Hybrid cloud adoption is garnering a lot of interest in South Africa, with the financial services industry at the forefront of the trend.
Enterprises that were previously eyeing a single cloud service provider (CSP) are now considering whether they could be better off using multiple CSPs.
“While many organisations initially jumped on the cloud bandwagon with a 100% single focus, we are now seeing a change of heart, and with good reason. It makes sense to have a multi-cloud strategy, especially as some workloads are more suited to one provider than another,” said Sarel Naude, Solutions Architect at HPE SA.
At the same time, cloud also forms such a big part of digital transformation and this is a journey that many enterprises are undertaking in earnest – especially as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to think out of the box.
Many organisations are realising they have to do things differently, and containerisation and microservices will likely be responsible for the bulk of cloud migrations as enterprises move away from legacy applications.
There are many advantages to cloud migration, as the cloud can provide businesses with the flexibility and agility to facilitate business continuity (BC) during the lockdown.
It also enables remote working, a crucial element for the many South African companies that are realising that work is an activity and not a physical place.
However, the process is not always straightforward.
“Many organisations fail once they embark on their cloud journey, and we deal with a lot of customers who are ready to throw in the towel. Cloud migration can be likened to writing an exam – study, do your prep work, consider all the factors, consider how they connect, determine inter-dependencies, optimise, and repeat – then take the exam,” said Naude.
“Neglecting to plan properly is setting yourself up for failure. Many fail because they don’t address their entire ecosystem. Many tackle their cloud strategy as a pure technology element and neglect to consider the entire eco-system which includes people, process, and economics.”
Hybrid cloud strategy
HPE has always been vocal about a hybrid cloud strategy. It typically views a customer’s environment as hybrid – for example, even if 70%-80% of an organisation’s workloads run in a cloud service provider’s environment, the remaining 30%-20% remains on premise.
In South Africa, HPE launched its Hybrid Cloud Practice in May with the aim of assisting customers with their hybrid cloud journeys.
This was prompted by two key acquisitions that HPE made in recent years – Cloud Technology Providers (CTP) and RedPixie, both of which specialise in assisting customers on their cloud journey, irrespective of the CSP, by providing cloud consulting services.
“Essentially, cloud has been a major disrupter and one of the value propositions that it has instilled in the minds of customers is the concept of only paying for what they consume. From a hybrid cloud perspective, this is where HPE’s GreenLake capacity-based consumption model comes in,” said Naude.
GreenLake brings the cloud experience to apps and data everywhere, with one unified view, he explains.
HPE provides the same consumption experience for those workloads that remain on premise, as for cloud-based solutions, including agility for provisioning workloads.
“At HPE, we take a holistic approach to help customers with the cloud migration – from starting with our strategic advisory services, which includes planning and identifying workloads to shift, right through to design and build. We do all the groundwork, including refactoring, re-platforming, and optimisation, while also providing a managed service solution,” said Naude.
“No one else has delivered a capacity-based consumption model until recently, but we’ve been at it for years. We’ve developed highly-advanced portals, tools and integration capabilities with cloud services providers, as well as our own offerings to deliver a seamless experience to customers that spans both on premise and cloud solutions.”