The role of IT is rapidly evolving from “behind-the-scenes” into “revenue-driving.” This essentially means that IT is shifting away from a supporting role to one that participates with the rest of the business in driving corporate innovation. With an expectation for becoming this key business partner, IT leaders are mandated to embrace cloud strategy. Corporate IT has increasingly adopted cloud services to drive their innovation. For example, AWS marked 1 million active enterprise users three years ago. With annual growth rates at 50% or so, the revenue reached over $25 billion last year. A total of 54,000 databases has migrated into the cloud platform so far. Likely your company is one of them.
Public Cloud Is Not Ideal for All Use Cases
Many companies have come a long way on their cloud journey, taking advantage of the flexibility, scalability, and usability that cloud services offer. All of this comes with no need for managing infrastructure. But gaps remain in the journey, because moving from a support mindset to one of an enabler takes a serious rethinking of IT infrastructure and services. You may have one or more of the following situations hindering your IT business transformation.
Difficult migrations: Workload migration into the public cloud goes beyond "lift and shift." Challenges exist with interoperability, data and application portability, data integrity and security, and more.
Benefits only available to cloud-native applications: That said, rebuilding applications to be cloud-native can be expensive, if not impossible.
Application performance: Data is often not co-located with applications that run on public clouds. This then creates latency issues which can be fatal to mission-critical applications.
Compliance and regulatory concerns: Companies may be restricted from storing data on the cloud service provider’s (CSP) geographical environment due to regulations, especially in places such as the European Union where data privacy is closely guarded.
Loss of control: Ease of adopting public cloud services promotes shadow-IT, which means that applications can be provisioned outside of the traditional purview of IT visibility. IT cannot easily monitor data to and from cloud apps.
Shared responsibility: Additional work is required for governance and cybersecurity measures. On the other hand, you are at the mercy of the CSP for data recovery when a disaster strikes.
Cost overruns and egress charges: Operational expenses can become unjustifiably high with predictable workloads. On top of that, egress charges are not trivial and can make a significant negative impact on your bottom line.
Vendor lock-ins: You're buying into a technology ecosystem of the CSPs, each of which has its own set of APIs and services. Developing for multiple CSPs is costly while focusing on a single CSP makes it challenging to migrate for better services or pricing in the long run.
Continued fragmentation of IT: Public clouds require distinct operations and expertise to manage their services, adding yet another IT silo rather than eliminating one.
Come to think of it, public cloud advantages actually come at a very high cost. In fact, 85% of 400 respondents to a 2018 IDC IT Survey were planning to move half of their workloads back to their on-premises datacenter, suggesting that public clouds are not ideally suited for all enterprise use cases.
The situation makes us wonder: what if we can have the best of both worlds--the flexibility of a public cloud with the security, control, and performance of an on-premises datacenter? Does the journey to the cloud have an even more optimal end-state?
What Enterprise IT Needs is a Hybrid Cloud
Hybrid clouds combine private, hosted, and public clouds under a single control plane that allows unified management and portability. Keep in mind, though, that a private cloud is a necessary step towards achieving hybrid cloud. Let’s consider this potential IT scenario with a private cloud and see how it fills the gaps referenced earlier:
You will gain the ability to minimize the IT silos by adopting hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). HCI provides the foundation of your private cloud that combines compute, storage, networking, virtualization, and automation. With this foundation, you have the freedom to choose technologies for hardware and hypervisor. You will no longer risk vendor lock-in.
Because cloud migration takes place within your datacenter, you can ensure the process is seamless and application performance intact. You can also create an abstraction layer for multiple clouds for seamless workload migration across platforms. So, no need to build multiple sets of cloud-native applications.
Running Each Workload in the Right Cloud
You can keep predictable, mission-critical workloads in your private cloud while running elastic, unpredictable counterparts in public clouds. You will no longer run into cost issues that have negative repercussions on your operational budgeting and spend.
IT Control and Governance
Your workload can migrate without conflicting with the legal limitation on data location, because it happens within your datacenter. Your private cloud will ensure compliance by running validation against regulatory policies, such as NIST, HIPAA, PCI, DSS, GDPR, and more. You will also gain the ability to control costs across user groups with metering and charge-backs while also discouraging shadow-IT.
You gain the ease of use of that public clouds provide, but in your private cloud too. You can make everything happen from a single management pane, including infrastructure management, implementation of cloud-based services, application provisioning and deployment across multiple environments, hibernating and resuming operations, and execution of disaster recovery.
Just like on public clouds, your private cloud frees your team from managing the infrastructure day-to-day. Your HCI-based infrastructure scales to meet elastic demand on the fly, and right-sizing of resources happens continuously. This “just-in-time” infrastructure is enabled by adaptable machine learning, eliminating mundane, manual tasks that are also operationally costly.
Automation does not stop there; imagine fully automated IT services. You can let enterprise users self-serve what they need when they need them. For example, a developer can build a dev/test environment without relying on your team.
Your private cloud has built-in security for data, applications, network, and cloud. For example, micro-segmentation protects applications running in the cloud while data is encrypted at rest. One-click disaster recovery prevents data loss by having VMs automatically restart when hardware fails. Your private cloud ensures the availability of critical workloads.
How Private Cloud by Nutanix Can Help Your IT Team Lead Innovation
Hopefully you can see how private cloud makes an extended datacenter in the cloud. But the benefits don’t stop there. You can jumpstart hybrid cloud implementation based on how you use your private cloud. Leveraging the best of both clouds, you will be leading innovation with agility, impact, resiliency, and economic rigor. Here are some other benefits to your organization:
IT will accelerate the time-to-market exponentially. Nutanix’s private cloud enables IT agility by reducing common but tedious tasks, such as provisioning, scaling, and upgrades of the application and infrastructure through one-click operations throughout its lifecycle. Combined with machine learning techniques and automation, IT can act on insights efficiently as requirements and project scopes change, advancing them to become a valuable partner to the business.
IT will be working on higher-value initiatives. With HCI, just-in-time infrastructure, and IT-as-a-Service, IT generalists will focus on more critical, strategic initiatives (e.g., root-cause analysis) rather than mundane, repetitive tasks (e.g., patching a symptom). This does not mean that jobs will be eliminated; on the contrary, people are liberated and reallocated to broader, more strategic areas and initiatives, enabling them to make a more significant positive impact on the business.
IT will solidify your organization’s compliance and security without slowing down the speed of business. You will gain full visibility into data and applications with Nutanix’s private cloud while protecting your cloud with automated remediation workflow and built-in security. When a disaster strikes, all you need to do is to execute data recovery from your private cloud with a single click. With Nutanix, it only takes minutes to hours to rebuild impacted data.
IT will become the true winner in driving cost control of operational spend. While public cloud converts CapEx to OpEx, private cloud on Nutanix does even better. You can run each application in the right cloud at the right time to minimize charges even further. Automation reduces staff-hour costs. Metering and charge-back provide better cost control and accounting between internal groups. You can choose technologies to optimize investment while avoiding vendor lock-in. Today, IT is already contributing to the top line as a business enabler. But if IT could do so while impacting the company's bottom line, it's a real victory indeed!
Time to Build Your Private Cloud
Today’s IT leaders know that working with their business partners to lead growth initiatives and drive real innovation is the only way to preserve ongoing relevance. While the cloud is an integral part of growth strategy, public cloud alone does not make IT a true winner and innovator. Adding private cloud as part of your hybrid cloud strategy will help IT become a real enabler of business transformation.