Is the hybrid cloud the future for enterprises?

While the public cloud remains important to IT decision-makers at UK and US enterprises, the limitations of using this type of platform as a one-size-fits-all solution are becoming more apparent.

According to a Rackspace survey, these limitations are leading many respondents to turn to a hybrid cloud infrastructure (i.e. public cloud, private cloud and dedicated servers working together in any combination) for certain applications or workloads.

The study investigated the use of different types of clouds – public, private and hybrid – along with dedicated servers by UK and US enterprises. The study found that 60 percent of respondents have moved or are considering moving certain applications or workloads either partially (41 percent) or completely (19 percent) off the public cloud because of its limitations or the potential benefits of other platforms, such as the hybrid cloud.

The research also shows that the majority (60 percent) of IT decision-makers see hybrid cloud as the culmination of their cloud journey, rather than a stepping stone to using the public cloud alone for all their cloud needs.

John Engates, CTO of Rackspace, says: “The findings of our study indicate that the hybrid cloud is the next cloud for many organizations. 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 the 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.”

Rackspace’s study also found that hybrid cloud is now used by nearly three quarters (72 percent) of respondents for at least a portion of their application portfolio, with US organizations (80 percent) more likely to use it than UK organizations (64 percent). The top reasons respondents gave for why their organization is using hybrid cloud instead of a public cloud only approach for certain applications or workloads are better security (52 percent), more control (42 percent), and better performance or reliability (37 percent).

Reinforcing these findings, hybrid cloud users report the top benefits they’ve experienced from it are more control (59 percent), better security (54 percent), better reliability (48 percent), reduced costs (46 percent) and better performance (44 percent). Specifically, the average reduction in overall cloud costs from using hybrid cloud – for those who have seen a reduction – is substantial, at 17 percent.

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