As cloud computing grows in stature as the future of corporate IT, firms face the choice between low-cost public clouds and their own private clouds, which can offer more security and control.
Increasingly, however, firms are looking to take advantage of both, and US virtualization and cloud computing specialist VMware is looking to help its Korean clients adopt such hybrid clouds.
Essentially, cloud computing performs its functions -- storing and accessing data, apps and programs -- on the internet, instead of hosting them on a physical hard drive or in-office server.
It’s what enables a company employee to access and build apps and programs from remote locations. For example, employees at Samsung can log into in-house apps and programs on their smartphones via the internet, thanks to cloud technology.
Cloud computing comes in two main forms -- public and private. “Public clouds” are run by firms like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure which rent out web-hosted computing space to clients. It’s similar to how we pay utility operators for the amount of electricity and water we use.
Meanwhile, a “private cloud” is basically an in-house cloud which resides on a company’s intranet or data center with a firewall that protects the data. Despite the higher setup and maintenance costs, many firms use this model for the sake of more direct control and security over their IT assets.
In the years ahead, however, most companies are likely to adopt a hybrid model, in which some of its data stays in the more secure private cloud while some is moved to lower-maintenance, size-flexible public clouds.
VMware believes it can help companies of all sizes make this transition in the most efficient and convenient way possible.
Since entering the Korean market in 2005, Dell Technologies subsidiary VMware has been working with clients including Samsung, Hyundai, Posco, LG, SK, GS, Kolon and Shinhan Bank to build enterprise IT infrastructures including private clouds.
In the coming age of hybrid clouds, VMware is looking to become a “bridge” that allows clients to move their locally-stored data from the private to public cloud and vice versa without facing configuration or security issues.
“What’s important for us is to create a logical infrastructure on the private cloud and allow customers to move information in a transparent way into the public cloud.” said VMware’s Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales Maurizio Carli in a recent an interview with The Korea Herald in Seoul.
“VMware is like a bridge that brings (a company’s data and apps) from the private to public cloud,” said Carli. “To move from a data center to a cloud, you need a service provider or a company that is helping you move that app,” said the VMware executive.
According to Carli, migrating data and apps stored on a private cloud to a public cloud and vice versa requires reinstallation and reconfiguration of the apps that can be time-consuming and error-prone.
Removing this issue, VMware places a so-called virtual “filter” that removes the need for any modification, enabling a seamless transition between private and public cloud systems, he explained.
VMware has already sealed partnerships with public cloud providers -- Amazon Web Services and IBM -- to help clients already using VMware-built private clouds to move their data to and from public clouds. It is also in talks with Microsoft and Google over similar partnerships.
By doing this VMware hopes that enterprise customers, who have already built up their IT infrastructures using VMware’s software, will remain within VMware’s ecosystem even as they choose to embrace public cloud services run by market leaders like Amazon and Microsoft.
While the cloud will shape the future, in the end, it’s a decision that every company must carefully consider, based on what they aim to achieve, including cost-effectiveness, privacy and security, Carli said.
“I believe the adoption of cloud is a strategic decision on part of the company, which must decide what to do in creating their IT infrastructure. The technology is always an enabler, not the end.”
“My advice to Korean enterprise customers is that based on their schedule and agenda, they can select which portion of their data centers go private or public. This should also be done in compliance with Korea’s data privacy regulations,” he said.
The Palo Alto-based IT software giant was recently ranked sixth in Fortune and BCG’s “Future 50: Best positioned for breakout growth” list this year for a business “portfolio that better caters to cloud-curious corporations, whatever the approach: public, private, or hybrid.”
By Sohn Ji-young (firstname.lastname@example.org