Hybrid and private vs. public cloud strategies: Assessing the duel

EMC will talk hybrid cloud this week---and new systems of course. AWS will obviously pitch public cloud. Your cloud reality will probably land in the middle.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Welcome to a week of dueling cloud strategies. As noted in our special report on the hybrid cloud, many enterprises will mix and match their data centers with private and public computing resources, but the balance will be critical.

This week will feature an EMC event called "Redefine Possible." The July 8 event, hosted in London, promises to offer "game-changing innovations for your hybrid cloud." Two days later in New York, Amazon Web Services will drop into New York City with its Summit 2014, which offers technical sessions and bootcamps.

AWS CTO Werner Vogels is likely to talk about how most compute and storage will move to the public cloud. Privacy and security? Well good architecture can take care of that.

EMC will give a nod to the public cloud but also acknowledge---just like its VMware unit does---that the hybrid cloud will be reality for a long time. Companies aren't going to simply chuck their data centers.

In the end, the truth is likely to lie somewhere between EMC's take and AWS' version of the truth. Discerning what's real is one reason that hardware spending in the enterprise has slowed. Every IT buyer is wondering whether they really want to buy that one more server or storage array. Especially when CFOs and CEOs are questioning hardware spending and floating the cloud as an option.

Research: 70 percent using or evaluating a hybrid cloud solution | Hybrid cloud: Which way will the balance tip between public and private? | Hybrid cloud adds fizz for Coke

The stakes are high for all vendors. The likes of IBM, EMC, NetApp, Hewlett-Packard and Oracle are looking to manage a transition to a cloud. If everyone goes cloud happy at once, the growth won't offset lumpy hardware sales. Software companies have to worry about license and maintenance revenue being offset by subscriptions.

For a vendor like VMware the question becomes whether the company is the last great enterprise software company or one of the first cloud innovators.


In either case, the cloud game---public, private or hybrid---won't be zero sum. Nevertheless, this week's news could portray a zero sum game. As I said last week, the most important thing for an infrastructure buyer is to assess whether hybrid cloud architecture will tip more to public resources or private. Those educated guesses for your organization will inform what vendor you continue to use.


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