The private, public, hybrid and multi cloud journey

Whatever the business outcome our customers are searching for, all those where IT is the enabler can be accomplished using cloud technologies. Whether a retail organisation is seeking business insights using near real-time management information systems using large datasets, a social housing organisation needs to support legacy applications using virtual desktops, two systems need event-driven integration and automation or you are picking up a phone to call a colleague, the cloud can offer solutions.

Private cloud provides control, visibility and keeps the IT team busy with feature updates, zero-day vulnerability patching, multi-year volume license agreement renewals and the electricity bill only seems to keep increasing. 

The different public cloud providers have extensive portfolios and offer many comparable PaaS and SaaS services, but these are often tied into their own or their partners technologies. Redcentric even offers a (by comparison) smaller set of shared cloud platforms and services tightly integrated with our security, connectivity and collaboration service portfolios. 

This makes selecting a cloud partner or platform challenging. For some organisations, the alignment is simply found with evangelists or experience in the organisation leading to a ‘cloud provider comfort zone’ being established and the organisation focussing on a single cloud partner, whether their services are the right match for the business outcome, compliance requirements and other external factors. 

This approach of ‘we are an X cloud house’ can lead to sub-optimal outcomes for the business as complex requirements are shoe-horned into the solutions from X that may not be the best match or may offer something similar to what is needed, but just miss the mark. With so many services from so many providers, and the number increasing daily, navigation of cloud services and frameworks can be challenging in selection, implementation and governance. Everyone wants to find the best-of-breed solution that fits within their budget, but so you want to implement a complex multi-vendor strategy to achieve this goal? 

Each business outcome should be reviewed individually, and any cloud planning should plan for a multi-cloud or hybrid cloud future but, what is the difference? There is a huge overlap between the two. They both refer to using multiple cloud providers, and in the case of hybrid cloud an on-premises component. 

Hybrid cloud typically has its roots in a dedicated on-premises VMware private cloud environment, possibly with limited functionality as only IaaS and, maybe, VDI services have been implemented. The WAN is heavily dependent on on-premises network services and fixed network connections. This cloud environment then expands to utilise cloud services by taking advantage of something like the Azure VMware Solution or VMware Cloud on AWS, which means more of the same can be running in the same, comfortable way on public cloud. Public cloud box ticked for the board, but the same technical headaches and the same backlog is maintained. 

It may extend by bursting or recovering into a multi-tenant shared IaaS platform from a partner like Redcentric and then the hybrid cloud is extended by adding further services across the hybrid cloud landscape by adding DBaaS and containerisation and container orchestration with the likes of VMware Tanzu. 

Multi-cloud is often more organic and less planned. We see customers who are looking to start a multi-cloud journey, but their email, documents and collaboration are handled by Microsoft 365 SaaS which is in turn protected with Mimecast SaaS, user devices are controlled and secured with Intune SaaS, their on premise AV management server has been replaced with a SaaS portal, backups are shipped off-site to a partner’s storage, the Marketing team uses an agency for the public web site that leverages a PaaS platform, HR uses multiple SaaS providers that will one day be integrated with the Microsoft Entra ID directory and SSO, the CRM tooling is hosted on Public Cloud, a significant proportion of the staff work from home, and more and more traffic is securely traversing the Internet.  

 

Richard Stokes, one of our Cloud Solutions Architect’s, discusses multi-cloud usage and how that can be a strategic benefit for organisations:

This is multi-cloud, where the best of breed has been selected from a vast array of vendors, the services are designed to be consumed over the Internet and we’re paying per-user per-month, and not per-core, per-GB, per-kWh, per-device, per-year and trying to forecast need three years ahead while also avoiding having to navigate internal procurement approval processes more frequently than strictly necessary. 

You are already there. Very few organisations are not multi-cloud. A few are pursuing a hybrid-cloud strategy based on a vision and evangelism, but in the background a decentralised multi-cloud landscape is developing. Some of our customers didn’t think they were ready for a jump to public cloud, but they’re already there communicating this limitation over Microsoft Teams, the Internet and two time zones. 

Now that you’re there and you’ve acknowledged that you are, what now? Accepting the cloud agnostic approach that you’ve already got and looking at the different cloud partners you have is the first step, as well as adopting this approach to all future requirements and refreshes. You are on a journey of decentralisation of your IT and embracing a secure, distributed architecture. 

Ensuring you have governance in place that addresses cost and resource optimisation, removes duplication, ensures your services are resilient and recoverable, your identity and authorisation is consolidated, your services can be observed and monitored and they enable the right business outcomes is the next step. 

The right partner can help with this. When it comes to navigating the intricate multi-cloud landscape and ensuring your cloud strategy aligns seamlessly with your business goals, Redcentric stands out as the ideal choice. With our deep expertise and tailored cloud solutions, we empower your organisation to embrace the cloud’s transformative potential with confidence.  

By choosing Redcentric as your cloud partner, you gain a trusted ally in your journey toward decentralisation, ensuring cost efficiency, service resilience, and true alignment against your business objectives.  

Make the smart move and partner with Redcentric to thrive in the ever-evolving world of cloud. 


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