According to the Cisco Global Cloud Index, 94 percent of all workloads will run in some form of cloud environment by 2021.
Moving processing workloads into the cloud has helped companies lower their operating costs and build modern IT environments with high availability and elasticity. But for companies with complex IT architectures, moving applications to cloud platforms involves overcoming the challenges of security, connectivity, and data residency.
These challenges may explain Deloitte’s position that within five years only around 40 percent of enterprise workloads will run in the public cloud. When looking at the considerable advantages of migrating to the public cloud vs self-managing a private cloud, one might ask themselves, why isn’t this number much higher?
The complexity of managing both cloud and on-premise environments can slow down a migration strategy. With the interconnected nature of many enterprise systems it is not feasible for most large organizations to forklift everything into a public cloud environment all at once. Additionally, physical dependencies (machines and IoT), performance (low latency applications), and security/privacy concerns will require some workloads to stay at the edge for the foreseeable future.
This necessitates a phased approach for some systems while others that will never fully migrate to the cloud need to be architected to their “new normal”. This evolution of the IT landscape calls for connectivity solutions that legacy VPN or dedicated circuit solutions are only partially capable of and inefficient at handling. Hardware expenses, deployment complexity, and support costs erode the gains offered by public cloud and thus hinder the case for migration.
However, there are ways to ease this transition and construct an architecture that assembles resources without forcing an all-or-nothing approach to the cloud. By leveraging the latest in cloud-native software-defined networking, IT and network administrators can connect disparate ecosystem resources and centralize the required management functions. This not only simplifies the complexity of managing hundreds to thousands of cloud and on-premise connections, but also streamlines the cloud deployment of new services, no matter their IT dependencies.
Through these latest innovations in software-defined networks a single pane of a glass allows administrators to deploy new connections, remotely troubleshoot and fix existing connections, and even share management responsibilities with remote 3rd party stakeholders.
This gives companies the freedom to deploy workloads and data where they make the most sense, add new IT capabilities, and significantly lower the operational costs of managing their IT infrastructure.
While most everyone now acknowledges that the cloud is the future, getting there has seemed just out of reach for many due to the realities of integrated on-premise resources. Software-defined networking has stepped up to be the missing link that gives the freedom to keep resources where they make sense, take advantage of cloud infrastructure and manage it all from deployment to support from any location on a single screen.
The path to the cloud has never been more promising, feasible, or clear.