Designing the right mix of cloud strategies for your business

Liam O'Sullivan, October 18, 2021

There was a time when there was near consensus that the average SMB would move the bulk of its IT workloads to the public cloud. The discussion has shifted, however, as enterprises realise that it will be neither possible nor desirable to move all their applications and infrastructure to hyperscale cloud providers.

 

The question is no longer when a company will move its workloads into the public cloud, but rather which mix of public cloud, private cloud and on-premises solutions and services will meet its needs. As Flexera’s 2021 State of the Cloud report reveals, 82% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. 

Having accepted that the hybrid cloud is the future, enterprises are now looking closely at which computing model best meets the needs of each application or workload. They have found that the public cloud is well suited to workloads built around PaaS (platform-as-a-service) architectures, as well as applications for collaboration, mobility and backup and disaster recovery. 

As they have discovered, when matched to the right workloads and applications, the public cloud can provide them with an agile, scalable and cost-effective IT infrastructure. Yet, there are workloads that cannot make that transition and must remain on-premises for multiple reasons such as data sovereignty, compliance, data gravity or complexity. 

For some SMBs, early experiences with the public cloud have highlighted the reality that costs are not always simple and transparent. Some have been caught on the backfoot due to costs increasing as their consumption rises or they accumulate unused ghost resources from overprovisioning. Data egress costs, too, can be expensive as many learn when they try to leave a hyperscale provider.

 

On-premises still has its place 

When it comes to the applications where legacy entanglement, regulation or control are concerns, the options are an on-premises data centre or a private cloud. An SMB will choose one of these options when it needs to have more control of its IT environment, or where it would be expensive and impractical to migrate to the public cloud.  

Yet, it’s also true that the efficiency, simplicity and reduction in capital spending inherent in a public cloud model have highlighted the limitations of on-premises and private cloud deployments. C-suite executives and IT professionals at SMBs are thus looking for options that give them the best of both worlds: consumption-based IT with the control of on-premises. 

Innovations such as HPE GreenLake are filling this gap. HPE GreenLake delivers on-premises workloads using a pay-per-use model that gives SMBs the speed and flexibility of the cloud, while maintaining control over their data and key apps—all for a predictable monthly fee. It helps companies to optimise cost and capacity across a hybrid estate. 

Furthermore, it gives SMBs the ability to rapidly deploy infrastructure as-a-service, either as a private cloud or as a traditional on-premises data centre solution. With HPE GreenLake, an enterprise can have HPE hardware installed on its premises or in a colocation facility, with capacity right sized for its business. 

 

The only model where prices get better as you use more resources 

HPE owns, manages and maintains the equipment for the customer’s data centre, colocation facility or edge location. If a server, blade or any other piece of gear needs refreshing or updating, HPE takes care of it. HPE GreenLake offers more competitive prices as customers move into new consumption bands—this is the ONLY model in the market where the price gets better as the customer uses more. 

IT consulting company Sopra Steria is an example of an enterprise using HPE GreenLake as a private cloud-as-a-service—including flexible server and storage capacity—to deliver a broad mix of diverse workloads to its customers. The company has been able to eliminate IT capital expenditure and has reduced its operational and personnel costs by between 15% and 30%, depending on the service.

Toyota Mapmaster, meanwhile, adopted the HPE GreenLake IT consumption model to support and accelerate its mapping production system. In the new environment, servers, storage and backup devices are stored in four racks. The data centre cost has been reduced to about two thirds of what it was, and the number of racks and power consumption decreased significantly. 

As the experiences of HPE GreenLake customers show, the cloud is not a one-size-fits-all scenario. The key is to establish a mature model of cost optimisation that will reduce IT waste and enable future business opportunities supported by technology. 

 

Are you ready to find your right mix? Read about how HPE GreenLake can help your business optimise IT costs and performance.

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