Let’s be honest, diving into a public cloud computing environment makes many companies more than a little nervous. After all, who is really comfortable with putting it all out there? Who feels secure enough to trust that mission-critical applications are truly safe in the public domain?
Despite knowing that public clouds provide companies with undeniable access to data for customers and employees, or data that can be shared, analyzed and put to work. organizations have a hard time relinquishing control of applications and data that run on their own infrastructure. And they don’t know where to start.
I often hear from clients that they are uncertain about the public cloud because they want to maintain control. And they’re not sure how to align the cloud to their business goals. In addition, they are concerned that if the cloud vendor’s network goes down, that they could lose millions a day in lost sales with no real recourse other than to sit on their hands and wait. They really can’t afford even the slightest chance that their mission-critical applications are susceptible to any outage. So the safest bet it to keep their applications on premises where they can keep an eye on them.
Hybrid clouds, however, represent the best of both worlds. A hybrid cloud creates an environment in which companies can maintain on-premises control of certain applications and data, while determining which applications belong in the cloud. The hybrid approach minimizes change, helps to reduce costs and enables more scalable and flexible business processes. Companies can create a cloud environment that marries a company’s existing infrastructure and IT investments, as well as providing a platform for new cloud workloads driven by trends such as the rise of big data, mobile and social applications.
Whirlpool, the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, needed a flexible and scalable environment to host its ecommerce platform, while storing and deploying large amounts of customer and product data. IBM and SoftLayer provided a globally integrated Infrastructure as a Service platform with massive capacity to support its existing product lifecycle management system.
A one-size fits-all public cloud doesn’t work for many companies. Many are looking for ways to take advantage of the cloud without giving up their legacy IT investments. A hybrid model enables them to take advantage of a cloud environment, yet still maintain a level of control that is consistent with their business needs — a practical approach that delivers the best of both worlds.