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Hybrid Multicloud for Digital Transformation

Nancy K. Zehring

A Partner Guide to Getting Started

Hybrid multicloud is emerging as the key infrastructure strategy for organizations that are promoting digital transformation (DX) initiatives. These organizations are using digital technology to radically improve the performance of their business by increasing reach to new customers and by optimizing resources. (See more about DX in this video post by Stuart Oliver.)   The world is changing fundamentally and quickly. We’re seeing major shifts in the global economy and the rise of the empowered consumer, to name a few. Because of these changes, CEOs report that digital transformation is a critical agenda item for their businesses.

Digital transformation starts with IT transformation. It often requires a hybrid multicloud infrastructure environment that allows enterprises to deploy resources when they need them, where they need them. Hybrid multicloud is an end state for organizations that are working to successfully transform how they go to market.

As a NetApp partner, it’s critical for you to understand how to have the transformation conversation with your customers.  Let’s start by answering why customers require a hybrid multicloud environment.   The data layer has traditionally been siloed along systems and applications. These silos have consolidated data into data warehouses or data lakes that no longer meet the needs of real-time business. A hybrid multicloud environment moves data from data centers to data fabrics that simplify the integration and orchestration of data services across a choice of clouds.

Hybrid Multicloud Defined

Hybrid multicloud is pervasive and it’s here to stay. Let’s step back and start by defining some common terms.

  • Internal infrastructure is on-premises equipment that is bought, built, and managed by an organization.

  • Private cloud refers to a cloud infrastructure operated solely for a single organization, managed internally or by a third party, and hosted either internally or externally. When an organization undertakes a private cloud project, it requires significant effort to virtualize its business environment and requires decisions to be made about existing resources.

  • Public cloud. A cloud is referred to as “public” when the services are rendered over a network that is open for public use. Technically, there might be little or no difference between public and private cloud architecture. Public cloud service providers such as Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, and Google own and operate the infrastructure at their own data centers, and access is generally over the internet.

  • Hybrid cloud. A hybrid environment is a combination of a public cloud and a private environment—like a private cloud or on-premises resources—that remain distinct entities but are bound together. This combination offers the benefits of multiple deployment models.

  • Multicloud uses multiple cloud computing services in a single heterogenous architecture to reduce reliance on single vendors, increase flexibility through choice, mitigate against disasters, etc. It differs from hybrid cloud in that it refers to multiple cloud services, rather than multiple deployment modes (public, private, legacy).

  • Hybrid multicloud is the de facto IT architecture of today because it focuses IT where IT does things best and simultaneously takes advantage of innovation. Customers are no longer bound to a specific provider. They can combine their own infrastructure and applications with data services in various public clouds.

  • Cloud-connected storage describes any type of shared storage system with high-speed connectivity from a shared data center to one or more public cloud service providers (AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud). The end user retains data sovereignty, but compute and services can be readily consumed from the public cloud provider.

If you put it all together, the hybrid multicloud environment looks like this:

What is the cloud reality for customers?

According to Forrester Research, cloud strategies connected to digital transformation and hybrid are the reality. Further, 95% of enterprises use cloud and 81% use a multicloud strategy. Both public and private cloud adoption have grown significantly.

With these shifts, IT is no longer the sole owner of the purchase decision. Application owners, development teams, developers, and project leaders now influence these decisions as they put data at the center.

Speed, agility, and flexibility are the top factors in cloud decisions, which remain motivated by business objectives.

Many organizations undergoing IT transformation find themselves in a common scenario involving three strategies at the same time:

  • Building new applications on cloud-native platforms
  • Adding cloud services to existing applications—modernizing while migrating
  • Optimizing on-premises capabilities—promoting efficiency and improving utilization and flexibility of assets

That scenario brings us to why NetApp® is the partner of choice for the right hybrid multicloud experience.

Only NetApp offers the full range of capabilities that customers need to build and manage the unique data fabric they need. With a data fabric powered by NetApp, customers can solve the financial, operational, and technical barriers to adopting hybrid multicloud environments.

Hybrid multicloud offers many advantages and comes with some management challenges. These challenges present you with an opportunity to deliver services and solutions that successfully address customers’ business objectives.  Learn more about how NetApp helps customers manage their data in the cloud at NetApp Cloud Central.

As a NetApp partner, it’s critical for you to not only understand how to have the transformation conversation with your customers but also how to transform your business to better service today’s customers and to grow your business with NetApp.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog where I’ll discuss this partner dynamic in the world of hybrid multicloud.

Nancy K. Zehring

Nancy is a senior manager in the Worldwide Channel Strategy and Readiness team at NetApp. Her primary role involves coordinating the channel strategy for core solutions and driving the go to market success of NetApp’s channel partners globally. Nancy has been working at NetApp for over six years and prior to NetApp, spent a number of years in the Collaboration Business Development team at Cisco Systems. Nancy was part of the executive team responsible for launching the Cisco Telepresence solutions. She has over 20 years’ experience directing channel sales, driving revenue growth and developing partner business strategies. Nancy has an engineering degree from Georgia Institute of Technology.

View all Posts by Nancy K. Zehring

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