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Has a Cloud-Only IT Strategy Been Stretched to Its Limits?

Has a Cloud-Only IT Strategy Been Stretched to Its Limits?


  • June 28, 2023
  • Blog

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Has a Cloud-Only IT Strategy Been Stretched to Its Limits?

By Vlad Friedman, DataBank Chief Technology Officer

 

In recent years, the adoption of cloud computing has surged, with organizations of all sizes embracing the potential of the cloud to enhance their IT infrastructure and streamline operations.  The cloud propounds scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency, making it an attractive option for businesses.  However, as operations reach scale, new challenges arise, and it is crucial to evaluate whether a cloud-only IT strategy continues to provide all of the benefits promised.  We explore how organizations are increasingly embracing hybrid solutions for their workload placement.

The Rise of Cloud-Only Strategies

The cloud revolution brought forth a paradigm shift in IT strategy.  Organizations migrated their applications and infrastructure to public cloud platforms, benefiting from the on-demand availability of resources, reduced capital expenditure, and simplified management.  The cloud offered the promise of infinite scalability and resilience, enticing many to go all-in on the cloud, forsaking traditional on-premises infrastructure.

Limitations and Challenges

While a cloud-only approach certainly has its merits, it also presents limitations.  While the cloud initially appears more cost-effective, scaled operators often see the inverse effect.  As AI and analytics workloads continue to drive IOPS and computational intensity, cost increase accordingly.  This fact is exacerbated through the consumption of vendor-specific APIs causing vendor lock-in.  Organizations often rely on a single cloud provider and ecosystem, limiting their negotiating power, and network egress charges discourage the optimization of workloads across multiple providers.

The Emergency of Hybrid Solutions

Recognizing the drawbacks of a cloud-only strategy, many organizations are adopting a more nuanced approach by embracing hybrid solutions.  Hybrid IT combines on-premises infrastructure in a highly resilient colocation facility with high-speed private connectivity to public clouds, allowing organizations to leverage the benefits of both.  At DataBank, we are actively seeing our customers think more intelligently about their workload placement, driving the repatriation of computationally intense workloads and increasing the performance of their applications without losing the agility and scale of the public cloud.

Benefits of Hybrid IT

Hybrid IT enables organizations to optimize their workload placement based on their (not their vendors’) specific requirements.  Critical, computationally intensive, and latency-sensitive workloads can be kept in colocation, providing performance at a lower cost.  In contrast, variable workloads can be migrated to the public cloud for scalability and cost efficiency.  Hybrid solutions also facilitate seamless integration between on-premises infrastructure and cloud services, enabling organizations to leverage existing investments while harnessing the power of the cloud.  Further, Hybrid IT allows businesses to adapt and evolve their infrastructure strategy as technology advances, ensuring they remain agile and future-proof.

 

Overall, while the cloud has revolutionized IT strategy, it is becoming increasingly apparent that a cloud-only approach may have reached its limits.  Organizations are recognizing the need for a more balanced and intelligent approach, thus achieving a flexible, secure, and optimized IT infrastructure that meets their unique needs – and so they can thrive in the digital age.

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