Last week I was having a conversation with a large-company cloud executive and he referred to hybrid cloud as a market to be exploited. I was a little taken aback because I have always seen it as a concept, not a sales tool.
For those of you who might not know what hybrid means, it's simply the idea that you have a combination of on-premises and public cloud infrastructure, platform, and software.
For me it's just a state of being. Yup we have some resources on-prem and some in the cloud. We're hybrid. The executive disagreed. In fact, he insisted even when I pushed back that it was in fact a market you sell to.
I fully concur that most mature companies have an existing infrastructure that they aren't likely to rip and replace in one epic bandage rip, so they take their time. They move some services to the cloud like storage and email and they keep some in their data centers.
Over time, as they live in this combination world, a term developed to describe it and the term is hybrid. Younger companies, who were born in the last five years, might never deal with on-premises hardware and software, putting their entire computing lives in the cloud.
After all, if you don't need to go through the expense and pain of managing your own infrastructure, why would you? With infrastructure (and software) offered as a service, you buy what you need when you need it. If you need more resources for a short-term project, you can purchase them, and dial back when your project is over.
It gives you a level of control over your computing resources, that just wouldn't be possible in an on-premises model.
But of course, companies that weren't launched in the last five years or so never had that luxury. They bought their hardware and software systems over time, layering them on existing infrastructure, but as companies woke up to the advantages of cloud computing, they started moving some workloads and the hybrid idea was born.
Yet, companies selling cloud services are now suddenly seeing hybrid, not as a simple concept, but as a way to sell things.
As this executive explained it, he was looking at how you monitor, secure, and govern across hybrid cloud environments and this required a set of specialized tools you might not need in a single, fixed type of computing environment.
I'm not sure that matters, but for this executive it gave him a peg to hang his market argument. He said that companies typically start by moving systems of engagement to the cloud while keeping systems of record on-prem.
He never did quite convince me that he was right. I still see hybrid as an idea, a type of computing environment. Some folks are all cloud. Some folks are all on-premises and some are a combination or hybrid. It's not much more complicated than that.
Is hybrid a market, a concept or a bit of both? Leave a comment and let us know what you think.(c) Can Stock Photo