We write about cloud computing so often that some readers have taken to our forums to accuse us, as one put it, of flag waving for "cloud, cloud, cloud, nothing but cloud and how good it supposedly is."
The reader would like us to expand our horizons to cover "businesses who shun the cloud and the strategies they have to do this." An interesting shout, and we would be greatly obliged if any cloud-shunning organisations out there would drop us a line.
So let's acknowledge right up front all the bad things about cloud – those issues about data sovereignty, security, pricing mishaps, outages and potential for vendor lock-in. And do not underestimate the comfort of owning your own tin.
But the market shift towards cloud appears to be unstoppable. Gartner's 2015 global IT revenues tot-up is a leading indicator. Data centre/cloud infrastructure was the only segment to record sales growth in a year that saw the strong US dollar suppress appetite for buying new stuff.
Managed service providers and hyperscale internet firms are driving demand for servers, storage and networking and they in turn are responding to a new wave of customer demand, especially from enterprises.
To put it more grandly, cloud computing is becoming a proxy for IT transformation in the industry, a bit of phrase-making for you courtesy of Bill Hilf, who runs HPE's cloud business, so he is totally invested.
In his presentation at HPE Discover in London in December 2015, he cited a 451 Research survey of cloud expenditure by 1,100 enterprises in 10 countries. Private cloud accounts for about two thirds of the budget – this could be a private cloud that a customer builds on their own or a private cloud that is hosted by a service provider. Public cloud accounts for about a quarter of the spend.
Hilf said larger government customers and enterprise customers around the world ask him this: "Bill, what workloads are appropriate for the cloud? The question came up a lot years ago, but what is happening now is customers are saying that 'I want to use cloud for all my workloads, I don't want to have cloud just be a side project, or only for certain types of things I want to do – I want to use it across the board'."
There is a well-trodden path to get there: start off with virtualisation and then introduce concepts such as automation and orchestration. These are, Hilf says, the "fundamental building blocks for people as they start moving to the cloud."
Then it comes down to defining the right mix for running your business application or process in any node – private cloud, public cloud or on-prem. Also, do make sure it is open and interoperable – you don't want to be tied into your decisions forever.
It sounds easy when you put it that way, but it is the way the world is moving, according to Hilf. "Hybrid infrastructure is fundamental to everything else that we see happening with our customers today," he says.
So, readers, is hybrid cloud a fundamental for your organisation? Or is Hilf – and by extension The Reg – simply flag-waving for cloud, cloud, cloud, nothing but cloud and how good it supposedly is?
The comments are all yours. ®