Rackspace Study: Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure Reigns Supreme

23 Sep 2013 by Datacenters.com Cloud

"In the world of enterprise IT, cloud computing technology has caused significant disruption in recent years. However, more organizations have reached the critical point where they are prepared to embrace cloud infrastructure and all the benefits it offers rather than fall victim to surrounding hype. While many companies have been weighing the pros and cons of private versus public cloud solutions, it seems that a new favorite solution has emerged: the hybrid cloud.

Leading specialist in the cloud industry, Rackspace Hosting, recently released the results of its 2013 Hybrid Cloud Survey, conducted by Vanson Bourne. The study found that while the public cloud continues to be important for enterprise IT decision-makers in the U.K. and U.S., such a storage solution does have its limitations. This has led many organizations to turn to hybrid infrastructure architectures that blend the benefits of public and private clouds with dedicated servers for a solution that custom fits a business’s workloads and applications needs. Specifically, 60 percent of survey respondents indicated considering moving particular applications out of publiccloud storage and adopting a hybrid environment. Forty-one percent intended to move workloads partially off public clouds, while 19 percent expressed plans to move workloads completely.

These developments are noteworthy for a number of reasons, including that they demonstrate the growing awareness of public cloud limitations as well as the possible advantages that can be gained from other platforms. The survey highlighted how cloud services have evolved in recent years, as 60 percent of IT decision-makers regard the hybrid cloud “as the culmination of their cloud journey.” Furthermore, 52 percent indicated that the hybrid cloud model affords them improved security. In addition, 42 percent emphasized hybrid’s value in providing more control to enterprise IT, and 37 percent pointed to better reliability and performance as primary motivators.

Respondents were also asked to name the top benefits received from deploying a hybrid infrastructure. Fifty-nine percent listed more control, 54 percent cited improved security and 48 percent pointed to better reliability. Additional benefits noted included reduced costs (46 percent) and improved performance (44 percent). When examining how hybrid cloud hosting can help organizations cut costs, analysts discovered that the average reduction in cloud storage costs amounted to a 17 percent drop.

“The findings of our study indicate that the hybrid cloud is the next cloud for many organizations,” said Rackspace CTO John Engates in a recent release. “They may have started with a public cloud-only architecture, but have come to realize the limitations of this approach as they’ve continued on their cloud journey. They turn to hybrid cloud because it can combine the best of public cloud, private cloud and dedicated servers, delivering a common architecture that can be tailored to create the best fit for their specific needs. For example, instead of trying to run a big database in the public cloud on its own, which can be very problematic, businesses can leverage the hybrid cloud to run that database much more efficiently on a dedicated server that can burst into the public cloud when needed.”

Darren Robertson, Advocate for U.K. charity Action for Children, shared details about his organization’s “cloud journey,” noting that as the organization continued to grow, the public cloud was increasingly not well-suited for its complex applications and workloads.

Rackspace Accelerates Cloud Journeys With New Managed Virtualization Service
As many companies share accounts of similar cloud infrastructure journeys, Rackspace has stepped up to the plate to make the migration process simpler for its customers. In late August, Rackspace Hosting announced its newManaged Virtualization service that will support single-tenant VMware vCenter Servers. Called Dedicated VMware vCenter Server, the new service will enable enterprise customers to migrate existing VMware workloads from on-premises data centers into a new Rackspace data center space.

The new service will make sophisticated tools available to enterprise customers to facilitate the maintenance of control and agility during the migration process. According to Rackspace, the new hosted VMware environment is set up to resemble their previous on-premises environment, with businesses able to use the same orchestration tools to effectively provision virtual machines without losing visibility or hiking up costs.

“Rackspace hosts one of the largest VMware environments and operates the largest OpenStack-based cloud,” the company noted in a release. “With Rackspace’s significant expertise in cloud and managed hosting, a 100 percent network uptime guarantee, and Fanatical Support, enterprise customers can trust their hybrid cloud infrastructure, backed by an extensive service level agreement.”"


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