The Stack Archive Expert View

Why most infrastructure-hungry enterprises want more than one dish on the menu

Tue 17 Nov 2015 | Jamie Tyler

Many pure-play cloud providers will tell you that everything is better in the cloud. It’s true that cloud is definitely on the rise. The global public cloud market is forecast to be worth $70 billion this year and the number of new cloud-based solutions are to triple within the next four to five years, according to IDC.

While the benefits of public cloud are well rehearsed, feedback from the market tells us that there are still significant limitations for the vast majority of enterprises who have not matured their application portfolios in cloud-native environments.  As the saying goes: “When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.”  As useful as public cloud is, the reality for most enterprises seems to be that it is an important tool, but that it is still someway short of being a complete solution.

These limitations come in many different guises, including a lack of service management, lower performance and SLA parameters, lack of contractual certainty, and risk and complexity in regards to data security and sovereignty laws. The inability to access bare metal servers has traditionally been a significant technical limitation of the public cloud.

Our public cloud is extremely well placed when the metrics of price and performance are combined, but we also recognise that our enterprise clients need more than just an outstanding traditional public cloud experience. They need a fuller set of services and capabilities that are now usually referred to as hybrid IT. By deploying a hybrid IT approach, you can mix and match what you need all through one service provider. It’s like when you eat out with your family; you don’t all buy from separate vendors (whatever your kids might want!), you go to one place that has something for everyone.

With that comprehensive menu approach in mind and based on customer feedback, we have launched Bare Metal servers in the UK. We are now one of only a few public cloud providers to offer Bare Metal servers.  Importantly, these are integrated with our public and private cloud and can also be incorporated into our managed hosting and colocation services.  Bare Metal servers combine the consistent and reliable performance of dedicated physical machines with the agility and convenience of on-demand cloud computing. The ‘cloud-like’ features that Bare Metal exhibits allows for greater financial and operational agility for the enterprise.

Having spoken to CIOs, CEOs and other senior decision makers, we hear clearly that the key requirements right now are greater agility, improved efficiencies and more control of the IT estate. Most large IT estates aren’t simple and buyers are attracted by the possibilities of the hybrid approach of having IT infrastructure – including now Bare Metal servers – all running from one platform. This means that the bimodal or multi-modal way of working is possible – you simply have multiple infrastructure streams. You can spin up new applications easily and tackle issues like shadow IT by offering developers an easily controllable – and costed – cloud platform to experiment.

We are always interested in feedback and finding out what you’re looking for in an IT estate. Please feel free to get in touch with me directly at jamie.tyler@CenturyLink.com. The service we offer and the applications we build are directly a result of feedback we get, so any input is greatly appreciated.

Experts featured:

Jamie Tyler

Director, Solutions Engineering EMEA
CenturyLink EMEA

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