Rackspace survey: Hybrid cloud is future for three in five enterprises
You can’t move at the moment for surveys advocating the importance of hybrid cloud strategy – and this latest one, from Rackspace Hosting and conducted by Vanson Bourne, is no different.
60% of IT top brass see the hybrid cloud as the bright, shiny future for IT operations, with a third of that number (19%) completely integrated, compared to only 41% who are partially hybrid-oriented.
The primary reason for hybrid adoption over pure public cloud systems was more control, according to 59% of those polled. This was followed by greater security (54%), reliability (48%) and cost (46%). Overall, it’s safe to say that a majority of respondents saw multiple benefits.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the US is more advanced than the UK in hybrid developments; 80% cited the hybrid cloud as a game changing strategy, compared to just 64% of UK-based respondents.
But according to Nigel Beighton, VP of technology at Rackspace UK & Ireland, the most heartening result from the research was that the cloud solutions market was progressing ahead.
“The reason why we did this research was because I wanted to know how mature things are getting in terms of cloud adoption,” Beighton explained in a call with CloudTech. “I wanted to understand the level of maturity we’ve got in the market, and the answer is: it is maturing.”
He added: “I was pleased to know that we weren’t still having people sitting there going ‘I’m not sure what to do with cloud’. Most people understood it, and they’re actually starting to optimise their solutions by starting to implement hybrid.”
It’s an important turning point for sure, with research reports from Microsoft, SAP and PMG all preaching at the altar of the hybrid cloud. Rackspace even wrote in this publication last month: “Attention CIOs – the hybrid cloud is enterprise ready.”
Yet the most interesting statistic of the research is that, for the majority (60%) of respondents, they see the hybrid cloud is the end point of their cloud journey, not a stepping stone to something bigger.
“That’s the crux of why I was pleased to see that the market’s maturing,” Beighton added.
“If we’d have had this [research] a couple of years ago, people would have automatically thought of it as ‘yes I’m thinking about hybrid’, but the reality is they were just putting their toe in the water with a bit of cloud, keeping what they’ve got.
“But actually, people thinking of this as the end destination, they are thinking more about optimising, means that they’re quite familiar with it and, quite frankly, they’re making a common sense decision,” he added.
Of course, like a lot of industry research, the story’s not quite over yet. And this is no exception. Rackspace earlier this week introduced its complimentary Cloud Migration Service, allowing current customers to move from any platform – be it dedicated, cloud or virtualised – into a Rackspace hybrid cloud.
Announcing the launch, Rackspace senior product marketing manager Tarun Bhatti wrote in a blog post that its migration service will allow customers to “experience the benefit of a cloud that is not one-size-fits-all, but a cloud that is the best fit for your application.”
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The survey suggests that hybrid’s best days are still ahead. “There’s a lot of engineering that goes into it,” said Engates. “This is not a well-worn path yet … cloud is in early stages of adoption. A lot of smaller startups have never done this before. Often times we do guide people. We put high value on customer service. We do this for enterprises up front through cloud-readiness assessments. We help find the right applications to move to the public cloud.”
While this survey looked at people who have already used the cloud, Engates notes that Hybrid also holds a lot of appeal to those with on-premises infrastructure contemplating cloud. “Hybrid makes the transition to cloud computing a little easier,” said Engates. “It means they can transition to cloud as is.
“If infrastructure setups are indeed moving towards hybrid, this is a good position to be in. We actually lead with hybrid with a lot of customers these days,” said Engates. “We guide them to a hybrid solution from day one.”