APAC hybrid cloud adoption still cloudy
The rise of public cloud computing has been nothing short of phenomenal in the past five years, driven by myriad digital transformation initiatives and, more recently, the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced many companies and educational establishments to work and learn from home.
But despite these numerous advantages, organisations with a lot of legacy workloads can’t or won’t move everything to the public cloud. Complete migration and modernisation can be highly resource intensive, as some legacy apps aren’t built to be hosted on cloud platforms.
Enterprises also face issues such as cyber security, lack of technical expertise to migrate workloads, and the need to manage ongoing operations while seeking to develop new disruptive solutions to stay ahead of the competition.
This is where hybrid cloud comes into play, with the promise it brings to deliver all the benefits of public cloud computing – flexibility, scalability and cost efficiencies – with the lowest possible risk of data exposure, says K. Raman, managing director of Microsoft Malaysia.
Speaking to Computer Weekly, Raman says a hybrid cloud is a computing environment that combines a public cloud and a private cloud by allowing data and applications to be shared between them.
“Using a hybrid cloud allows companies to scale computing resources,” he says. It also eliminates the need to make big investments to handle short-term spikes in demand.
“Companies will pay only for resources they temporarily use instead of having to purchase and maintain additional resources and equipment that could remain idle over long periods of time, which translates to reduced capital expenditure,” he adds.
Eric Foo, vice-president for cloud, security and infrastructure at Hitachi Sunway Information Systems, defines hybrid cloud as any combination of an on-premise private cloud – such as a VMware-based or other hyper-converged virtual machine – and an off-premise but in-country managed cloud by a local or a global cloud service provider.
“Hybrid clouds allow flexibility for enterprises to have control of compute resources and achieve compliance requirements with privately managed on-premise or in-country cloud,” he says.“A hybrid IT-ready enterprise is a trusted broker and provider for all IT services – cloud and non-cloud – including services provided by the IT organisation and external providers”Alan Waite, Gartner
“It also has the scalability and agility to enable global market reach without performance or latency issues with global public cloud,” he adds.
Foo notes that besides scalability and flexibility, enterprises in Southeast Asia are also turning to hybrid clouds for disaster recovery and business continuity.
“I would argue that when defined as above, a large proportion of ASEAN-based enterprises in countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand may have a very high adoption rate of hybrid cloud environments,” says the executive from the Malaysia-based IT solutions provider.
The growth of hybrid clouds has not gone unnoticed for the three leading public cloud giants – Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
Born native in the cloud, the providers would normally champion moving all enterprise workloads onto their datacentres. But of late, they have conceded that many of today’s enterprises can’t or won’t do that, and as a result, all three have some form of offering for enterprises wanting to split their workloads both on- and off-premise.
In June 2020, AWS launched its offering to support hybrid cloud via AWS Outposts, a fully managed and configurable hardware rack that provides on-premise compute and storage capabilities, while providing access to AWS services in the cloud in two ASEAN countries. The solution is now available in Thailand via True IDC, and in Malaysia via TM One and Maxis.
In early July 2020, Oracle introduced its Dedicated Region Cloud at Customer, an Oracle managed service that touts the ability to enable enterprises to run an entire cloud region in their own datacentres.