Deployment of a hybrid cloud solution (mixing public cloud infrastructure with on-site systems) is often said to be driven by security and data sovereignty concerns. For Coca Cola Amatil, however, hybrid reflects a more basic reality: key warehousing apps won’t be allowed off the premises.
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CCA’s consolidation project to remove 170 separate legacy systems included a shift of many of its main apps into the cloud. However, while services hosted in the public cloud have proved especially useful for mobile workers, CIO Warwick Hutton doesn’t foresee an all-cloud future for the beverage giant.
“A fully automated warehouse will always have the system on site, because if it stops for a second we don’t ship product,” he said during a presentation at Gartner Symposium 2013 on the Gold Coast. “The hybrid cloud means the ability for us to move applications between environments based on the right place for the outcome. I’m not sure it’s about trust. It’s just where the appropriate platform is.”
“We’re looking to leverage platforms like Azure to be able to leverage cloud-based services, but with some customisation.” For instance, CCA’s SharePoint instance is heavily customised, but that can still be cloud-hosted, with the customised forms delivered via Windows Azure.
Using the same management platform was also a selling point for the hybrid approach, Hutton said. “We already had the skills with System Center. Being able to mabage those servers in the cloud meant we could do it with the same people. We run a pretty lean operations shop so we can’t afford to add staff.”