We have all heard overwhelming statistics about the number of mobile and digital devices, and the amount of data generated each day. These trends represent the digital change in which our society is immersed. All companies in all industries around the world are facing the challenge of transforming from an organization that uses digital technology to a digital organization.
But within companies, IT professionals are the best positioned to turn technology into an engine of growth, transformation and opportunity.
Through the power of data analytics and the cloud, the IT industry has a tremendous opportunity to help digitally transform every aspect of the business, extend the way companies establish relationships with their customers, improve the productivity of their employees, optimize your operations and transform your products. And IT organizations are at the heart of these companies, working hand in hand with the business units and offering technology that improves business results.
So the exciting thing is that IT is at the core of the digital transformation that companies must address to stay competitive and relevant. However, the biggest challenge is that they must monitor the existing infrastructure to keep the business operational and safe, with the current concerns: security breaches, operational system crashes, corrupted or lost data, …
We at Microsoft believe that the Cloud is the answer to this challenge , allowing more agility and innovation for the business, without sacrificing important issues such as reliability, availability, scalability or security.
A great proof of this is the explosive growth in the use of the public cloud during the last years. The main cloud providers are growing in doubles, and even triple digits. For example, Azure is experiencing growth of more than 100% year-over-year. The growth of public cloud spending is 6 times higher than the growth in traditional IT.
There are 3 fundamental aspects for this growth of the Cloud:
– SPEED : With minutes instead of days / weeks to buy and provision servers, the pace of innovation has increased dramatically. Reduce development times and the ‘time to market’ means that your IT can be much more agile by responding to the needs of business units or developers. In fact, it is speed and agility that IT has not been able to provide, resulting in what many call “Shadow IT” or “IT in the shade” where business units have resorted to the use of credit cards to provide computing resources outside of IT control.
– SCALE : The Cloud offers an almost infinite set of computing resources. The applications have a massive global scale and can be easily scaled depending on the demand.
– ECONOMY : And of course, you only pay for what you consume in the Cloud. For some organizations, this represents an additional benefit by switching from CapEX to OpEX, which frees up investment capital in infrastructures and makes it available for other uses.
The Hybrid Cloud is the reality for companies
The benefits of the Cloud we have been talking about are convincing, pushing customers to adopt the cloud at a very high rate. But organizations, especially large ones, are not going to turn off all their systems overnight. Some loads can be moved quickly, but others can find barriers to the adoption of the public cloud.
Some examples of barriers can be:
– Regulation – some industries and some countries require some auditing capacity, or other compliance that prohibits the deployment of some applications in clouds of shared infrastructure.
– Sensitivity of the data – may include sensitivities driven by data residency requirements (where data is required to be maintained by law or other reasons), or data sovereignty (the data is subject to the laws of the country where they are located) localized), or even particular concerns about sharing confidential or private information.
– Personalization – the freedom to customize certain elements of the environment and infrastructure are limited by design in public cloud environments.
– Latency – some applications and loads are extremely sensitive to low or variable latency.
– Traditional support – some applications may need characteristics of traditional systems (legacy) and the benefit of updating such applications to a modern architecture may not be worthwhile.
These barriers to the public cloud will be overcome over time, but in the meantime, and probably for many organizations for quite some time, the hybrid cloud is the reality. The positive part about the Hybrid Cloud is that it helps organizations adopt a cloud model and still be able to take charge of existing systems.
The most complete hybrid capacity
The hybrid reality faced by companies has pushed us to integrate hybrid capabilities throughout our portfolio of products and services. Only Microsoft can provide this full hybrid capacity stack:
– MANAGEMENT … OMS ( Operations Management Suite ) and System Center – use a single management tool to protect and manage your resources in the hybrid cloud: regardless of which cloud or environment they reside in, or if they are Linux or Windows loads . It collects, monitors and analyzes information on the status of systems and ensures the availability of applications and data through backup copies and disaster recovery (BCDR).
– DATA … Azure SQL and SQL Server – using the same programming language between Azure SQL and SQL Server means that the location of the data can change without having to rewrite the applications. Another great example is SQL Server Stretch Database that allows customers to dynamically expand transactional data (hot and cold) from SQL Server 2016 to Azure reducing storage costs without changes in any application.
– IDENTITY … Azure Active Directory connects with your existing Active Directory and helps you secure access to both on-premises and cloud applications, ensuring that your users have a unique identity that accompanies them throughout their hybrid cloud.
– PLATFORM … Microsoft’s vision with Azure Stack , allowing customers and service providers to run Azure Services in their own data centers, enables a wide variety of use cases. Developers can build applications in a common way and deploy it in the appropriate cloud: public, private or hosting, without change.
– PRODUCTIVITY … The growth of Office 365 has been immense, and there are still multiple cases where a hybrid solution is required.
I want to emphasize it again: no other company in the industry can provide this breadth and depth of hybrid cloud capabilities .
Hybrid Cloud – Consistency, not only Connected
Knowing that the hybrid cloud is a reality for a large number of companies, we have seen many traditional and cloud providers start their phrases with “hybrid”. But there is a fundamental difference in how Microsoft approaches the hybrid cloud versus the rest, and that is CONSISTENCY. It is not enough to be only CONNECTED. Yes, great connectivity such as the network is a fundamental requirement for the hybrid cloud. But CONSISTENCY is the key. Consistency means that when moving loads to your hybrid cloud you do not need to change them. Consistency means that when you connect locations in your private cloud, you do not need to use different APIs or GUIs.
Consistency is what makes a real Hybrid Cloud.