Immedion’s CTO Talks the Current State of the Cloud – Part One
As Immedion’s Vice President and CTO, Brad Alexander has been instrumental in the development, innovation and enhancement of the Immedion cloud platform, and has seen the evolution of cloud computing firsthand. We recently sat down with him to discuss the current state of the cloud. In part one of our two-part blog series, we talked about two of today’s most popular cloud trends: hybrid cloud and multi-cloud.
How has the cloud progressed over the years and what would you define as the current state of the cloud?
In its earlier stages, cloud was more of an onramp to trying out a hosted model and businesses weren’t really getting the agility out of it the way they can today. They were focused on scale, elasticity and moving virtual machines so that someone else could manage the infrastructure for them.
Cloud today stands as an operating model that allows businesses to drive new revenue streams through things like AI and machine learning. We are also seeing some interesting trends in how people are configuring their cloud models, including hybrid cloud and multi-cloud configurations, plus the use of edge computing and open source.
The cloud in 2020 is centered around how products integrate between the client and the providers, and how solution partners solve business problems for their customers. As a cloud service provider, Immedion is using data insights and analytics to tailor a better cloud experience for our clients. We have also created an offering with deep integration into other bundles of services that brings a complete solution to the customer.
Trend 1: Hybrid Cloud - More and more companies are choosing to shift back to a hybrid cloud model. What factors are driving this newfound momentum for a hybrid strategy?
One of the biggest driving factors we see for making the switch is cost control. Oftentimes, businesses get a taste of running everything in a public cloud, then realize that it can get quite expensive to run older workloads 24/7. Distance, network and latency can impact workload performance, so we see organizations wanting to move their high-performance workloads back closer to the end user. Some organizations choose hybrid for security concerns; maybe they weren’t getting the type of visibility they needed to meet their security demands in a public cloud environment. Finally, corporate standardization of things like software stacks can also mandate the need for a hybrid strategy.
To which type of client would you recommend a hybrid solution?
Enterprises that have many remote locations that run somewhat independently but must follow corporate standardization and compliance guidelines are perfect candidates for a hybrid solution.
Trend 2: Multi-cloud - Gartner reports that by 2021, 75% of enterprise customers seeking cloud-managed IaaS solutions will require multi-cloud capabilities from a cloud. What are some of the challenges you see with a multi-cloud strategy?
There are quite a few challenges that multi-cloud can bring. First is connectivity – the connections from different environments may not match or be able to talk to each other. Security is also a factor, as utilizing multiple public clouds increases the threat landscape. Also, things like cost control, billing and user identity management continue to sprawl. When using multiple cloud providers, you may not achieve the benefits of scale or the cost-effectiveness that your strategy originally intended for.
What would you say is key in ensuring multi-cloud remains viable for enterprises in the long-term?
For multi-cloud to continue to be a thriving, growing ecosystem, the need for intelligent security that can interact and understand workloads and placement is key. Security vendors need to know what provider or stack the workloads live in to better distinguish the security posture and detect anomalies. They also must learn to fill security holes as the industry identifies them. Container integration and understanding will be crucial as the multi-cloud world continues to be driven more by workload requirements and micro-services than by monolithic software stacks.
That wraps up the first part of our discussion on the Current State of the Cloud. Stay tuned for next month’s blog post, where we’ll uncover cloud trends 3 & 4 in part two of the series. In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about Immedion’s cloud capabilities, check out our cloud services or request a cloud demo with one of our technical experts.