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Clouds Out of Thin Air?

Clouds Out of Thin Air? white and green grass

 “There is no business strategy without a cloud strategy”. So said Gartner in a recent symposium. By 2025, over 85% of organizations will embrace a cloud-first approach and will not be able to fully execute on their digital strategies without the use of cloud-native architectures and technologies. 

But as more and more workloads move to the cloud, businesses are realizing that no single static cloud architecture offers consistently great application performance for all users. There is a clear need in the market for a flexible cloud that can be rapidly adapted to specific needs.

There are many reasons why centralized cloud infrastructure is not appropriate for some businesses: 

For some, it’s about where their data resides. For others, it’s their preference for maintaining existing commercial arrangements. For still others, it’s about governance and regulations. And for applications with strict response time requirements — such as AR, telemedicine, and robotics —it’s latency and throughput which can’t be effectively supported by a data center, even if operated by a hyperscaler, if it is located many miles away.  

Flexible Does It  

After more than a decade in which cloud computing was synonymous with a large public cloud, businesses are discovering that one size does not fit all. A desired computing strategy may be partially on-premises, partially bare-metal, and partially co-located, but also fully hybrid across multiple continents. These application owners need a cloud provider that offers architectural flexibility to build a cloud customized for their needs. 

To address this demand, a new cloud paradigm has emerged: the Unified Distributed Cloud (UDC), in which workloads can be spun up in 1000s of locations across the globe. In this architecture, existing local data center and on-premises capacity is transformed into modern PaaS offerings, such as managed Kubernetes and object storage. 

Until now these modern, cloud-native services were only available from the hyperscalers. No longer. On the Unified Distributed Cloud, application owners can enable desired configurations and states to be implemented on physical resources anywhere they need them to run. This is accomplished programmatically through modern APIs, allowing business-critical applications to run in specific locations.

Love the Cloud You’re With

A UDC enables computing resources to be wherever you need them to be. Whether the need  is for proximity, commercial reasons, or data constraints, in all cases cloud workloads will seamlessly mesh with existing infrastructure. It’s the best of two worlds: the agility and ease-of-use of the public cloud together with the high performance, high throughput and full data control of localized infrastructure.  

A UDC is designed to be fully interoperable with any private, hybrid, or multi-cloud architecture. As a result, enterprises can create an optimized cloud computing strategy, taking advantage of existing and available infrastructure in the location — or multiple locations — of their choosing.  

Think Globally, Cloud Locally

As an alternative to the traditional public cloud model, the UDC enables application owners to utilize a global network instead of relying on compute resources in a specific location. Interoperability with existing infrastructure empowers enterprises to deploy and infinitely scale applications anywhere they need. While the large public cloud benefits from economies of scale, a UDC takes advantage of the economies of locality and distribution. 

With the growing adoption of cloud-native applications to serve new markets, the Unified Distributed Cloud’s flexibility helps businesses customize a cloud strategy which is right for them.

Jonathan Seelig, is co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Ridge, the world's most distributed cloud. He works with early-stage technology companies as an investor, advisor, and board member. He was previously co-founder of Akamai, the world’s first CDN. Mr. Seelig is a frequent speaker at cloud industry events.

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