Many organizations have adopted hybrid cloud infrastructure out of necessity. Consider the following situation. You need to implement cloud computing in your business but find it impossible to completely relinquish on-premise equipment. So you have to compromise and manage your own infrastructure, leveraging the cloud for only part of your computing needs. However, this compromise means that you have to manage the cloud, on-premise equipment, and edge compute infrastructure.
In a hybrid environment, customers lose out on the full benefits of the cloud. One of the main benefits being the unification of technology across the organization. The distributed cloud changes this and allows companies to run public cloud infrastructure from different locations and manage resources from a central dashboard.
As a result, cloud providers can deliver infrastructure located on the cloud, edge, and at the customer’s location. Since cloud providers retain ownership over the infrastructure, all their hardware is connected, and customers can benefit from the cloud provider’s expertise, management, and innovation. This is the key to the distributed cloud’s value.
Distributed Cloud Infrastructure Simplifies Workflows
Unified infrastructure is important for businesses that want to benefit fully from their technology investment. Consider the case of developers trying to deploy an application in a hybrid environment. They have to adapt their installation to the needs of cloud and on-premise equipment, which may even involve changes to code and the software tools needed.
What’s different about distributed cloud computing? Where the cloud obscures location, the distributed cloud clearly outlines different server locations and has strategies in place for hardware deployment. Developers working in a distributed cloud environment could potentially install applications anywhere on the network, whether that’s in the public cloud, on-premises, or on the edge from their cloud dashboard.
Another benefit to the distributed cloud is consistent user experience. In a hybrid environment, different locations may use different technology stacks that change performance, UI, and capacity. Since resources are unified in the distributed cloud, users will have access to the entire network and the same UI regardless of the deployment location.
Finally, by unifying on-premise, edge, and cloud infrastructure, it becomes easier to comply with regulations. Businesses no longer have to ensure infrastructure is compliant across three siloed computing environments.
Distributed Computing Could Mean a Loss of Control
Every business has different compute needs. Businesses that work with AI and machine learning have an especially acute need for computing resources. In these cases, organizations need to consider whether giving up control of their infrastructure to a cloud provider is the right option. Why?
One disadvantage to the distributed cloud provider is slower servicing of equipment, which can result in additional downtime. Cloud providers manage a lot of dispersed infrastructure, and sending technicians to service on-premise equipment will be slower than in-house IT teams.
Another disadvantage is a lack of flexibility in your hardware choices. Since your team isn’t managing your on-premise equipment, your customization options will likely be limited when working with a cloud provider.
Finally, there are security considerations. Keeping your data in the cloud presents security risks that may not be acceptable for providers with sensitive data. Despite the disadvantages, there are significant pros to using distributed cloud infrastructure. How can businesses decide what’s right for them?
Start by Laying Out Your IT Needs
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for every business’s computing needs. CIOs and CTOs must start by identifying their true IT needs. They should ask questions like:
- What would be the ROI if all of our infrastructure was unified?
- What would the cost benefit look like if we didn’t manage our infrastructure?
- If we were to shift to the cloud completely, would we run into performance bottlenecks?
- Can we endure downtime while waiting for equipment to be serviced?
The answers will help leaders assess if the pros outweigh the cons and help ensure they don’t run into production problems down the line.
Whether you’re a cloud provider trying to service customers around the globe or a business that has decided to stick with the hybrid model, we can help. Intequus works with businesses to create custom infrastructure that meets their needs at their location and the edge. We can customize your computing hardware so that you get the components you need but don’t pay for the ones you don’t. Schedule a consultation if you want to learn more about our custom hybrid cloud and edge solutions.