Portability Is Essential In The Multi-Cloud Future

Pretty much everybody agrees the world is moving to the , (which includes as a service) but predominantly the combination of both () — and the primary questions are what to move where, and when (how is also a huge concern, but while not easy, it’s really just fiddly bits). Four years ago Cisco started using the concept of the ‘world of many clouds’ to describe its customer-choice model, and earlier this month data and analytics leader Teradata unveiled database license flexibility across hybrid cloud deployments.

There has been an “aggressive uptick in interest, if not deployment of public cloud” by the company’s global 1000 customers, said Brian Wood, Director, Cloud Marketing, . He told IT Trends & Analysis that over 90% of their customers plan to have hybrid IT by 2020, and “85% want to consume as a service.”

The company has 100 customers in the multi-petabyte range, with the largest customer in the 90Pb range, so becomes critical, smoothing out the investments, he said. With , “ it’s have your cake and eat it too.”

This massive move to the cloud, with a mix of public, private, hybrid and resources means portability — , software and licenses — is a critical component. Cloud lock-in is no more palatable than vendor lock-in, and while only one vendor, with a limited set of offerings — albeit a set of significant offerings — Teradata says its newest capability, an industry first, gives its management solution for the ‘very best value proposition.’

“Not only is the database license portable across the hybrid cloud options, but so are workloads, enabled by a common code base in all deployments,” said John Dinning, EVP and Chief Business Officer, Teradata, in a prepared statement. “This flexibility is a first in our industry and means that data models, applications, and development efforts can be migrated or transferred unchanged across any ecosystem.”

Looking ahead reinforces the growing cloud-first future, although this cloud shift is not just about cloud, stated Gartner. “This cloud-first orientation will continue to increase the rate of cloud adoption and, consequently, cloud shift,” said Ed Anderson, research vice president. “Organizations embracing dynamic, cloud-based operating models position themselves for cost optimization and increased competitiveness.”

Spending on datacenter systems is forecast to be $175 billion in 2017, growing to $181 billion through 2020. However, while DC budgets will be relatively flat, spending on cloud system infrastructure services (IaaS) will grow from $34 billion in 2017 to $71 billion through 2020, account for 39% of total spending on datacenter systems.

The latest market data/forecasts demonstrate the headlong rush to the cloud:

-64% of IT leaders predict they will buy cloud management platforms from service providers in 2017;

-64% plan to adopt and deploy hosted private clouds this year;

-31% of global IT leaders plan on focusing on just a single cloud environment over the next two years, which means that up to 69% will focus on more than a single cloud environment over the next two years; and,

-49% are adopting hybrid cloud/multi-cloud environments to migrate workloads between private/public cloud and on-premises/off-premises environments.

The top adoption drivers of hybrid/multi-cloud environments include:

-flexibility & choice of where workloads can operate (64%);

-extending IT resource capacity (56%); and,

-maximizing the return of existing on-premises IT investments (56%).

In the emerging hybrid multi-cloud world where ‘workloads, data and processes shift across multiple on-premises, hosted, private and public cloud services, there will be a need for a new approach to hybrid multi-cloud cloud management – one that requires a uniform means for access control, billing and provisioning, capacity management, cost control and performance analysis (among others)’, according to Carl Lehmann, Research Manager, Enterprise Architecture, Integration & Business Process Management, 451 Research. All enterprise IT structure is composed of multi-clouds, and when multi-clouds enable the execution of distributed business processes, they become hybrid clouds, he added.

Not only will a corporate “no-cloud” policy be as rare as a “no-internet” policy is today, we are moving to a cloud-first and even cloud-only focus, according to Gartner. “With the growth of both bimodal computing and cloud provider offerings, software-defined enterprise data centers have become less centrally important than building a strong multiprovider management capability,” explained Thomas J. Bittman, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.

“Unless very small, most enterprises will continue to have an on-premises (or hosted) data center capability. But with most compute power moving to IaaS providers, enterprises and vendors need to focus on managing and leveraging the hybrid combination of on-premises, off-premises, cloud and noncloud architectures, with a focus on managing cloud-delivered capacity efficiently and effectively.”

Infrastructure lock-in is one of the three major challenges (the other two being complexity and assumptions) to unleashing the full value of hybrid cloud, blogged Torsten Volk, Managing Research Director, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA). ‘Moving applications from the data center to a public or private cloud or from one cloud to another is no trivial task and requires significant planning, re-engineering and testing. Due to differences in servers, network and storage, enterprise applications are typically locked into the infrastructure environment they were originally deployed to.’

‘To truly benefit from hybrid cloud, it is key to establish a central strategy that for application workload placement,’ advised Volk. ‘This strategy must enable business owners to define the level of risk they are willing to accept in return for cost savings and deployment speed. It must also enable IT to make a rational and holistic decision in terms of the level of lock-in they are willing to accept.’

Teradata’s portable database subscription-based licenses are available in four tiers:

-Developer — this free tier is for customers that are developing new applications in a non-production environment and is available in software-only versions on public cloud or as VMware to run on non-Teradata hardware;

-Base — this plan is designed for low concurrency, entry-level data warehouses, and is available in the cloud and on-premises;

-Advanced — available in the cloud and on-premises, this tier supports high-concurrency, mixed-workload production environments, and includes Teradata Integrated Workload Management and Teradata Intelligent Memory features; and,

Enterprise — this top-tier plan includes a more robust set of workload management features with Teradata Active System Management and Teradata Intelligent Memory, and is available in the cloud and on-premises.

“By pairing the highest quality hybrid cloud solutions available with the most convenient usage model, Teradata is creating a blend of options for its customers that address the realities of rapidly evolving analytics capabilities and the emergence of new business requirements and models,” said Jim Curtis, Senior Analyst, Data Platforms and Analytics, 451 Research, in a canned comment. “This is truly an example of fast-forward thinking; a win-win for Teradata as well as for aggressive companies that thrive and compete on business agility.”

The world may be moving to cloud-first and even cloud-only, but that doesn’t mean datacenters are going away, said Wood. The biggest companies in the world are typically adding cloud as a complement to, not a replacement of, on-prem. “That’s where the hybrid comes in, it’s a mix.”

So it comes down to offering your customers choices, and making those choices simpler. “Our strategy is about consistent software, regardless of deployment choice.” We believe our customers want choice, the ability to do whatever they want, wherever they want, he said.

By being portable and able to move, customers are not locked in, said Wood. “It lowers the risk, the time risk… they can build fast, fail fast, and move on.”

Author: Steve Wexler

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