Over the last ten years, there has been an increase of options for where applications should sit within an enterprise. Drawn lines have been made into three key pillars: public cloud, on-premise, and private cloud.
The options themselves have all seen dramatic changes in how the enterprise is adopting them. According to recent data by IDC, public cloud is continuing to rise steadily and continues to do so. However, hybrid-private cloud adoption is where many CIO’s are choosing to invest.
Pending the needs of the business, technology executives draw out a blueprint based on one of these pillars. For Andrew Foot, General Manager, Compute-Hybrid IT, South Pacific at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, what is not widely considered by the market when building our strategy, is the full lifecycle of applications.
“When building an environment, if you are a developer or a business unit owner, you are making decisions for the lifecycle of the application and the workload. We have a lot of options, do we take it to the cloud? Do we consume it as a service? Or do we do that on-premise?”
“However, most of the time, these decisions are only made for the lifecycle of the application. In making a decision based only on the lifecycle of the application, you don’t have an exit strategy; you are locked into a “walled garden” of the lifecycle of the application.”
The concept of “walled gardens”, where applications are beholden to their original environment, is a burgeoning challenge for IT professionals as they look to determine what path to take. Foot believes the key determiners to this are often cost, speed, and internal skill-sets to execute.
Foot likens the concept of the walled garden to the early days of the internet, where key web-browsers like AOL were the single gateway for users, whose entire internet existence lived within the AOL environment.
Foot believes that organisations need to transition into a cloudless state so they can operate freely. Going cloudless is a concept that is not being considered as much as it should by the IT community.
“When we speak to customers and ask them about their exit strategy, only a tiny percentage of executives say they have considered it.”
Cloudless enables organisations the freedom of choice. Having the right structure in place enables organisations to draw upon the benefits of public, private and on-premise infrastructures, giving choice, flexibility and scalability. On a cost front, it also allows organisations to consider how to maximise their investments best.
A Serverless State
Another concept highlighted by Foot is the idea of serverless computing. A burgeoning area, Foot believes serverless computing is the next iteration from virtual machines and containers:
“When working with customers, we see an emergence of the concept of a serverless state. Serverless is a great capability that allows us to move an application into a serverless form, where we are only paying for consumption.”
Key to Foot’s belief that organisations should be looking to take a “cloudless” and “serverless” approach is the need for organisations to service the “edge”.
“If we think about the world we are operating in, The explosion of edge data is a great example of what we are all seeing.”
We see edge data in augmented reality, video analytics and automation. Innovations like smart city initiatives are starting to take shape.”
Foot believes the increasing need for compute to be delivered at the “edge” point of an organisation validates the need for organisations to think differently about their data centre strategy.
“In the future, the majority of compute will happen at the edge. Building foundations for this begins now.”