More and more enterprises are evaluating hybrid cloud architectures to support their operations, but they have questions about integrating public clouds with their existing private clouds. Ranga Rangachari, vice president and general manager of storage and hyperconverged infrastructure at Red Hat, spoke with SiliconANGLE’s show theCUBE at the recent Google Cloud Next ‘19 event to dig into what hybrid cloud means for customers, Red Hat, and the broader ecosystem. The interview covered open hybrid cloud adoption, today’s customer priorities, and the power of the ecosystem to solve customer problems today and into the future. 

The evolution of cloud priorities

"As the industry evolves and the technology matures, the conversation changes," said Rangachari. In the interview, he noted that 12-24 months ago, the conversation was about getting to the cloud, putting the focus on examining what workloads the business wanted to run and evaluating the best place to run them. 

According to Rangachari, many customers today are now heavily invested—both from an asset perspective and in terms of intellectual currency—into building a solid on-premises infrastructure, and they’re looking for the freedom to move certain workloads to public clouds. "The holy grail is how do you facilitate data portability and application portability across these hybrid clouds," said Rangachari. 

And add invisible and ubiquitous storage to customers’ wish list. "What users don't wanna do is stitch them together. They want a simple, easy way," said Rangachari, pointing to a shift in the kinds of conversations he has with customers.

Rangachari also noted customers’ focus on other important areas, such as security, manageability, and data policies, as workloads and data move between on-premises and public cloud environments, saying that today’s conversations have moved from theoretical to the tactical. Customers have started the journey and now are seeking help to make the journey successful, according to Rangachari. 

Customer-focused development

Getting from open source community project, to product development, then to customer implementation requires planning, and Rangachari said Red Hat puts customers at the center of that progression. Anything released to the market must first run through a "will it help our customers with their open hybrid cloud journey" filter, he said, adding that product decisions are based on solving real business problems for customers.

And extending the concept of community collaboration to customer conversations enables mutually beneficial work. "[Customers] can help us understand where some of the roadblocks are," said Rangachari. "And through our products, through our services, we can help them circumvent or mitigate some of those." 

The complexities of establishing a more secure, accessible, open cloud environment with high-speed access and protected data sharing are also discussed in the interview. "It is [complex], and that's why I think it's very important that the community together solves the problem, not just one vendor," said Rangachari. "The cloud providers are absolutely a critical ingredient and a critical component" of Red Hat’s business and technology strategy, he said, pointing to the strength of Red Hat’s partner relationships, strategic market initiatives, and core technology that together solve customer problems now and into the future. 

The interview also touches on news from the event, what the future holds, and Red Hat’s work with the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and the Rook.io project. 

To get all the details, check out Ranga’s full interview. And to hear more about Red Hat’s journey to the open hybrid cloud, tap into the full interview given at Google Cloud Next ‘19 by Red Hat’s Vice President of Technical Business Development, Mike Evans.

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