To the (public) cloud and back

Cloud, hybrid cloud, multicloud… companies are implementing these technologies with one objective: flexibility & agility. But we see a huge transition today. It’s like our CEO Michael Dell recently said in an interview with CRN: “As much as 80 percent of the customers across all segments – small, medium, large – are reporting that they’re repatriating workloads from public cloud back to on-premise systems because of cost – often you pay more in the public cloud -performance and security in software-defined data centers.” 

The evolution of the cloud model

The cloud model continues to mature. Today companies are recognizing the challenges with a single cloud instance around public cloud and they are starting to repatriate data and workloads back to on-premises. One of the most important reasons to leave the public cloud is that organizations can’t guarantee the same SLAs (service-level agreement) as in a private cloud environment. For example, some applications require 100% uptime 24/7, which is not always possible in the public cloud.

Another important reason is that IT managers are surprised when they want to retrieve their data in the public cloud. It’s very cheap to put it out there, but very expensive to retrieve it. It always reminds me of the song Hotel California (The Eagles): “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”

Link between data and workload

Organizations are therefore looking at new models. One of them is multicloud. The RightScale 2018 State of the Cloud Report shows that 81% of organizations today have a multicloud strategy. They are taking multicloud seriously and they are seeing that adopting a cloud strategy, that looks holistically across clouds, is the future. There are several benefits. When organizations embrace a cloud-first operating model, they can move more quickly to implement new ideas, with lower overall complexity and risk. Their systems will be more transparent and efficient.

In any cloud environment one thing is crucial: security! We see that companies are more and more aware of which data is critical for their business. That’s the good news. But when it comes to security, they are less aware of the link between the data and the workload. Are the workloads in the cloud or partly local? And where are your (critical) data stored. Which data are being used? Knowing this link is very important. At Dell EMC we can create a map of the interdependency between data and workloads. By showing the criticality of workloads, the connection between several workloads within the company, we can help our customers to choose the cloud infrastructure that supports their goals and business objectives best.

Next stop: edge computing

I see another trend that will influence the way you handle your data (in the datacenter): the continued growth of data, especially at the edge. Large volumes of data ingest will require near- or real-time processing and will proliferate the concept and use cases of edge computing. With the growth of enterprise and mobile edge, a hybrid cloud model has quickly emerged as a much more appropriate solution for a majority of businesses.

Important in this situation (edge computing and IoT environments) is to have a kind of control platform. In this concept data is everywhere, and you need to know where very quickly. Think about autonomous driving for example. The autonomous car needs to have the right data to take the right decision. Sometimes in milliseconds! That is what we did for car manufacturer Volvo. Dell Technologies created for Volvo a control platform that helps with application development and analyses for autonomous driving, by streamlining the dataflows. You can discover the case study here.

Flexibility, flexibility and… flexibility

To survive companies need to be more agile. Today, our customers are demandinga flex model in computing power and in storage(at the edge). Sometimes they just temporarily need a lot of computing power. The cloud can be an option at that moment, but investments in the cloud are for this customer perhaps substantial and very expensive. Because they don’t always need all possibilities of the cloud.

There lies an important role for companies like Dell EMC: we can support you and guide you to the best solution for that specific situation. With storage and computing power, on premise, in the private cloud, in the hybrid cloud or public cloud. We’re also flexible.

About the Author: Arnaud Bacros