Sign in to my dashboard Create an account

 What is evolved cloud?

Welcome to the next phase of cloud—where silos, complexity, risk, and disconnection are left in the dust. It’s time for the hybrid multicloud experience to live up to the hype so that businesses can put innovation into hyperdrive.

Blue background with clouds

Share this page

At this point, nearly every business uses the cloud. Yes, even the taco truck you got your lunch from today. For more than a decade, our industry has talked about the journey to cloud and the path to digital transformation. Guess what? We’re at the end of our cloud beginning. The first big wave of disruption has passed, and more than 95% of companies now use some type of cloud infrastructure services. But this doesn’t mean data centers are dead. They’re not going anywhere. Whether you accidentally stumbled into it or it was a strategic decision, chances are you have a hybrid multicloud environment—meaning you have a mix of clouds and on premises.

To put it mildly, clouds don’t always play nicely together in their sandbox. The more clouds you throw in the mix, the more complex things get. Every cloud has its own rules, tools, and processes, and there are never enough people with specialized skills for one cloud, let alone several. As many have discovered, it’s really hard to manage disparate hybrid multicloud environments and architectures without chaos. You need interoperability, consistency, and flexibility. And most vendors only offer walled gardens and legacy technology stacks.

The promise of a better hybrid multicloud world

The cloud is at a turning point. For all the great things cloud has brought to the world, it’s also brought some big challenges as we’ve moved to hybrid multicloud environments. It’s time for the next evolution of cloud—where the strategic benefits aren’t held back by complexity. Where costs are automatically optimized, and threats are autonomously thwarted. Where silos break down, interoperability is the norm, and IT teams don’t need countless specialists. Where data and applications can live and move anywhere they’re needed—on premises or on any cloud. And where accomplishing sustainability goals finally becomes a reality.

We’re collectively ready for something better. And that something is the evolved cloud. Get ready to change your relationship status with cloud to something other than “it’s complicated.”

Get to know the evolved cloud

Evolved cloud is a strategic approach to hybrid multicloud environments where cloud is fully integrated into your architecture and operations. Evolved cloud breaks down silos to simplify management, create consistency, and deliver observability everywhere. Abstraction allows you to integrate and manage disparate environments, apply common policies and processes across them, and move applications or data between them. And IT teams can focus on a unified operational approach that drastically improves on the current working model. You can go from accidentally using multiple clouds to purposefully and strategically leveraging them—and have them be efficient, secure, and continuously optimized.

Here are the important elements of evolved cloud:

  • Unified management plane. Abstraction enables a consistent operational approach and complete visibility into and across disparate environments. You get connectivity and interoperability across clouds and on premises.
  • Common APIs, services, policies, and open architectures. Gain consistency and flexibility that allows you to move and manage workloads, data, and resources as you want with simplified operations.
  • Powerful AI-driven automation. Intelligent automation handles monitoring, operations, and optimization to boost efficiency and cost savings while enforcing sustainability guardrails.
  • Easy integration, management, and movement of data and resources. These elements eliminate lock-in and limitations on flexibility; everything is free to move about the cabin (as long as the captain has turned the seatbelt sign off).

Benefits of an evolved cloud state

There’s a whole lot to appreciate about NetApp and the evolved cloud. But here’s the elevator pitch. Cloud works for you, not the other way around. Risk, cost, and overhead plummet. Specialized skills become less necessary. And innovation and agility surge. OK, now let’s explore things in more detail.

Freedom and flexibility

Imagine a world where applications can pull data from multiple clouds and where data moves freely between on premises, clouds, and availability zones when you need to quickly adapt to policy changes. Everything we just said is possible in an evolved cloud state. Moving data and migrating applications becomes remarkably easy when your storage foundation is the same on premises and in every cloud. After all, silos belong on farms, not around your data.

Cyber resilience

We don’t have to tell you how serious security threats are these days. You must be constantly vigilant and have safeguards in place in case one of those threats materializes. And of course, vulnerabilities exponentially increase when you have disjointed policies and processes for data security, protection, compliance, and disaster recovery across data centers and clouds.

In the evolved cloud, data protection, security, compliance, and governance get unified for total cyber resilience. Because you can see across and monitor disparate environments, you can reduce risks and blind spots for data and infrastructure. Automation throws the final punch—instead of just hoping you catch a threat before it’s too late, you can automate cross-platform monitoring and threat response. In other words, ransomware is toast.

Innovation and speed

Innovation is the lifeblood of any company’s ability to compete. In today’s world of constant disruption, you must continually transform and innovate fast and at scale. But that effort gets hampered by complexity, resource constraints, and silos. Evolved cloud takes the roadblocks out of innovation’s path in several ways:

  • Developers can use their preferred development platform, and then applications can be deployed anywhere. For example, you can build applications in the cloud and pull them back on premises to get the availability and performance you need—without ridiculous complexity.
  • You can choose the best services regardless of which cloud they originate on. Open source, open architectures, open APIs, microservices, common capabilities, and common data services make it possible to abstract services across public clouds and on-premises environments.  
  • You can remove barriers to modernizing application development. For example, you can adopt new open-source database technologies. You can also modernize your applications for cloud-native architectures without getting bogged down in the complexity of operating those applications reliably, efficiently, and at scale.

Operational simplicity with powerful automation

Remember that cloud skills gap we mentioned? It comes into play because of how absurdly complex hybrid multicloud operations can be. It’s not just the lack of available people with the right skillsets. It’s that all the disparate services and protocols mean a ton of manual work that compounds the labor shortage. There’s more and more work and not enough—or skilled-enough—people to get it done. And that’s just the day-to-day bare minimum. Forget actual innovation.

