Microsoft says it’s time to make the hybrid cloud real

MISSISSAUGA, ONT. – At the IT Architects Forum, Microsoft Canada made an open challenge to solution providers to create new infrastructure solutions that can scale as well as contract. Oh, one more thing, these new solutions must be delivered in a cost effective manner.

The challenge was issued by Gladstone Grant, head of enterprise specialist sales for Microsoft Canada, who was the keynote speaker at the IT Architects Forum.

The vision he showcased at the event for solution providers and customers is called hybrid by design. The concept is of one consistent platform for data centres, from a service provider or in the public cloud that is enterprise grade.

“You do not want everything in the public cloud and you don’t necessary want it local,” Grant said.

This vision also has a plan of action: develop once and have it run across all platforms no matter if it’s in a data centre, cloud or hosted. Then there is virtualization and while Grant said Microsoft was not first to market there the company has caught up. HyperV, for example, is now ready to take on more virtual machines across the cloud, on premise, on Windows Azure or with hosted partners.

According to IDC, 80 per cent of the world’s 2,000 largest companies will have more than 50 per cent of their IT off-site by 2020.

“That means hybrid. Hybrid is here to stay. This is a differentiator to those competitors who are only all on the cloud,” Grant said.

IDC Canada market analyst David Senf said the channel has taken a wait and see approached but now the market is at an inflection point and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PAAS) are the underpinnings for the hybrid cloud.

IaaS is the fastest growing cloud market in Canada. The country has been behind the curve and is now playing catch up and IaaS is $61 million market in Canada and growing to 250 million in three years’ time, he said.

“The role of the channel in deploying and managing security in IaaS is shifting. We are seeing the rise of that and the hybrid environment will explode over the next three years,” Senf said.

Grant admitted that even though Microsoft has successfully moved through many market transitions; the cloud transition is proving to be more complex. “It’s making our lives tougher. People say it never stops and IT is not nimble enough. The reason it’s tough is the complexity. IT today is driven by mega trends like devices, apps, big data and the cloud,” Grant said.

The complexity problem Grant outlined, in his keynote address at the IT Architects Forum, comes from devices proliferating everywhere, which changes the way apps are used. Those apps now need to be social and mobile. On top of that these new apps are creating all kinds of data inside an organization as well as on the Web. The question then becomes how do you take that data and create insights for making better decisions?

Grant added that becomes more complex because the current infrastructure is not nimble or manageable.

“This is causing a lot of churn for us and those challenges are with devices and we have to provide the devices to work from anywhere. People now bring devices to kid’s sporting events and other activities. People work where ever they are. Always working and always on. You have to provide that,” he said.

Meanwhile, Senf added that PaaS spending is currently at $63 million in Canada and growing to $150 million in three years.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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