When it comes to enterprise video, hybrid is these days the end-game deployment model for a high number of large companies. Thanks to ongoing advancements in intelligent streaming technology, hybrid deployments have over time quickly shifted from a tactical stop-gap solution on the technology migration roadmap to the final destination for many large enterprises.
The main benefits of a hybrid deployment are speed of delivery and cost efficiency. However, in spite of these crucial advantages and in spite of the fact that hybrid technology solutions have evolved far beyond their initial purpose and are rapidly gaining popularity in the enterprise, there are a number of misconceptions that still persist.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common ones – and challenge them.
Misconception #1. “Hybrid is just a landing spot on the way to full cloud”
Until recently, hybrid enterprise video implementations were seen as a stepping stone—a logical, temporary transition phase as companies migrated from an on-premise deployment to a full, cloud-based environment. More often today, hybrid is not only the end game, but an integral part of a bigger strategy: distributed computing.
Rather than being a transition phase, hybrid has become a strategic objective for companies, because cloud solutions alone are simply not sufficient for enterprise needs, both inside and outside the firewall. By definition, hybrid leverages the best parts of cloud and on premise technology and distributes video processing and delivery intelligence exactly where they are needed to optimise performance, network bandwidth and, last but not least, even security.
Misconception #2. “A hybrid video deployment requires running two platforms”
This is simply not the case. The prevailing notion these days continues to be that a hybrid video deployment is essentially an on premise platform and a cloud platform, co-existing within the same environment. But the reality is that a hybrid deployment is actually a single solution—built upon a distributed computing model—that is much easier to manage, maintain and scale.
A hybrid deployment is ideal because it incorporates the best of both worlds: a cloud core for video content management, delivery or edge units that sit on premise at key points around the network creating distributed video processing, and a unified communications component that connects video conferencing devices—also on premise. Bonding everything together results in intelligent video delivery technology that determines the fastest, most efficient way to get video to each user.
Misconception #3. “Hybrid deployments only make sense for companies that already have on premise investments”
It is true that many enterprise customers migrate from pure on premise deployments to hybrid deployments. But surprisingly, an even greater number of customers are starting with a cloud-only deployment and transitioning to hybrid as a later, second phase. In many cases budgetary limitations or a small number of initial use cases play a role in the decision to start with cloud. But many companies who start with pure cloud-based technology have already decided from the offset to move to hybrid over time.
As enterprise video grows within an organisation use cases multiply and demand for live, streaming video can quickly outstrip a cloud deployment. And when this happens, companies often add on premise elements like for instance caching units or peering agents to beef up the performance and security at strategic points in their network. This is in essence what creates a ‘hybrid’ technology deployment.
Misconception #4. “Hybrid deployments can’t be used in high security industries like banking or healthcare”
Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is, organisations in any industry can benefit from hybrid technology deployments. A hybrid solution allows security-conscious organisations to take advantage of cloud resources, while still keeping elements of their network behind the firewall and using SAML single sign-on throughout the network.
In a hybrid deployment all video processing is done in the cloud on the inbound side, and all delivery is handled in the edge units, creating a privatised network. And due to the tremendous flexibility of a hybrid video network, one hybrid solution can easily accommodate highly secure use cases and lower security external use cases for departments like for instance marketing and customer communications.
Misconception #5. “Hybrid deployments require multiple management solutions”
Because hybrid deployments at one time were compromises between cloud and on premise solutions, there is still a lingering perception that they require dual management systems. In fact, the new breed of hybrid solutions provide a single management solution—with end-to-end visibility and control of everything from analytics to managing software updates.
A hybrid deployment is not truly hybrid if it cannot be deployed and managed as one single, cohesive solution. Even hybrid deployments include end-to-end management solutions that provide visibility and control of both end-user experience and network performance.
Wrapping it all up – cloud is the beginning, hybrid is the future
We are in a state of transition and companies want a choice. In fact, cloud solutions, often initiated at the department level, may be the gateway for many organisations as they embrace video-rich communications.
But pure cloud enterprise video deployments are no longer the gold standard Global 2000 firms aspire to. The most innovative companies are shifting away from full cloud computing to a model based on hybrid cloud.
A hybrid enterprise video solution can fit really well into a firm’s larger scheme of distributed computing. If you are considering moving to a hybrid video deployment, do not let these misconceptions hold you back.
Vern Hanzlik, President & CEO, Qumu
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