This summer, Google offered a new way for enterprises with traditional on-prem applications to leverage hybrid cloud by releasing Google Cloud Services. Google Cloud Services provides a suite of tools targeted towards businesses running on-premise data centers. The hybrid cloud friendly focus took center stage at Next ‘18: Google will not only allow customers to run a hybrid cloud environment, but they will invest in tools to support it. The release of Cloud Services, underscored by GKE On-Prem, builds a bridge to public cloud holdouts that require running private workloads due to compliance, regulatory, security or cost considerations. With a now clearer path to running a hybrid cloud environment, what costs do enterprises truly need to consider before making a change?
The True Costs of Hybrid Cloud: It’s a Long Term, Holistic View
According to a recent study by Harvard Business Review, 43% of enterprises say that cost reduction is a primary driver of moving to a hybrid cloud. But, as the article states, “It’s gone beyond cost savings. Now companies are recognizing that cloud architecture can enable them to re-automate their businesses in different ways very quickly.”
The storage, data transfer, and compute requirements of every enterprise differ significantly. Your company may have already compared the cost of VMs in Google Cloud to the cost of installing additional servers in your on-premise data center and decided that on-premise is still the cost leader for your particular workload. However, does your Total Cost of Ownership include costs associated with IT staff, hardware maintenance, under-utilization of provisioned resources, cost of leasing data center space, and network consumption, or even the opportunity costs of forgoing advantages only available in the public cloud?
By releasing Cloud Services and partnering with Cisco for Private Cloud, Google opens the doors to CI/CD automation, autoscaling, and GKE without requiring companies to move their sensitive workloads to the public cloud. Companies may start by choosing to “burst” to the public cloud during peak usage times, run new application development on the public cloud, or leverage machine learning capabilities available on the public cloud, all while running critical and sensitive workloads in private clouds or on-premise.
Google Cloud Services Decreases Lowers Transition Costs from Legacy to Cloud
In the same HBR article above, 27% of companies report a key barrier to cloud consumption is the cost of transitioning to the public cloud. In this transition, companies anticipate needing to hire additional or train IT staff with cloud expertise, managing complex interoperability scenarios, paying for data transfer, and “re-platforming” costs associated with rewriting workloads in order to run in the public cloud.
With the introduction of Istio, GKE On-Prem, and Google Cloud Build, Google invites these companies to leverage near-term automation gains that help mitigate transition costs to the public cloud. By containerizing workloads both on-premise and in the cloud, companies can immediately decrease deployment costs and eliminate under-utilization of resources. This also washes away the misperception of needing IT resources with a wide variety of cross-platform skills. In fact, this staff can manage Kubernetes clusters on-premise the same way they would manage them in the Cloud.
With the official release of Istio, Google also dispels the friction caused by managing applications across a multitude of environments. Istio’s service discovery mesh provides a single layer for managing and securing microservices such that system admins do not need a deep understanding of every service in order to secure and route traffic effectively.
Google’s aim for Cloud Services to help companies automate away menial, low-value tasks from your on-premise infrastructure. A properly designed change to Hybrid Cloud model will schedule high-return, low-effort milestones first so that GCP’s tools can bring value sooner rather than down the road. By ridding your enterprise of patchwork code designed to hold up legacy systems and connect disparate platforms, you also free up developer time to work on revenue-driving products.
Weighing Costs Against the Potential for Increased Revenue
Even with the latest Hybrid Cloud support from Google Cloud Platform, no large shift in infrastructure is without its difficulties. The transition period, startup costs, and learning process must be governed by overarching business goals that all key decision makers agree on. Business leaders must ask themselves – by automating our deployment process and decreasing our time to market, are we better serving our customers and reacting faster to market demands? Or, by allowing our employees to analyze data more efficiently using public cloud tools, what is the value of this additional insight?
A thorough examination of the cost of cloud adoption comes with a hard look at every existing legacy workload, the hardware costs of shifting these workloads, and also the long term business gains of incorporating public cloud tools into the business process.
By partnering with SADA to walk your organization through Hybrid Cloud implementation, you ensure that inconsequential short-term costs and cloud misconceptions do not dissuade your stakeholders from adopting a cloud-centric mentality. As we move further towards cloud platform maturity, industry leaders like Google acknowledge that Hybrid Cloud is a long term strategy that is here to stay.