2015 Outlook – Hybrid, Hybrid, Hybrid
In 2015, enterprises, systems integrators and service providers will start to realize that the term “hybrid cloud” isn’t so black and white. Hybrid cloud, or better yet, Hybrid IT is a new approach to networking that should create a perfect harmony between on-premise, private, outsourced and public cloud environments.
This year, hybrid IT will become more mainstream as industry players continuously adapt and innovate through new networking approaches. These new approaches are by network growth, the cloud price wars and innovation in private connections.
Network Growth Allows More Flexibility in Workloads
Cisco predicts data center workloads to nearly double (1.9-fold) from 2013 to 2018, with cloud workloads nearly tripling (2.9-fold) over the same period. This increase in workloads will require more network capacity, as well as enterprises to find new or improved ways to manage the workloads.
Hybrid IT, which combines public and private cloud with legacy IT and outsourced infrastructure, will play a large role, as enterprises will have more flexibility in terms of where they store their workloads and how they can get access to them. With hybrid IT on the rise, co-location providers that offer connectivity-rich data centers will be integral to enterprises’ growth, as they provide reliable platforms to bridge public with private infrastructures.
Cloud Price Cuts Will No Longer Be Enough
There’s no doubt that in 2015 the cloud price war will continue, led by Google, Microsoft, Amazon and others. The key difference this year, however, will be that each will also have to start distinguishing themselves. Cutting prices will no longer be enough of a draw – they’ll need to show how their platforms are different and innovative, and what workloads and applications each are best able to support.
This continual need to innovate will advance the development of private connect solutions, such as AWS Direct Connect, Microsoft Express Route and SoftLayer Direct Link, boosting the attractiveness of hybrid IT environments. In terms of distinguishing themselves, the large hyperscale providers already have created their strongholds, but, time will tell if this is how the landscape plays out.
Private Connects Will Continue to Evolve
With network growth enabling more flexible workloads and the cloud price wars spurring innovation in private connect solutions, we’ll continue to see the technology evolve this year to strengthen hybrid IT environments. In addition to offering their own private connections, cloud and service providers, as well as systems integrators, enterprises and carriers, will seek a simpler way to reach multiple providers. This ideally will be from a single connection that’s private, secure and high performing. This makes it easier to shift business critical workloads and real-time data to the cloud, as well as bypass the public Internet and make service level guarantees on latency, throughput and security. As a result enterprises, carriers, service providers and system integrators can build complex hybrid IT solutions with the cloud service providers of their choice over a single, managed connection. As these private connect solutions continue to evolve, we’ll see an increase in the number of providers offering them, as well as locations they can be accessed from globally.
It’s clear that hybrid IT will have a large significance among all market participants in 2015, particularly once we stop thinking about it so narrowly as just an approach to cloud. Hybrid IT is all about the network and using it in new and innovative ways to connect various environments. The more it’s embraced and taken advantage of, the more benefits businesses will get.
This post was originally published on WIRED Innovation Insights.