Large Indian enterprises have been for years on private/on-premise cloud to have direct control over their data. In India, the large majority of IT spending is spent on infrastructure, which is safeguarded by security measures, like firewalls and public cloud platforms are only used for a small fraction of that cost. However, in recent years, there has been a shift towards hybrid cloud adoption in India.
A hybrid cloud is a computing ecosystem, which is a combination of public and private cloud resources and allows data and apps to be shared between the two. Hybrid cloud is useful for applications and infrastructure, created on two or more elements from the public cloud, private cloud, and on-premises IT.
A large number of Indian organisations have on-prem servers, which are used for all kinds of applications inhouse. But with the demands of the modern-day applications, the computing needs and storage have increased exponentially, and there is where technology infrastructure decision-makers leveraged clouds and in particular created hybrid cloud infrastructure.
The importance of hybrid clouds can be gauged from that fact that an IBM’s study found that almost 60% of the Indian organisations plan to have all their data on public clouds in the coming 10 years, of which 99% will leverage multiple hybrid cloud platforms within the next three years.
Why Do Indian Firms Want To Go Hybrid?
In India, the majority of firms are afraid of giving access to third-party data centres because of security and regulatory issues. In fact, the majority of workloads still exist in on-premise data centres across thousands of Indian businesses. This is primarily due to security or compliance issues. Plus there is a lot of legacy IT infrastructure that is very challenging to migrate to the public clouds.
But private clouds are much more costly compared to the public clouds because of the investment in infrastructure and hiring people to manage those infrastructure. So, a combination of the two can drive innovation and scale.
Hybrid and multi-cloud is, therefore, the only option by which they can scale their on-premise infrastructure. Experts call it the best of both worlds. With the security of a private cloud and the scalability of the public cloud, the combination brings the best cost-effectiveness, elasticity, and data security for the large majority of firms.
Factors For Hybrid Cloud Adoption In India
The Indian companies are seeing massive data growth in recent years leading to an expanded needs for data storage and processing. Containerisation is also playing a critical role in developing secure applications on the cloud, and that helps in the hybrid cloud infrastructure.
According to experts, as companies prepare to adopt hybrid architectures, they will require certain solutions to operate the hybrid environment. In this regard, recently, Google also launched new hybrid cloud tools and services designed to help enterprises navigate the challenges with Anthos. Products like Google Anthos are helping expand hybrid cloud to the enterprise.
It is not just public platforms, which are focusing on the hybrid cloud, a large number of on-premise service providers like IBM, HPE, NetApp and Dell, etc. have introduced hybrid cloud offerings for their enterprise clients in India, and across the globe.
According to a study by Nutanix, India remains enthusiastic about the hybrid cloud but is currently lagging its peers. Although India plans to shift the majority of their IT deployments to the hybrid cloud (42%) within the next 3-5 years, the percentage of respondents making this claim is lower than both the APJ (53.11%) and the global average (51.74%). Interestingly, however, Indian IT professionals were almost unanimous in agreement (97%) that hybrid cloud represents the ideal IT operating model, found Ntanix in its second annual Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Index report
With hybrid Cloud, Indian companies are looking to make innovative applications and store data in the environments best adjusted with security and compliance needs, i.e. a combination of on-prem and public cloud. Indian enterprises are using such hybrid cloud services for a variety of purposes, including artificial intelligence, data science workload, and advanced analytics.
For example, Bharti Airtel recently partnered with Red Hat to build its hybrid network cloud, intended to make it more efficient, and future-ready to maintain core operations and facilitate new digital services. Under the agreement, Airtel will develop its next-generation core network, analytical tools and new consumer and enterprise services on top of the Red Hat cloud platform. Airtel plans to build an open cloud architecture that uses Red Hat OpenStack Platform for all network workloads, and Red Hat OpenShift for containerised workloads. Also, the network cloud will be embedded with AI, designed to aid automation in onboarding and predictive capabilities for various services from network equipment providers.
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Vishal Chawla is a senior tech journalist at Analytics India Magazine and writes about AI, data analytics, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and blockchain. Vishal also hosts AIM's video podcast called Simulated Reality- featuring tech leaders, AI experts, and innovative startups of India.