Hybrid is future of Cloud: Rackspace Hosting study

While the public cloud remains important to IT decision-makers at UK and US enterprises, the limitations of using this type of platform as a one-size-fits-all solution are becoming more apparent, according to a study by Rackspace Hosting.

According to the survey, these limitations are leading many respondents to turn to a hybrid cloud infrastructure (i.e. public cloud, private cloud and dedicated servers working together in any combination) for certain applications or workloads.

The future is hybrid

60 percent of respondents have moved or are considering moving certain applications or workloads either partially (41 percent) or completely (19 percent) off the public cloud because of its limitations or the potential benefits of other platforms, such as the hybrid cloud.

60 percent of IT decision-makers see hybrid cloud as the culmination of their cloud journey, rather than a stepping stone to using the public cloud alone for all their cloud needs.

“The findings of our study indicate that the hybrid cloud is the next cloud for many organizations. They may have started with a public cloud-only architecture, but have come to realize the limitations of this approach as they’ve continued on their cloud journey,” said John Engates, CTO of Rackspace.

Action for Children, a charity in U.K., chose a hybrid cloud solution from Rackspace, which includes public cloud, to ensure adequate control over our infrastructure, and have also enjoyed performance, reliability, security and cost benefits.

Darren Robertson at Action for Children, says: “In the past we used public cloud for many of our applications and workloads, but as we grew it became clear that some of these applications were becoming too complex for a public cloud-only deployment.


Rackspace’s Public Cloud provides the agility to accommodate spikes in website demand. The charity uses the same cloud for Big Data analytics, placing on it a Hadoop cluster of anonymized customer, donor and fundraiser data, so that it can provide its diverse user groups with bespoke online experiences to improve engagement and support.

Rackspace’s study also found that hybrid cloud is now used by nearly three quarters (72 percent) of respondents for at least a portion of their application portfolio, with US organizations (80 percent) more likely to use it than UK organizations (64 percent).

The top reasons respondents gave for why their organization is using hybrid cloud instead of a public cloud only approach for certain applications or workloads are better security (52 percent), more control (42 percent), and better performance or reliability (37 percent).

Reinforcing these findings, hybrid cloud users report the top benefits they’ve experienced from it are more control (59 percent), better security (54 percent), better reliability (48 percent), reduced costs (46 percent) and better performance (44 percent). Specifically, the average reduction in overall cloud costs from using hybrid cloud – for those who have seen a reduction – is substantial, at 17 percent.

MapMyFitness runs the web’s largest social network of fitness enthusiasts and a wide array of enterprise solutions. With a suite of web and mobile applications that use built-in GPS technology, it allows users to map, record and share their exercise routes and workouts online (currently about 400,000 activities being logged daily).

“They can also search more than 80 million global routes, use online training tools, track nutrition, leverage fitness calculators and search local event listings,” said Matt McClure, vice president, chief architect at MapMyFitness.

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