Living in an ever-evolving digital era – one where the Covid-19 pandemic currently looms large – organisations are being challenged in how they access their applications and enable remote working. To seamlessly respond and cater to this escalating business need, as well as the storage, management and retrieval of a massively growing amount of data, companies are increasingly turning to hyperscale computing.
Hyperscale offers the ability for organisations to consume large amounts of compute, infrastructure, and applications quickly and easily, enabling them to get the most out of the exponential world we live and work in. This is how the future will be structured.
An enterprise's IT infrastructure is comprised of computing power and connectivity, in addition to data storage. And like the enterprise itself, it has a natural tendency to become distributed. This already became evident in the early days of cloud, where we saw a boom of hosting companies, and we have seen the shift as more consolidation has happened over the years, giving birth to the multitenant cloud environments that we see today.
Hyperscale allows IT to be delivered as a utility served by giant technology companies, offering a number of benefits to the companies looking to access the efficiencies and cost benefits of scaling at speed. However, many companies will find that hyperscale is not necessarily right for their entire environment, which is why we have seen the birth of multi-cloud over the past few years.
Some applications are best suited to hyperscale, while others – usually legacy applications – work better in private cloud configurations. That means that traditional data centres are not going to go away, despite the fact that organisations are aware of the benefits of moving into hyperscale.
Cloud management platforms are therefore arguably one of the most important investments a company can make, enabling them to bridge these two worlds by providing visibility across all applications and infrastructure. However, even with cloud management platforms in place, many organisations don’t have the in-house skills and expertise they need to ensure that they are getting the most out of their investments.
Service providers are having to evolve alongside their customers. The days of taking from weeks to months to deploy or update basic virtual machine provisioning services are no longer acceptable in a hyperscale cloud world where a credit card and a few buttons clicked by the end customer can have a range of sophisticated services deployed in minutes. Ironically, due to the scale of workloads under management, many service providers are facing the same issues that their customers have traditionally faced – how to leverage efficacy at the network, compute and storage layers and provide a consistent quality of service in a timely fashion, with minimal manual intervention.
This has given rise to next-generation service providers that have the skills and expertise to enable the automation and autoscaling of services. Next-generation managed services offer far more than mere provisioning. Next-gen service providers design, architect, and automate the cloud environment based on an intimate understanding of the landscape within the organisation.
The launch of a local AWS region has brought the attention of South African companies to the benefits of a hyperscale world, and even though many of them are not ready to move everything, conversations have started to change. Unfortunately, many companies remain “box-huggers” and are reluctant to move their investments from hardware to services, but as hyperscale awareness grows, this will slowly change.
Conversations are shifting from traditional CAPEX considerations to a focus on applications. In the future, these conversations will shift from SLA’s and solutions focused on infrastructure to discussions around software and architectural design around how to better enable applications. As businesses
start looking at how to enter the brave new world of hyperscale cloud, they will start looking at the underpinning services that enable their enterprise, rather than the feeds and speeds they traditionally focused on.