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How to test the waters when it comes to cloud computing

Ben Rossi | Aug. 14, 2013
After a period of reluctance, organisations are beginning to trust the cloud, but the decision far from ends at acceptance. Do you go public or private? Or do you go for a combination of both -- otherwise known as a hybrid. The latter is allowing to dip before diving in.

Such implementations by big players in the region are particularly important to induce confidence amongst SMBs.

In the case of SMBs, driven by venture capitalists looking to get products to market quickly and easily, the public cloud continues to grow.

"These venture capitalists are actually saying to new companies starting up that they're not going to invest in the IT infrastructure and build it for them, but simply telling them to go buy that," says Den Sullivan, Head of Architecture and Enterprise, Emerging Markets, Cisco. "Then they don't have to have a CAPEX all associated on their books."

But in larger organisations, where IT is more complex, it is the hybrid model that prevails.

A hybrid cloud is a composition of two or more clouds — private, community or public — that remain unique entities but are connected together, offering the benefits of multiple deployment models.

"Hybrid cloud solutions can offers the best of both worlds," says Joe Fagan, Senior Director of Cloud Initiatives, Seagate EMEA.

Indeed, such a model allows businesses to store unrestricted data in a public cloud solution while continuing to manage certain amounts and types of data in-house for enhanced security.

Furthermore, organisations using this model can then choose to use infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) — which continues to grow in itself — when the need arises, such as during demand spikes or peak loads.

"The hybrid cloud allows enterprises to hold sensitive data behind their firewall while taking advantage of the lower cost and flexibility of the public cloud," confirms D'Souza.

"It can also improve scalability and provisioning at a lower cost, thus allowing resources to be allocated to the public cloud for short term projects at a much lower cost than that what it would cost to make changes in your private cloud."

Therefore, the hybrid cloud provides companies which are reluctant to move to a cloud computing model with the opportunity to "dip their toes in" at a low cost and with lesser perceived risk, D'Souza adds.

It is ultimately this "dip their toes in" approach that is driving adoption in hybrid cloud models. In other words, it is popular because the industry is in a transition phase.

This transition comes due to various reasons, as Gibu Mathew, Director, Product Management, ManageEngine, explains.

"Lots of processes have been optimised based on existing tools and changing it overnight is tedious," Mathew says.

As such, a time will come when there will be a "tipping point", where the value of new capabilities built on public clouds will far outweigh the rest, giving more reasons for a complete shift to public clouds.

"But that point is still some time away," he emphasises. "Additionally, there must be more credible service providers before enterprises feel comfortable with public clouds. We are already seeing this in many large companies like IBM, Siemens and others investing in the Middle East."


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