Enterprise IT environments are becoming more heterogeneous and complex, with fragmentation permeating cloud infrastructure, tooling and culture. However, enterprises find common ground in the top business drivers for cloud: increasing operational efficiency and innovation, according to IOD Cloud Technologies Research and Cloudify.
Cloud business drivers
In popularity order, the benefits most sought after are:
- Increasing operational efficiency (38 percent)
- Disruption and innovation (28 percent)
- Standardization (13 percent)
- Avoiding vendor lock-in (12 percent)
- Saving money (9 percent).
The hybrid cloud
Survey responses leave no doubt that hybrid cloud is the dominant architectural model. Half of the organizations represented in the survey are managing more than one cloud, with close to 9 percent of enterprises deploying across five clouds or more.
The most popular two-cloud combination is AWS and Azure, which indicates that organizations are using public/public multi-clouds in order to avoid vendor lock-in. The second most popular two-cloud combination is AWS and OpenStack.
Although AWS is more prominent among smaller organizations and OpenStack among larger ones, it is evident that public and on-premises clouds are living happily side by side across organizations of all sizes.
“Enterprises increasingly want a multi-cloud environment to support the varying requirements of different workloads and the unique regulatory and audit demands associated with them,” said William Fellows, founder & research vice president, 451 Research. “Those vendors and open source communities who are best at giving buyers the tools that enable this flexibility should earn a competitive advantage over proprietary approaches.”
Fragmentation is also evident in the tooling layer and in IT culture. Organizations are using a wide range of cloud management tools, with no single vendor dominating the market, and two out of three respondents stated that their organization suffers, or may be suffering, from siloism.
In order to meet the challenges of fragmentation, the vast majority of organizations have introduced an orchestrator or similar management platform to coordinate workloads across IT environments. Orchestration is now at a level of maturity where it is managing the lion’s share of production workloads and not just QA and PoC environments.
“Organizations are looking to the cloud for performance and innovation, but unfortunately they often find themselves in midst of a highly fragmented cloud world, where technologies are superfluous and incongruous, and where siloism is stifling agility and innovation,” said Nati Shalom, CTO of Cloudify. “In this fragmented world, the orchestration layer plays a critical panoramic role, especially in unifying multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments, including the seamless integration of legacy software. Orchestration also plays a key role in eliminating silos, freeing organizations to be more agile, disruptive and innovative.”