Contrary to many predictions, the on-premises data centre is not on its deathbed.

“Cloud adoption has accelerated big-time in the last few years,” said Munish Gupta, Global Sales Leader with IBM Services Centre of Competency, at a recent ITWC webinar. “But the reality is there is a huge chunk of workloads that are not on a public cloud.” Indeed, surveys show that only 20 to 30 per cent of workloads have moved to the public cloud, he said.

“We don’t think data centre infrastructure is going to die because there are always going to be workloads which will not be a good fit for a public cloud option,” said Gupta. Organizations continue to keep workloads on-premises because of concerns about latency or security and compliance. In some cases, their applications are just not ready to be moved.

At the same time, users want the benefits of cloud. The solution is a managed private cloud service as part of a hybrid environment, said Gupta, noting that 94 per cent of enterprises use a mix of cloud services.

The agility of cloud on-site

Private cloud infrastructure as a service (IAAS) provides a dedicated on-premises deployment, with the flexibility of cloud. “It’s very similar to a public cloud in terms of experience, but it’s on your premises to give you that extra peace of mind,” said Gupta.

In a private cloud service, the provider sets up everything from network to storage in the location of the client’s choice, whether it is on-premises or in a third-party data centre.  Clients can select from a range of options to meet their needs, said Gupta. For example, they can choose bare metal servers or virtual machines and the amount of storage they require.

“In the traditional model, you have to buy the hardware and it’s not a scalable environment,” said Gupta. But with a private cloud service on-premises, it can be scaled up and down, or even terminated after a minimum period.

Like cloud, the private cloud service offers the flexibility of a consumption model. Billing can be based on the number of blades or the amount of storage consumed.

Finally, the service is fully managed, based on the level of availability needed, with proactive monitoring and reporting.

It has all the “bells and whistles of cloud,” but in your data centre, said Gupta.

Managing the hybrid environment

The hybrid cloud environment with multiple providers can create challenges, said Charles Fitzgerald, Business Development Executive with IBM Services Centre of Competency. If organizations have separate private and public clouds, each requires different toolsets and resources. “Everything is disconnected in some form, so you don’t have this commonality between the two,” said Fitzgerald. It becomes difficult to move workloads and increases security vulnerabilities.

To make it easier, clients need a tool that allows them to manage applications and workloads on one console. IBM will be introducing a solution, called IBM Cloud Satellite, in the fourth quarter of 2020, said Fitzgerald. “It provides a single dashboard with a global view of every location,” he said. It also allows users to deploy one security access policy across all sites.

This way, organizations can fully benefit from the flexibility of private and public clouds together. “What we’re seeing in the market is, there is no right or wrong model,” said Gupta. “Users just want ease of use, rapid scalability, easy termination and pay by the drink.”