Will the Future of Software be Hybrid Cloud?

Digital transformation adoption has really speeded up in the last few years with Industry 4.0 technologies such as cloud, IoT and AI/ML contributing significantly to its growth. According to one research survey of 2,650 respondents, 72% attributed digital transformation as one of the key drivers of cloud deployments, and 64% said that digital transformation is their company’s absolute top business priority.

The market size is expected to grow Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 16.5% from USD 469.8 billion in 2020 to USD 1009.8 billion by 2025. The COVID-19 pandemic too has nearly doubled the acceleration of cloud adoption, with the market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) predicting the total worldwide investment on cloud services growing at a double-digit CAGR of 15.7% to touch $1.0 trillion in 2024.

Among the private, public and hybrid cloud platforms, hybrid cloud has experienced the strongest growth, with a forecast of a five-year CAGR of 21.0%, accounting for more than 60% of overall cloud revenues worldwide. This enables businesses with legacy systems to protect their investments in on-premise infrastructure while leveraging the benefits of cloud.

The distributed environment also allows businesses to keep their data secure on their on-premise infrastructure but use cloud computing solutions to run apps and microservices to meet their digital transformation needs. Another IDC report predicts that by 2022, more than 90% of businesses globally will opt for hybrid infrastructure to meet their transformational needs.

Why Hybrid Cloud Works Well

One of the key reasons for the fast growth of the hybrid cloud is the fact that businesses cannot completely replace their existing legacy infrastructure for cloud, which can be time consuming and expensive.

Moreover, cloud architecture too has its own limitations that have to be weighed even for businesses who are starting their IT journey afresh. Public clouds, for instance, deliver cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and are cost effective, scalable, elastic and fully automated. However, the operational expenditure can be high, increasing as you scale, and data security may be a challenge.

Private cloud, on the other hand, ensures higher levels of data security with firewall protection, is highly flexible and customizable, and over time, operation costs come down. However, they need a steep investment on the required infrastructure, resources to maintain the data centre, ensure security and compliance, are less flexible and scalable.

What businesses need are solutions that can integrate the security of the private cloud with the scalability of the public cloud. In a hybrid architecture, workloads are distributed between on-premises data center, private and public cloud resources. A data management solution enables applications and components to interoperate between the infrastructure, moving around dynamically based on evolving needs.

The on-premise infrastructure or the private cloud hosts the business-critical applications and sensitive data while the public cloud acts as the platform for transformation that pulls up the required data for further processing.

A Data Fabric provides access to a common set of data services across all your IT resources using a software-defined framework. This is especially useful in workloads that change frequently or are dynamic and separation of critical workloads from those that are less sensitive is also possible. Using a hybrid architecture also lets you scale as per your computing needs, thereby reducing cost on infrastructure.

In a word, using a hybrid approach makes businesses agile, ready to adapt and change as needed, which is the promise new age technologies make. This makes businesses future-proof by protecting their IT investments and enabling them to leverage the Industry 4.0 technologies with minimal disruption.

Ensuring Success of Hybrid with Cloud Native Apps

For businesses to reap the benefit of the hybrid architecture, application migration from legacy and on-prem systems in what is popularly called the “lift and shift” model will prove ineffectual. To truly experience the cloud promise of greater agility, faster innovation and lower IT costs, rather than migrating apps to the cloud, they will have to adopt a ‘cloud-native’ approach.

Cloud Native Computing Foundation defines it as a technology that empowers organizations to build and run scalable applications in the cloud. Cloud-native technologies such as containers, microservices, and dynamic orchestration, enable the development of loosely coupled systems that are resilient, observable and manageable.

Along with robust automation, developers can make high-impact changes periodically and predictably with minimal effort. According to an IDC forecast, by 2022, 35% of production apps will become cloud-native to accelerate legacy app modernization and net-new development.

To leverage this trend requires a change in processes, people and workflows to accommodate a development lifecycle that is collaborative right from the start inception to coding, testing and deployment. This ensures not only speed and efficiency but also a faster response to market trends and customer needs.

The Key Attributes of Cloud-Native Applications

Being modular and flexible, these cloud-native, open platforms can help businesses with their digital agenda, faster development and greater business agility. Some of the other attributes that make them very next-generation and well-suited for a hybrid environment include:

  • Lightweight Containers: Cloud-native applications are lightweight containers that bring together a collection of independent and autonomous services and can scale-out and scale-in as per need.
  • Framework-Based Development: The languages and frameworks used to develop an app depends on the requirement and offers an element of flexibility to the developers of greater efficiency.
  • Loosely Coupled Microservices: The application runtime enables services belonging to the same application to discover each other while remaining independent of other services. This decoupling of applications enables the developers to deliver fine-grained functionalities and lifecycle management of the overall application with greater efficiency.
  • Separate Stateless and Stateful Services: By separating stateless and stateful services, there is an assurance of higher availability and resiliency of persistent and durable services because of how the storage plays into container usage.
  • Separate Server and Operating Systems: Cloud-native applications are OS-agnostic, operating at a different abstraction level and deployed on elastic, virtual and shared infrastructure. They can expand or contract based on the available load.
  • Automated Capabilities: Each application follows an independent life cycle developed in the agile DevOps environment and multiple continuous integrations/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines work in parallel. As the parallel deployment and management of the applications can be complex, it requires automation.
  • Aligning with Data Governance: Cloud-native applications are governed by defined data policies with role-based access and ownership.

The use of Kubernetes makes it easy to deal with the disparate infrastructure. Further, moving the CI/CD pipeline into a cloud environment will be important for handling immutable infrastructure as well as bring the pipeline closer to the apps for faster deployment.

Indium’s Hybrid-ready, Cloud-Native Approach

Cloud-native development for the hybrid environment is complex and needs a team of experienced developers as well as agile and scalable development models to unlock the potential of the hybrid cloud infrastructure. Indium Software, the software solution provider, has an experienced team of developers with expertise in agile, cloud-native development. With more than two decades of experience in cutting-edge technologies, Indium not only has the technical capabilities but can also work closely with its customers to identify the most suitable approach based on their needs and maturity levels.

To know more about how Indium can make you cloud-ready with cloud-native applications development, contact us here.