Companies struggling to manage hybrid cloud

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Businesses are struggling to manage their hybrid cloud environments, as public cloud services remain largely proprietary and do not always provide the flexility they have on-premises. 

Enterprises are benefitting from public clouds while keeping some workloads on-premises, but connecting these two environments still is a challenge for them, said Joseph Yang, HPE’s Singapore managing director. 

He noted that with hyperscalers no longer just cloud infrastructure providers, offering various application services as well as APIs, it has become easy for business customers to build and roll out applications on public clouds. 

However, these are largely proprietary, making it difficult to navigate applications developed to run on one cloud in an on-premise environment. It makes it challenging to effectively run a hybrid cloud model.

“When customers think about hybrid, it’s about being able to move their workloads between on-premises and public cloud as well as between [different] cloud platforms,” Yang said in an interview with ZDNET. 

Cloud and software vendors have taken various approaches to address this, such as running an on-premises stack in a public cloud, on a bare-metal environment. However, this locks customers into the software vendor’s infrastructure and the cost of running bare-metal on a public cloud is high. 

Solutions currently offered by cloud vendors to manage hybrid workloads also often are limited in capabilities and flexibility, compared to what enterprises are used to with their on-premises environment, Yang said. 

He said HPE is looking to plug the gaps and offer a “unified” experience through Greenlake, a pay-as-you-use offering that encompasses the necessary hardware and software to help enterprise customers better handle their hybrid environments. 

The tech vendor is pitching its GreenLake as a cloud management platform that enables businesses to manage their workloads and data across multiple public clouds, data centres, and edge networks. Its GreenLake Central provides a single, integrated control plane and self-service portal, from which customers get a unified view of their IT operations across the hybrid environments as well as monitor various metrics, including usage, security, cost, and compliance. 

Private 5G networks can offer businesses more autonomy

In addition to the ability to better manage their hybrid cloud environments, organisations also could do with more control over applications they plan to deploy over 5G networks. 

As one of the first countries to have nationwide 5G coverage, Singapore should look at how it can facilitate this and drive adoption amongst local businesses, Yang said. 

Specifically, he urged the need to look at how policies can be tweaked to allow for more experimentation around 5G. With spectrum currently distributed to telcos, this can be limiting for businesses that do not want to be reliant on a telco’s infrastructure for various reasons, such as security and availability concerns. 

Telcos also may no be as willing to invest to scale up where needed to support on-site deployment. For instance, 5G mmWave signals are transmitted at higher frequencies with shorter wavelengths, and easily blocked by walls. This means more access points are needed to provide the needed coverage and connectivity. Telcos may not be willing to pour in the necessary investment and this can pose challenges for businesses, if they are compelled to rely on a telco’s 5G infrastructure.

Yang added there also were other issues businesses would want to address, such as the commercial model that supports such service contracts as well as how their corporate data will flow over the telco’s public 5G infrastructure. These can be better managed with private 5G networks, which will give organisations control over their data flow and network performance. 

In its written feedback to industry regulator IMDA, Singapore IT services vendor Arete M also recommended the opening up of frequency spectrum for private 5G network deployments. This would ensure guarantee quality-of-service (QoS) could be achieved with minimum interference from adjacent deployments, where some coordination amongst 5G licensees might be necessary, Arete wrote. 

HPE offers private 5G products and services amongst its 5G portfolio, which run on its 5G Core Stack native, a cloud-native container-based standalone 5G core network platform.

For now, Yang said HPE’s Singapore strategy centres around GreenLake alongside data and artificial intelligence (AI), so customers can gain the insights they need to better manage their IT and cloud operations.  

Asked about the potential of generative AI such as ChatGPT, he underscored the need to look past the hype and assess its ability to scale. He noted that the compute and storage power that backs ChatGPT is significant, so there still is some work to be done around sustainability and optimisation before it can be scaled. 

There also should be focus on how the data and content that powers ChatGPT can be kept secured, he added. 


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