Pursuing cloud strategies that combine public and private

The growth of private cloud is driven by demands for control, but hybrid strategies bring the added flexibility of public cloud into the mix

Dermot Lahey, head of client services, Digital Realty: We’re seeing rising demand, with people coming talking to us about their multi cloud and hybrid cloud strategy’

While cloud has, without a doubt, had a transformative effect on enterprise IT, more and more businesses are pursuing tailored infrastructure strategies that combine both public and private cloud. Driven by a need for control over their own data and an equal demand for flexibility, the result has been a reassessment of the data centres that notes they are ideally placed to help meet the changing needs of businesses.

“We’re seeing rising demand, with people coming talking to us about their multi cloud and hybrid cloud strategy,” said Dermot Lahey, head of client services at Digital Realty, which provides carrier neutral co-location services from its network of data centres spanning the globe, including in Dublin.

Indeed, according to a recent report by Future Market Insights, the private cloud services market is expected to expand significantly, enjoying a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.8 per cent over the next decade reaching an estimated $405 billion (approx. €374 billion) by 2033, up from $92.64 billion (approx €85.55 billion) in 2023.

Digital Realty

Founded: 2004

Staff: 3,450 globally

Why it is in the news: The global market for private cloud is expected to expand at a CAGR of almost 16 per cent over the next decade

Lahey said that businesses were moving to private cloud installations in the data centre by moving mission critical IT from on-premise server rooms, in order to ensure that they can service an increasingly ‘always on’ customer base.

“The locations of the cloud instances need to be secure, and companies like to know where their data actually resides. Multiple connectivity options make it ‘breathable’,” he said.

By breathable, Lahey means that organisations hosting private cloud instances with co-location data centres such as Digital Realty can also, as and when it is needed, expand into the public cloud.

“People host their private clouds with us and we have over 50 carrier connections to provide connectivity, plus we have direct cloud on-ramp to AWS and Azure, as well as connectivity to Oracle and others,” he said.

“What that lets people do is respond to demand by taking temporary processing power from the cloud. They can decide to increase their public cloud use or take it back to their private cloud”.

Some customers use private cloud alone, but by locating it in co-location, retain the ability to quickly and flexibly move into the public cloud as needed.

“They can do this in the short- or medium-term, for instance, for application development, with low latency connectivity,” Lahey said.

Among Digital Realty’s goals, he said, was to offer maximum flexibility in terms of carrier, which is why it offers an AWS ‘on-ramp’ that provides direct access to Amazon’s cloud.

“It's the AWSs front door, so you don't have to go through multiple carriers. The result of this is low latency and no contention. It makes sense to place your private cloud as close as possible to the connectivity,” he said.

This kind of flexibility and continuity across public and private cloud makes sense because, despite their varied operations and business models, businesses that adopt a hybrid cloud strategy do so in search of flexibility and scalability.

‘They need to be flexible and grow their platform, in advance or in response to market changes,” Lahey said.