In the evolved cloud, NetApp gives you unified operations across on premises and clouds. That reduces the need for environment-specific or cloud-specific skills and increases agility and speed. And AI-driven automation takes the burden of manual processes off teams so they can shift their focus to more valuable efforts.

Continuously optimized efficiency and costs

Your Finance department will love this next bit. In addition to simplifying operations and removing burdensome manual tasks, the evolved cloud enables cross-cloud and on-premises automation that drives efficiency and in turn drops costs. Continuous optimization means that applications get what they need and data gets stored at the lowest possible cost without sacrificing performance. And you don’t have to have a PhD in public cloud billing to understand what’s going on in your cloud bill.

Environmental sustainability

Last but certainly not least, the evolved cloud helps you tackle sustainability. Yes, really. Generally, as the amount of data generated worldwide grows, energy consumption and carbon emissions follow. But there are tangible ways you can address this problem that go beyond hollow greenwashing. After all, there’s a big difference between looking sustainable and being sustainable.

  • Moving from on-premises data centers to public cloud can dramatically reduce your environmental footprint. Massive hyperscale campuses are much more efficient and have a much smaller carbon footprint than on-premises data centers. They’re built with state-of-the-art cooling technology, they’re usually located closer to power generation to reduce power loss over long distances, and they consolidate machine use for a higher server utilization rate. The big providers design their servers for maximum efficiency, whereas enterprises might have to deal with other features like hardware redundancy and expandability. And remember, companies like AWS, Microsoft, and Google have their own aggressive sustainability goals. They negotiate renewable power purchase agreements and buy renewable energy credits to reduce their carbon footprint in addition to focusing on efficiencies.

    Why are we telling you all of this? Well, in the evolved cloud, using multiple clouds gets much easier. If you’ve been reluctant to migrate workloads because of concerns around interoperability and complexity, those barriers are now gone. This means you can take advantage of the efficiencies offered by the major public cloud providers to reduce your own environmental impact. We don’t frown on data centers but using public clouds where possible can really make a difference to sustainability goals.
  • NetApp gives you complete visibility into utilization and energy consumption for emissions-based decisions and policies, which can help you make the right choices based on your sustainability objectives. Our services help you inventory your IT environment, analyze utilization levels, and identify workloads to migrate to cloud.
  • Automation takes this even further. By continuously automating optimization of infrastructure and storage based on application needs, you not only lower costs but also lower your carbon footprint.

Who benefits from the evolved cloud?

Short answer—everyone. If you’re in the C-suite or executive team, you’re certainly going to like the cost savings that come with evolved cloud as well as your IT team being able to innovate faster. If you’re environmentally minded, this is the closest thing to a silver bullet for IT sustainability. If you’re an architect or responsible for infrastructure, you’re going to enjoy the visibility and simplicity no matter what your environment looks like. If you’re in CloudOps, this is going to revolutionize your operations. FinOps folks will appreciate flexible consumption, automated cost optimization, and resource allocation. SecOps will appreciate being able to sleep more soundly at night. And developers can rejoice in doing what they do best—develop—in whatever platform they please. Ah, sweet freedom.

Evolved cloud vs. multicloud vs. hybrid cloud

Here’s a quick breakdown of these three terms:

  • Evolved cloud is a hybrid multicloud approach. Your environment combines on premises and multiple clouds, and you’re operating with abstraction that simplifies operations and provides complete visibility across your entire environment.
  • Multicloud indicates that you’re using more than one cloud but doesn’t include an on-premises environment.
  • Hybrid cloud indicates that you’re using a combination of on premises and cloud (public and/or private) in your environment, but you don’t have the newfangled elements of the evolved cloud.

Evolved cloud vs. mega cloud vs. hyper cloud

You’ve likely heard several industry buzzwords floating around—super cloud, hyper cloud, mega cloud. Generally, these terms all describe an architecture that uses abstraction with underlying services that reach across multiple public cloud providers.

These concepts differ from evolved cloud for several reasons. First, not all the buzzwords refer to frameworks that include on-premises environments. We’ve already established that the data center isn’t dead, so it’s impractical to leave it out. Second, the evolved cloud goes beyond a conceptual idea to operational functionality. And lastly, evolved cloud addresses environmental sustainability, and that’s an important differentiator in today’s world.

Light green background with orange ring in it

Ready to check out your evolved cloud future?

Put down the crystal ball. A better hybrid multicloud experience awaits. And NetApp is here to get you started with the right tools for the job. Our industry-leading infrastructure, data, and application services are built with the power of AI and our portfolio includes first-party native services in the world’s biggest clouds. You’ll be enjoying unified operations in no time. It feels good to be on the cutting edge, right?

More to check out

What is evolved cloud?

Evolved cloud is a strategic approach to hybrid multicloud environments that breaks down silos to simplify management, create consistency, and deliver complete observability across on-premises and multiple clouds. You can easily integrate and manage disparate environments, apply common policies and processes across them, and move applications or data between them. In an evolved cloud state, cloud is fully integrated into your architecture and operations—without complexity, and always optimized for cost, risk, and sustainability.

What is hybrid multicloud?

Hybrid multicloud is a type of IT architecture that includes both on-premises environments and multiple clouds (public or private).

What is mega cloud?

Mega cloud is one of many terms—along with super cloud and hyper cloud—that refer to the orchestration of a multicloud environment via a layer of abstraction.

What is hyper cloud

Hyper cloud is one of many terms—along with super cloud and mega cloud—that refer to the orchestration of a multicloud environment via a layer of abstraction.

What is hybrid cloud management?

Hybrid cloud management refers to the process of managing data and resources in an environment that combines an on-premises data center with public and/or private clouds.

What is super cloud?

Super cloud is one of many terms—along with mega cloud and hyper cloud—that refer to the orchestration of a multicloud environment via a layer of abstraction.

Drift chat loading