounds: Legacy systems often cannot run in cloud environments. If a business is looking to host a legacy system here, it will probably mean that it needs to implement intricate workarounds.
Low Control: Public cloud offerings can make it more challenging for businesses to maintain full administrative control of new and existing workloads in their IT environment.
Hybrid IT Pros
Low Cost: A business's success, at the end of the day, comes down to its bottom line. For companies that have a tighter budget, hybrid IT will likely be more beneficial than public cloud. The right hybrid IT application mix enables businesses to scale their infrastructure solutions and match the right cost model to each workload.
High Control: For companies that want to maintain control and have the option to integrate new tools as well as monitor and troubleshoot their workloads, they should turn to a hybrid approach.
Performance Management And Scalability: For workloads that require extremely low latency, hybrid IT is more beneficial given the higher performance management and edge computing capabilities provided, especially for individuals who need direct access. Moreover, with hybrid IT, businesses can make quick resource additions or adjustments based on demand.
Flexible Compliance Options: Because of regulations like GDPR and HIPAA, it's critical for organizations to be ultra-aware of how and where they are storing their data so they can ensure compliance. Businesses often return to hybrid IT infrastructure because it offers them the flexibility to move and manage the data they want protected.
Hybrid IT Cons
Long Lead Time: Due to the nature of the solution, it may take a bit longer to procure, provision and provide the answer in hybrid IT environments.
Complexity: With interwoven solutions comes complexity. With so many moving parts, finding a solution to an issue can sometimes be tricky.
Looking To The Future
Storing data at the edge is becoming increasingly important. Businesses realize the importance of decentralizing their workloads to get users the data that they need quickly and efficiently. From streaming content to processing data from IoT devices, ensuring that workloads are strategically located is essential. This can be best achieved through the flexibility of a hybrid IT environment, where workload storage is matched to location based on individualized needs.
But still, hybrid IT environments don't work for all workloads, especially those that can benefit from the extensive product catalogs and service offerings of public cloud environments.
Hybrid IT is best for enterprises looking for value, solution, low tolerance to downtime, long life cycle, mission-critical platforms and cross-product integrations, all with utmost attention to security and compliance. These require multiple teams to work in harmony and have a standard set of tools and processes to follow something that is resolved using best practices and continuous improvement.
As organizations look to implement their infrastructure environments, taking the time first to identify their workload needs will enable them to create an environment that best fits their business.
Transitioning Your Enterprise Workload? Read This First - Forbes
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