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Why 2016 is shaping up as the year of multicloud computing

Get ready for multicloud computing. If you deal with combinations of private, public and managed clouds, you're already there.

What lies ahead for cloud computing and cloud application development? In this exclusive interview, Jim Ganthier, Dell's vice president and general manager of engineered solutions, said 2016 is the year we move beyond hybrid clouds to the next big thing -- multicloud.

What is your view of the current state of hybrid cloud and where the technology is heading?

Jim Ganthier: We said it long before anyone else did or agreed -- that the world would ultimately go to hybrid cloud. I think I can say with confidence that everyone now agrees this is probably the right end state for our industry. If you believe the world is going to hybrid cloud, it's no longer a war between public or private. It's literally how do you choose the right cloud at the right costs with the right characteristics.

What are those characteristics?

Jim Ganthier, Dell's vice president and general manager of engineered solutionsJim Ganthier

Ganthier: It's combinations of public, private or managed cloud, with the end state being an easy, seamless construct of all of the above. If you believe that definition of hybrid cloud, then, by associative law, you must believe the world will go to multicloud.

Do you see a particular architecture or approach to multicloud computing?

Ganthier: When I say multicloud, it shouldn't be a public or a private cloud. I might have multiple private clouds, multiple public clouds and multiple managed clouds, including managed services or service providers. Our ability is to have someone truly 'stand up' [deploy] a cloud-like infrastructure -- instantiate server, storage, networking, lay down the workload and templetize that workload.

What is the goal of this approach?

Ganthier: We want IT to be perceived as simple and easy, and as seamless as you can get from any public cloud provider. More importantly, as the CIO, we want to give you back some level of costs, some level of control and some level of compliance.

By control, do you mean security or operations?

Ganthier: The net is you can now arbitrate among the multiple public clouds so that as prices change, as characteristics change or as capabilities get better, you can move seamlessly back and forth between all of the different types of public clouds.

You see multicloud computing as the architecture of the future. What does that mean for developers?

Ganthier: We believe, in 2016, that the next jump is going to be multicloud. Start looking at what you can do with multicloud. Like everything else in our industry, if you stand still, you get run over. So, make sure you have something that really is future-ready. Something that works not only in today's traditional siloed, virtualized world, but something that will also work for you in the future that covers a world of cloud, big data and to some extent, software-defined.

The challenge is that technology is always changing.

You can now arbitrate among the multiple public clouds so that as prices change, as characteristics change, or as capabilities get better, you can move seamlessly back and forth.
Jim Ganthiervice president and general manager of engineered solutions at Dell

Ganthier: The industry is changing as we speak; new things are popping up. We can talk about server storage, and networking and workloads, but what happens in a world of containers? What happens in a world of CoreOS, or Kubernetes or Mesosphere?

What's a developer to do?

Ganthier: Make sure the software stack has hooks, so that regardless of where the industry goes, you not only have a good idea of that roadmap and where it's headed, but you can feel comfortable that you're not being either locked in or forced down a road of eventual rip and replace.

What is the key to success in going toward multicloud computing?

Ganthier: Don't try to be a pioneer. There are a lot of us -- Dell, Microsoft, Red Hat [and] VMware -- that have a lot of experience and passion. Learn from our experience, and frankly, learn from our scar tissue. We can focus on reducing costs, space, power, and make CIOs and developers the heroes again.

Next Steps

Is multicloud the right choice for your organization?

What's so great about a multicloud strategy?

Plan carefully before going with multicloud computing.

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