November 19, 2015

Hybrid Cloud is a two way street


A lot has been said about Uber. But probably what few of us know is that the people that drive Uber cars have day jobs: they work at stores, teach in schools and in some countries they also drive cabs as well. This digital platform that is changing the way we move and share car transportation is first and foremost a job enabler. From one end the customer has agility, flexibility and low price, and from the other end, people that want a second or third revenue stream have the opportunity to do it transparently. In the middle there’s the platform. Paul Sonderegger, the Oracle Strategist for Big Data, explains it on his series “Data Capital”. The three main principles: 1) Data is a capital on par with financial capital 2) Data generates more data and 3) Platforms tend to win. And everybody is fighting to be “the platform” that intermediates digital businesses of getting people from point A (here) to point B (there).
Paul's session at the Oracle Open World (OOW) conference in San Francisco, made it abundantly clear that, like financial capital, data capital can be used by organisations to distance themselves from the herd, or simply to offer a better service: public or private.

The choice deployment model is the step that precedes the adoption or creation of a platform to enable the usage of data as capital. And this deployment model, for most companies will be a mix between public cloud services, private cloud services and IT functions that are scattered around the organisations. This deployment model is called: Hybrid Cloud. Mark Evanko, CEO at Bruns Pak, a USA, NJ based Data Center company, calls it a "mix of data center facilities, co-location, cloud services, network and disaster recovery". 

Judith Hurwitz, co-author of the "Hybrid Cloud for Dummies" book, talked about "touch points" between public and private clouds that articulate combined services. She also mentions that these are early days. But that was 2012! And this is 2015 almost 2016!! There are many "touch points" today, and there are several platforms that claim to enable the creation, management and automation of these combined services.

But on this journey, Hybrid Cloud is a two way street. It needs an operational model that caters for both movements: to the cloud and back. The tools are obviously there (Oracle, Microsoft, Red Hat and Google all have big investments in this area), but only one vendor seems to shout out loud that the tech stack is the same on both ends: Oracle. Some organisations have already started a public cloud journey with several vendors. This is an even bigger "mix".

A cross vendor public cloud deployment is also something that has been discussed in several forums, as organisations are doing this movement of evaluating the mix of several public clouds. The IT industry has made this movement in the past, and after an inflexion point it started a consolidation effort without precedent. From consolidation to convergence. The burning question is: will the Hybrid Cloud deployments follow this trend? In hindsight most organisations have already started big consolidation movements. Some of them with Oracle technology. This is why they should continue this journey leveraging hybrid cloud use cases, and holding hands with a strategic cloud partner.  

The challenge remains the same. Mark Hurd's OOW keynote emphasised it clearly: “It’s about getting from here to there, at a lower cost and get fast innovation… now!” 

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