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Trimming IT costs and accelerating business transformation are compelling reasons to consider a public cloud strategy. A cloud model enables dynamic provisioning of compute and storage, consumption-based IT and setting up DevOps processes that bring agility in application development and deployment. Despite these benefits, a public cloud may not always be the right location for workloads requiring high security levels, large data volumes, compliance and greater control. And despite best efforts to accurately estimate cost savings, the long-term costs and unexpected charges to recode and reconfigure applications and add storage capacity and bandwidth utilization often exceed predicted costs.
Any cloud environment, public or private, offers tremendous value as a delivery model for resources and services. However, many cost-conscious enterprises reach a point when they need to consider where they want cloud-like access to resources. Do they want it in a public cloud or on premises in a private cloud? For most organizations, the answer is both.
Placing workloads: Public, private or hybrid?
Whether to put data and workloads in a public or an on-premises private cloud is not an either-or consideration. Enterprises can realize the benefits of both public and private clouds by strategically placing applications, composable services, data and workloads where they make the most sense. This approach empowers enterprises to think of cloud as a capability and not a location.
In some cases, certain regulatory or compliance requirements dictate where specific data sets must reside. Broadly, organizations can consider the following factors to determine where to place resources within a hybrid infrastructure:
- Lifecycle and cost-effectiveness: The more a resource is used, the more cost-effective it is for the organization to keep it on premises rather than leasing it.
- Predictability and variability: The more variable and less predictable a workload is, the more likely it needs to exist in a dynamic environment where capacity can be added on demand without incurring cost for that capacity when it’s not being used.
- Application and data colocation: The location of the data an application uses is critical. The farther an application is from the data, the greater the latency and the lower the throughput.
Transforming applications behind the firewall
Organizations transitioning from a pure public cloud environment to moving some workloads back on premises can leverage their private cloud to apply self-service, automation, elasticity, chargeback and centralized management to optimize application availability and responsiveness. Many existing business applications are built and customized with traditional development structures. Moving toward a modern, multi-cloud data center includes optimizing application development and operations to incorporate new agile methodologies that enable new applications and functions to be introduced faster and easier.
With a modern DevOps platform behind the firewall, IT organizations can securely and confidently begin refactoring elements of their traditional application infrastructure to enable delivery of new and more innovative application services. An on-premises cloud manager such as IBM Cloud Private can provide developers with on-demand access to their preferred tool sets, collocation with core business data and secure connectivity to functions in the public cloud.
Establishing a centralized point of control
Of course, driving organizational change and consolidation is always easier said than done with any size group, let alone the global, interconnected, multifaceted businesses that many of us work at today. But as cloud continues to become the standard for how IT resources are consumed, and as multi-cloud emerges as the preferred cloud strategy, the importance of establishing centralized oversight and control cannot be understated. By taking steps now to establish the “go-to” environment for lines of business to rapidly create and deliver new services, IT is laying the groundwork for a centralized, agile, secure, multi-cloud control center to support the business today and into the future.
Capitalizing on hybrid infrastructure
The transformation to a hybrid or multi-cloud model opens up tremendous opportunities. Enterprises can leverage the benefits of cloud in both on- and off-premises deployments and have the flexibility to place the workloads in locations that deliver the best business value.
Watch the video to learn how IBM Power Systems fits into your cloud strategy and read about IBM Cloud Private on IBM Power Systems.