HCI and Cloud
Cloud-based infrastructure services have gained popularity because they also reduce complexity and enable customers to more easily consume IT resources. However, cloud is not the right choice for all workloads, in fact, particularly for small-to-midsized environments, cloud is likely not the right choice for most workloads. The majority of IT workloads are relatively static in terms of growth, they don’t fit snugly into t-shirt sized compute instances, and they are best suited to run locally to their users – all of which describe the type of workload that is not a good fit for cloud-based infrastructure. In addition, many customers have the majority of their users in a single location, so placing the IT infrastructure in that location provides a vastly improved user experience and also increased reliability. With cloud resources, user experience is predicated on the quality and availability of the internet connection and in many cases, high bandwidth/highly available links from the customer location to the cloud can be expensive, difficult to configure and/or simply not available.
In addition, many customers who have deployed workloads to the cloud are realizing much higher-than-expected costs as well as decreased flexibility and are beginning to migrate these workloads back on-premises. This is referred to as the "boomerang effect" and it's especially prevalent for static workloads; systems that are always on and expected to remain so indefinitely. The economics and flexibility/scalability of cloud computing are compelling for transient and "bursty" workloads. However, if an application is going to be deployed and used indefinitely, the expected economic savings from cloud computing often turn into increased cost and reduced availability to gain flexibility from which the vast majority of workloads cannot benefit.
The value proposition of HCI is that it can provide the best of both worlds – the simplicity, agility, and ease-of-management of cloud with the performance, control and security of on-premises infrastructure. No need to compromise.