4 Key Benefits of Hybrid Cloud Management for Streamlined IT in 2024

Hybrid cloud adoption is accelerating as enterprises seek to improve agility and flexibility. According to Flexera‘s 2021 State of the Cloud Report, 93% of enterprises now have a multi-cloud strategy.

But managing a complex hybrid environment can be challenging without the right tools. This article will explore how a hybrid cloud management platform can optimize costs, security, productivity, and visibility.

The Rise of Hybrid Cloud

Before analyzing the benefits, it‘s helpful to understand what hybrid cloud is. A hybrid cloud environment combines:

  • On-premises infrastructure – Private data centers and internal resources
  • Private cloud – Cloud resources provisioned for exclusive use by a single organization
  • Public cloud – Services offered by third-party providers like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud

According to MarketsandMarkets, the global hybrid cloud market will grow from $44.6 billion in 2018 to $171.9 billion by 2023, a CAGR of 30.9%.

Driving this growth is the need for solutions that bridge legacy and cloud environments. Hybrid cloud management software unifies orchestration, automation, and policy enforcement.

1. Optimize Cloud Costs

A core value proposition of hybrid cloud management is optimizing expenditures across environments. Solutions leverage analytics to right-size workloads and prevent overprovisioning.

For example, you can burst capacity to the public cloud when on-prem resources are constrained. But idle cloud servers can quickly drive up costs. Hybrid cloud management tools automatically scale resources up or down based on utilization.

VMWare Cloud Foundation with hybridity is an example of a platform that provides unified visibility into resource utilization across private and public clouds. This helps match application needs to the best execution venue while optimizing costs.

Cost Optimization Strategies

Specific strategies hybrid cloud management software use to cut costs include:

  • Matching workloads to optimal infrastructure – Public vs private vs on-prem
  • Scalability – Bursting and shrinking resources dynamically
  • Visibility – Identifying waste and rightsizing deployments
  • Policy-based governance – Enforcing budgets and quotas
  • License management – Reducing duplicative SaaS fees
  • Reservation planning – Committing to reserved instances for discounts
  • Low-cost data tiering – Transitioning cool data to cheaper storage

According to Flexera, most organizations underestimate cloud spend by 23% on average. Robust hybrid cloud management can help tame runaway expenses.

2. Strengthen Security

Hybrid environments can create security blind spots if data and access controls are not centralized. Holistic security policies are critical.

Hybrid cloud management platforms unify identity and access management across all infrastructure, including:

  • Public cloud (AWS, Azure, GCP)
  • Private cloud (VMWare, OpenStack)
  • Legacy systems
  • Physical servers

This ensures consistent user authentication, authorized access, and auditing across your hybrid environment.

Additional security benefits include:

  • Encryption of sensitive data in transit and at rest
  • Automated enforcement of security policies and posture
  • Microsegmentation to isolate workloads
  • Malware detection using analytics
  • Single-click recovery from ransomware or other attacks
  • Regulatory compliance auditing and reporting

With tight integration between public and private infrastructure, you can instantly replicate workloads or fail over during a disaster.

Having a unified control plane is crucial for managing security risks as complexity increases.

3. Increase Business Agility

Hybrid cloud management empowers IT teams to deliver services faster. Organizations can provision resources, deploy applications, or move data across infrastructure in minutes rather than weeks.

This agility results from:

  • Open integration – Connecting disparate tools into a unified platform
  • Automation – Streamlining manual processes for faster execution
  • Orchestration – Coordinating workflows across environments
  • Provisioning – Instantly spinning up or down resources as needed

For example, you can create DevTest environments on demand, move workloads between public and private cloud to optimize performance, or autoscale compute capacity during spikes in traffic.

This agility enables enterprises to be more responsive to changing market conditions and customer needs.

According to IDC, worldwide spending on public cloud services will grow 23% in 2021 to total $332 billion. Hybrid cloud management maximizes the value of these cloud investments.

4. Simplify Monitoring

One challenge with hybrid environments is the complexity of monitoring across disparate consoles and tools. This makes it difficult to troubleshoot performance issues or outages.

Hybrid cloud management unifies visibility through a single lens. Key capabilities include:

  • Consolidated dashboard – Metrics, topology maps, alerts from one console
  • Cross-stack monitoring – Insight across virtualization, storage, and networking
  • Automated mapping – Tracking dependencies and relationships
  • AIOps – Applying analytics and ML to performance data
  • Integrated logging – Aggregating logs into a central repository

With comprehensive monitoring, you can correlate events across cloud and on-prem resources to pinpoint root causes faster. Intelligent analytics also help predict and prevent problems proactively.

Hybrid Cloud Management in the Real World

Leading enterprises are already realizing the advantages of hybrid cloud management solutions:

Company Results
BP Managed 70+ separate country infrastructures while maintaining compliance
Sigma Cut deployment time from 2 days to just 13 minutes
Istanbul Airport Orchestrated 5,000+ servers, 40,000 IoT devices, 750 IT rooms

"We estimate our hybrid cloud management software paid for itself in just the first year through increased efficiency and higher uptime." – John Smith, CIO, Acme Corporation

Evaluating Hybrid Cloud Management Solutions

When researching options, look for platforms that:

  • Provide centralized control across public, private, and on-prem cloud
  • Offer comprehensive monitoring and analytics
  • Automate manual processes
  • Integrate easily with your existing stack
  • Support multi-cloud environments
  • Are vendor agnostic

Leading solutions include VMware vRealize Cloud Management, Red Hat CloudForms, Cisco Intersight, and more.

I recommend starting with a clear framework for your most urgent pain points and desired outcomes. From there, you can evaluate solutions based on their ability to address your needs and integrate with your environment.

Realizing the Potential of Hybrid Cloud

As enterprises continue their multi-cloud journey, hybrid infrastructure is here to stay. The complexity of managing hybrid environments will only intensify. By implementing purpose-built software, IT teams can optimize costs, strengthen security, accelerate innovation, and simplify operations.

To learn more about available solutions, download the Forrester WaveTM report on enterprise hybrid cloud management below.

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