How These 3 Companies Leverage the Hybrid Cloud

The Covid-19 pandemic sparked a boom in user and operational requirements that could only be fulfilled by cloud-native solutions. To increase operating efficiency and cost-savings, businesses began looking to shift the bulk of their operations to the cloud. However, the way forward was not always immediately apparent, since the shift to hybrid cloud often needs specialized support and resources. Since each business has its own unique existing infrastructure, there was a need for tailored solutions for migrating apps and services from on-premises architecture to the hybrid cloud.

Several companies have managed to make the transition to hybrid cloud successfully, with minimal downtime or disruption in services, and their strategies can offer businesses today a way forward. Let’s take a look at three companies that efficiently leverage the hybrid cloud for their business operations.

1. Hotelbeds

Global travel company Hotelbeds, headquartered in Spain, connects nearly 180,000 travel service providers worldwide to around 60,000 different travel sellers through their advanced online platform. As the world’s leading “bedbank,” they need to ensure that their services are running smoothly so that travel providers have seamless access to distribution channels and sources of revenue.

Image Source: Pixabay

Hotelbeds initially built their infrastructure by tightly coupling their legacy on-premises architecture with a single cloud provider. While this approach worked for them for a while, they found themselves facing rising costs and realized that they were missing out on the benefits of a distributed architecture. As the cloud computing landscape evolved to support more hybrid and multi-cloud strategies, Hotelbeds decided that they, too, needed to jump on the bandwagon and develop their own hybrid cloud strategy that leveraged the best offerings among cloud service providers.

Hotelbeds partnered with Rancher, an open-source multi-cluster orchestration platform that delivers Kubernetes-as-a-service (KaaS) in order to make this transition. With Rancher handling deployments and workload distribution, Hotelbeds began to run Kubernetes clusters in production in Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). This gave them greater flexibility in managing and scaling their workloads, while also allowing them to offer more reliable and performance available services.

In addition to dodging vendor lock-in, Hotelbeds also managed to reduce cloud migration time by 90% and deployment time by 80%. Through their new hybrid cloud strategy, the company found that they were able to scale and deploy their workloads in just minutes, guaranteeing more reliable service and increasing their operating efficiency.

2. Easybook

Similar to Hotelbeds, Easybook is in the travel industry, and is the largest online transport booking site in the Southeast Asian region, having sold over 5,000,000 tickets since it was established in 2005 in Singapore. Easybook connects travellers to ticketing services for buses, trains, and ferries as well as car rental services and local tours, while also providing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) back-office solutions to the local transportation industry.

Easybook’s IT infrastructure was originally located in the public cloud, which allowed them to quickly scale their services up to meet demand. As the company expanded its user base and grew into new markets, the public cloud approach no longer became cost effective. In order to continue its expansion while controlling costs, Easybook started looking toward a hybrid cloud solution that allowed it to continue maintaining its core business applications in Microsoft Azure.

Easybook enlisted the services of Equinix, a digital infrastructure company, and InfoFabrica, a hybrid and multi-cloud consulting organization, to move their infrastructure from the public cloud to a hybrid cloud architecture. They managed to accomplish this in less than three months with zero disruptions to service or downtime. InfoFabrica’s network and database engineers helped Easybook set up their new servers at Equinix’s IBX (International Business Exchange) colocation data centers and install their apps, databases, and web portal software, while also offering facilities management services. This freed up Easybook to focus its staff and resources on developing their business strategy.

Since their transition to the hybrid cloud, Easybook has managed to cut costs by 30 to 40 percent and leverage the scalability and security of direct access to Azure cloud from within the colocation data center. This keeps their data secure while ensuring high application performance. Equinix also enables Easybook’s access to the offerings of several cloud service providers through its software-defined interconnection platform, Equinix Cloud Exchange (ECX) Fabric.

3. BP

BP is a British multinational oil and gas giant with operations in nearly 80 countries around the world, employing over 70,000 people. BP also has a network of mega data centers around the globe, which they began to rethink as global cloud service providers entered the market and revolutionized the way companies ran their operations. Realizing that they would never be able to match up to the scale, the scope, the resilience, and the flexibility of public cloud platforms, BP decided to transition out of data center management and shift their IT architecture to the cloud, specifically to Microsoft Azure.

Image Source: Pixabay

The first resource that BP shifted to Azure was a Microsoft SharePoint Server deployment. This experiment made them realize that rather than just transferring on-premises behaviors to the cloud, they also needed to adopt a cloud-native approach in order to reap the full benefits of a cloud-centric infrastructure. As BP shifted to a cloud-first strategy, they realized that they were able to free up resources to focus on innovation at the cutting-edge to deliver business value. This was because they were no longer investing enormous sums of capital in developing the infrastructure to support a new project before starting the project.

The reason why BP hasn’t migrated completely to the public cloud is because stringent data protection laws in certain countries require them to maintain some resources on-premises in their data centers. The hybrid cloud approach then meets compliance requirements while ensuring flexibility, scalability, and geographic coverage. BP’s hybrid cloud strategy appears to be proceeding according to plan, and it may soon accomplish its goal of decommissioning its mega data centers.

BP has leveraged several of Azure’s offerings to support their move to hybrid cloud. They used Azure Stack to extend cloud functionality to remote regions, networking service Azure ExpressRoute to connect on-premises data centers to Azure, Azure Active Directory for identity and access management, Azure Security Center to manage their resources in Azure, and Azure Front Door Service to quickly deliver globally distributed application through a single, highly secure entry point.

What’s your hybrid cloud strategy?

The case studies explored in this article highlight an important point about adopting a hybrid cloud strategy: no two companies will share an identical hybrid cloud strategy. Whether or not you need a hybrid cloud strategy and the kind of approach you need to take depends on your business strategy, your current IT infrastructure, the apps and services your company uses, your user base, and the direction your company is heading in.

And this is not a transition you will need to make alone. As illustrated in this article, there are several tools, platforms, and organizations that can make the shift to hybrid cloud a seamless and productive experience, while ensuring that your customers are provided consistent and reliable services. 

You may employ a KaaS platform as in the case of Hotelbeds, outsource your network and database engineering needs to a digital infrastructure and/or hybrid cloud company like Easybook did, or employ your own teams and resources to make the most of public cloud offerings as BP did. 

Conclusion

Make sure to conduct a thorough analysis of your business needs and assess the offerings in the market before you make the switch over from public cloud or on-premises architecture to a hybrid cloud setup. If not, you may miss out on the flexibility, scalability, reliability, and high performance that an effective hybrid cloud strategy can offer you.

Featured Image Source: Piqsels

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Scroll to Top