Going into 2017, there’s a lot of debate concerning what percentage of application workloads will wind up in public clouds versus in a local data center. Public clouds are obviously growing at a faster rate off a much smaller base of instances. But the number of workloads running on-premises still dwarfs the number running on a public cloud.
Trey Layton, CTO of Dell EMC’s Converged Platforms & Solutions Division, says as cloud computing continues to mature, the relationship between public clouds and private clouds running in local data centers will be far more nuanced in the age of software-defined IT environments. Rather than merely thinking in terms of moving workloads from one environment to another, Layton says IT organizations will opt to deploy workloads based on security concerns and total cost to create applications that are federated across both public and private clouds.
Layton adds that each of those application workloads will include enough intelligence to optimize the IT infrastructure being made available to them. In contrast, Layton notes that all the intelligence required to optimize the IT environment today resides in the IT infrastructure. That intelligence will continue to reside there to a certain degree. But over time, intelligence residing in the application workload and in the IT infrastructure will create a symbiotic relationship within the context of a hybrid cloud computing environment.
“The applications themselves will become hybrid,” says Layton.
But once a workload is deployed in one environment or another, Layton says, it’s unlikely it will ever move. What will occur is that different elements of workloads will be woven together to create a federated application spanning public and private clouds. Layton concedes that it will take some time for developers of applications to reach the level of maturity and sophistication needed to build these types of applications. But as IT organizations begin to view public clouds as natural extensions of their IT environments, Layton contends that it’s only a matter of time before the line between public and private clouds begins to blur.
In fact, Layton notes that as IT infrastructure costs continue to decline, usage of both public and private clouds running in a local data center will increase. The end result, says Layton, will be an exponential increase in the amount of software any IT organization can afford to deploy.
Naturally, it may take longer than a year for this vision of the future of enterprise computing to materialize. In the meantime, IT organizations might want to start thinking about IT infrastructure residing in public and private clouds as likely having a multiplier effect on the number of application workloads they need to manage. The good news is that those application workloads will soon be a whole lot smarter about the underlying IT infrastructure resources being made available than any piece of software that has gone before.