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Straight Talk Technology

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The challenges of managing cloud resources and services has become a much greater part of the IT department’s role and responsibility over the past ten years. The use of cloud computing is continuing to grow as organizations look for more agile approaches to IT delivery of applications, workloads, and services. Initially, many organizations adopted cloud for business productivity and customer-facing applications, but increasingly the types of applications and workloads moving to a cloud environment are changing to include core systems such as ERP, CRM, and so on. While it is true that the cloud is not the ideal environment for every workload or application, it is now becoming the accepted norm that a cloud-first strategy is more common.

As the type of workloads and applications moving to the cloud is changing, so is the expectation of what the cloud provider must deliver to meet business needs. This increased demand for resiliency, protection, and service continuity has seen the growth of hybrid-cloud environments. The hybrid cloud is not a singularity; it is a construct that enables bridges between clouds to be built so as to support workloads or applications that require on-premises deployment. The cloud providers are extending the operational and functional benefits of their cloud platforms to customer premises. The goal is to make it easier for enterprises to take advantage of cloud services. The motivation is to drive more traffic and revenue to the cloud, and to capture those customers that have previously been reluctant to move core applications to the cloud because of regulation and compliance requirements.

However, different cloud providers have taken different approaches to support the enterprise demand for hybrid-cloud solutions:

  • AWS, Microsoft, and Oracle have developed proprietary edge and hybrid-cloud appliances.

  • Google and IBM have a software solution based on a platform-agnostic container-based environment.

The two approaches to enabling distributed cloud workloads are not exclusive. The proprietary cloud platform of the cloud providers also supports open source container-based application deployment and management, although, the management is much more rudimentary than the software-based platforms developed with the open source community. The hardware/appliance approach is witnessing cloud providers working with hardware OEMs to deliver edge and hybrid-cloud infrastructure solutions for their own clouds.

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