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Going hybrid for service providers

Public cloud is the new normal

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Tony Dalton

Demand for integration capabilities, agile work processes, and composable architecture continues to drive a shift to public cloud. A key turning point is coming: According to Gartner, by 2025 spending on public cloud will finally exceed spending on traditional IT across enterprise categories.

Technology service providers that don’t want to risk becoming obsolete or being relegated to low-growth markets need to accelerate their existing transition efforts or start adapting to this shift. The need to adapt is urgent, because service providers' core customer base Is increasingly drawn to what hyperscalers offer.

Say goodbye to the old ways

The traditional as-a-service private cloud model that relies on capex purchases and is managed in their service provider’s data center is being disrupted. This disruption leaves your customers struggling with new issues like meeting committed spending targets and finding It difficult to shift workloads around multiple public cloud environments.

Although service providers can’t compete with hyperscalers on scale (it’s in the name), there’s a lot of scope for complementing the uptake of public cloud by proactively offering customers hybrid cloud solutions. In fact, according to Flexera, 63% of enterprises already rely on a service provider to manage their public cloud usage.

Transitioning to offer this flexibility is vital if you want to retain your existing customers and continue to develop your long-term relationships by providing additional services.

Data: We like to move it, move it

Moving and managing diverse workloads on multiple environments when public cloud is thrown into the mix presents challenges in terms of overall connectivity, interoperability, administration, and security. Some of the biggest challenges are around the data gravity and inefficiency that come with moving large data sets between environments:

  • Bandwidth and latency prevent data from being moved quickly to meet business requirements.
  • Egress charges can become prohibitive when data sets are regularly moved between clouds.
  • Data quality issues and inconsistent end points arise.

Service providers are well placed to address these challenges with their existing expertise and technical capabilities, which means that enterprises don’t need to train staff and can rely on your support structure.

Hybrid-managed multicloud

According to Flexera, 90% of enterprises already implement a multicloud strategy, and 80% also use some level of hybrid cloud. But mixing and matching across public clouds and other on-premises or private solutions is difficult. Each public cloud IaaS uses different management tools, which means that unified control isn’t feasible, and there’s no shared security framework. This leads to a lot of duplicated effort.

Service providers can offer the answers that enterprises are looking for through the delivery of a hybrid multicloud. Also known as the hypercloud, hybrid multicloud is a distributed environment that Involves multiple interconnected on-premises, public cloud, and private cloud environments.

Essentially, it’s a layer that sits above the public cloud that allows customers to access and manage resources and workloads and build on them in a uniform way. For example, if a customer commits spending in Azure, then finds that they want to put some workloads into Amazon Web Services, this layer enables them to simplify that process. It offers the freedom to dip into whichever public cloud they need, whenever they need to.

Enterprises don’t want point solutions for each of the public clouds. They want a pain-free, standardized managed solution in which somebody else does the heavy lifting and pulls it all together, giving them free and flexible movement of data.

Reducing capital expenditure and paying for only what you use is just half of the public cloud story. To get the full benefits, you should be able to switch between cloud computing providers as you would any other utility service, like internet service provider – whenever it suits you and without any disruption to supply. Managed hybrid multicloud gives you this flexibility.

How NetApp can help

NetApp® products and services can help service providers build and evolve a unified hybrid multicloud environment that seamlessly integrates their customer's private cloud environment with a choice of any of the major public clouds.

NetApp can help you give your customers a common storage layer and a consistent set of tools and processes to manage, protect, and move data. With our application-driven infrastructure and capabilities, we can drive greater cost optimization, security, resilience, and performance across their entire storage footprint.

Offer a consistent experience

NetApp is the only storage vendor that can provide complete interoperability between all major public clouds​. With the same workflows, management tools, feature set, and unified governance and security, you can reduce operational complexity and risk for your customers.

Seamlessly connect data

We can help you build a data fabric for your customers that delivers data where, when, and how it’s needed. The data fabric allows data to flow seamlessly so it’s always on, available, and easily consumed, helping your customers to realize its full value.

Skip lengthy procurement cycles

NetApp offers a range of consumption models that can bolster your operational and financial flexibility. Fast and easy to deploy, these models can help you accelerate time to revenue, align revenue to costs, and improve overall profitability by cutting underutilization.

Simplify data management

NetApp offers a complete suite of application-driven infrastructure and data management services that can enable your customers to consistently manage, analyze, and optimize their data and underlying infrastructure, helping them to consume their committed spending.

Develop new services

We offer expertise to help you understand your costs, ROI, and environments, as well as how to establish a robust go-to-market strategy. We can help you build the profitability of your services and reduce business risk when launching new services into the market.

Learn more

Watch how Conscia used the power of FlexPod® to start delivering hybrid cloud as a service.

Check out our service provider hub.

Tony Dalton

Tony is a technical business development manager at NetApp, focused on service providers. He helps the NetApp SP teams and partners identify customer outcomes, mapping those onto technical solutions and offerings, and then building robust go-to-market strategies.

His goal is to make service providers more profitable by using the NetApp portfolio to help them deliver differentiated business outcomes to their customers.

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