Hybrid Cloud: Real Opportunity or Vendor Propaganda?
The buzz is growing. More and more people are sending me news releases, pitches and story ideas related to The Hybrid Cloud. In theory, hybrid cloud solutions blend on-premises hardware and software with cloud- and SaaS-centric offerings. But is the hybrid cloud real — or is it something created by on-premise legacy vendors that don’t want to look like yesterday’s news? Here are some perspectives.
Let’s take a simple example. Intel is currently seeking VARs and MSPs to pilot the so-called Intel Hybrid Cloud — which melds an on-premise small business server with managed services, online backup, security as a service and other channel-led options. SMB Nation broke the Intel Hybrid Cloud story ahead of Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference. Since that time, MSPmentor has confirmed Intel’s intent to have roughly 30 different vendors plug into the Intel Hybrid Cloud. Moreover, there are signs Intel will offer Linux-related solutions within the hybrid cloud effort.
The Bandwagon Begins
So, who else promotes hybrid cloud offerings? The simple answer: Everyone and anyone that doesn’t have a pure cloud strategy in place. Think about it…
- Online backup specialists like Intronis are blending local backup with cloud storage.
- Microsoft is developing Small Business Server Aurora, an on-premise SBS upgrade that will plug into cloud and SaaS services.
- Virtual Desktop Infrastructure vendors are blending on-premises hardware with cloud-hosted desktops.
- Zenith Infotech‘s emerging SmartStyle offering replaces conventional hardware with virtual desktops, servers and networking.
Those are just a few examples.
It’s Deja Vu All Over Again
In many ways it’s 1995 all over again. Back then, Microsoft “Internet-enabled” all of its software, thanks to Bill Gates’ famed Internet Tidal Wave memo. Now, the cloud tidal wave is here — and every on-premises hardware and software company wants to “cloud-enable” their offerings.
Just be careful: Many vendors will simply slap a “Cloud” logo on their products, hoping partners and customers will drink the Kool-Aid.
The new flavor of the month is Hybrid Cloud. Intel — in a brilliant marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) move — made a land grab with the Intel Hybrid Cloud brand. And I expect hybrid cloud chatter to continue at CompTIA Breakaway (Aug. 9-12, San Antonio) before growing even louder at SMB Nation Fall 2010 (Oct. 22-24, Las Vegas).
Hybrid cloud is a worthy, important discussion. VARs and MSPs need to listen in. Just be sure to tune out the hype. It’s everywhere.