In a June 2016 press release, Gartner reported that by 2020, a corporate "no-cloud" policy will be as rare as a "no-internet" policy is today. What they really mean by this is that the extreme of having nothing cloud-based will largely disappear, but there will still remain strong use cases where a “no-cloud” option is needed, opening the door to a hybrid strategy.
Gartner vice president, Thomas J. Bittman, stated that "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 non-cloud architectures, with a focus on managing cloud-delivered capacity efficiently and effectively."
The Importance of a No-Cloud Option
There are many reasons for moving applications to the cloud. As compared to on-premises data centers, the cloud is more cost-effective, flexible and reliable. The wealth of available SaaS applications provide convenience, operational efficiency and agility to improve the ability for businesses to move faster and foster innovation.
However, not all applications are suited to the cloud. Between 20 and 40 percent of all business applications lack a platform for deployment in the public cloud. For example, they may have certain latency requirements that cannot be satisfied by a public cloud provider. These legacy applications are critical for maintaining business operations but don’t easily fit into an all-cloud strategy.
Migrating legacy applications to the cloud is extremely expensive and resource-intensive, not to mention disruptive to everyday business operations. So businesses now face a quandary – While the business is moving away from costly on-premises enterprise data centers, how do IT departments address applications that can’t be moved to the cloud?
The Benefits of Colocation for “No-Cloud”
Viable no-cloud options include hosting platforms such as managed service providers (MSPs) and colocation providers. An MSP or colocation provider can host critical applications at a much lower expense than your own physical on-premises data center. Colocation in particular, offers many of the benefits of the cloud, including easy scalability, strong security, and predictable monthly expenses.
Of course, there are many considerations that go into finding a colocation provider. (Check out our Colocation Checklist.) Businesses interested in the colocation option need to find providers that can meet their workload requirements, are strategically located and have strong security and Disaster Recovery (DR) plans in place.
Formulating a three-tier strategy
Many businesses benefit from a three-tiered cloud strategy.
- Tier 1: This tier encompasses all applications in the public cloud, including applications from SaaS providers that run in the public cloud. Most businesses place the majority of applications in this tier.
- Tier 2: This tier represents all applications hosted by an MSP or colocation provider. For various reasons, these applications are not suited to the public cloud.
- Tier 3: This is the tier for all applications hosted on-premises through your own data center. Because of the expense of maintaining an on-premises data center, the number of tier 3 applications is receding for most companies, and over time, this number should move closer to zero.
Assess your workloads to determine the optimal solution.
At OneNeck, we provide the complete solution for your hybrid cloud journey. Our approach is to fully understand your business needs and requirements to help you define the right cloud infrastructure that will provide agility and optimize your workloads.
Through our Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure Assessment, we cover all the bases to complete a successful migration to the cloud: workload analysis, bandwidth analysis, and end user experience analysis. Our engineers have an arsenal of tools available to analyze your workloads, explore a variety of scenarios and present you with options for customized hybrid solutions that span on-premises, ReliaCloud®, managed Microsoft Azure or colocation.