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It’s still early days for hybrid IT in APAC

The tipping point for hybrid IT adoption will come only when more enterprises start running production workloads on the public cloud, says HPE’s chief technologist for the region

Hybrid IT adoption is still in its infancy across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, with many organisations on the cusp of turning to public cloud services to augment on-premise datacentres.

That was the view of Paul Haverfield, chief technologist and pre-sales manager for hybrid IT at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) in APAC, who noted that public cloud adoption in the region is at least two to three years behind Europe and North America.

“Most activity in Asia is still very much about wanting to try public cloud to see if it works or not, and how much it costs, so they can tick a box and say they’ve tried it,” Haverfield told Computer Weekly on the sidelines of HPE Discover in Madrid.

He said that until organisations in the region start to use public cloud services to run production workloads, it will take more time before they can reach the next stage and deploy hybrid IT infrastructures.

Nonetheless, interest in hybrid IT in Asia is growing, with 24% of CIOs and IT professionals in ASEAN citing hybrid IT as a priority this year, representing a growth rate of 23% year on year, according to TechTarget’s annual IT priorities survey.

With more ASEAN organisations looking to implement hybrid IT strategies, about one-third of IT professionals who took part in the survey expected to roll out public cloud infrastructure services this year – higher than the APAC average of 25%.  

Even then, said Haverfield, organisations should not adopt a lift-and-shift model when moving applications to the public cloud, which is the dominant cloud migration strategy in Asia. Instead, he suggested organisations should develop cloud-native applications.

“The public cloud is best for new development projects, and the old stuff is best left exactly where it is because moving it to public cloud doesn’t save you money or remove operational complexities,” he said.

To help enterprises in Asia get up to speed with hybrid cloud, Haverfield said HPE has started to bring hybrid IT consulting services through its Pointnext IT services organisation to markets such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia, where public cloud adoption is more mature.

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Through these services, enterprises will be able to ascertain what HPE calls the “right mix” of public and private cloud usage to optimise IT efficiency and cost, among other outcomes.

But finding the right mix requires organisations to put in place a dynamic IT environment that can meet the peaks and troughs of business and IT demands.

To that end, HPE has been touting the concept of a composable infrastructure in which IT resource pools comprising compute, storage and networking elements can be coded and deployed dynamically to suit the needs of different workloads.

However, Haverfield noted that most APAC organisations have yet to deploy infrastructure as code, with most users of HPE’s Synergy composable infrastructure platform choosing to use infrastructure deployment templates instead.

“Most of them are using Synergy to improve hardware utilisation and are not defining pieces of infrastructure as code,” he said. “But I expect that to change when more software development is done in-house and the adoption of containers increases across the region.”

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