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Why hybrid cloud is here to stay: A Q&A with Duan van der Westhuizen

by Eamon McCarthy Earls
Assistant Editor,

Hybrid cloud gets a lot of talk, but what does it mean in practice? What we define as hybrid cloud, an organization's IT landscape residing in some mix of a company's own data centers, private cloud, and public cloud, is often less a strategy and more a manifestation of an organization's short- and long-term IT needs.

Some of the most common influencers of a hybrid strategy include increasing data residency requirements, M&A, regulatory compliance demands, seemingly intractable shadow IT activity, and cloud latency or stability concerns. No matter the reason, whether planned or not, hybrid cloud scenarios will continue alongside “pure” public cloud. Duan van der Westhuizen, SVP of Public Cloud at Ensono, is witnessing the evolution of hybrid cloud first-hand—and shared his perspectives with MSCloudNews about what comes next. Clients need cloud partners and providers to meet a range of needs, he says, from a robust control plane to security, cost management, and strategic guidance.

MSCN: How would you describe the state of hybrid cloud today?

Duan van der Westhuizen: There are sort of two camps in the world of hybrid cloud. There is the “cloud in” camp, going from private cloud, either on-prem or hosted with MSP and connecting into public cloud versus the “cloud out” model, expanding back to on-prem from public cloud.

Major public clouds are trying to adapt to the distributed cloud with offerings like Azure Stack. I believe  the control plane is really the crux of the situation—companies are trying to use the public cloud as a control plane. Things like Azure Arc allow you to expand control into edge solutions, or things like VMware.

Ten years ago, there was this feeling that everyone would be in public cloud and would eventually migrate everything over. But today, the numbers show that 90% or so [of workloads are] on-prem. That shift hasn’t really happened. Public cloud is trying to adapt services for a private [cloud-friendly] model. Services around 5G support reductions in data latency. On-prem and at the edge, the market is growing. At the same time, there is a big migration play for mainframes, which can be modernized through a hybrid cloud model.

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About Eamon McCarthy Earls

As the assistant editor at, Eamon helps to oversee editorial content on the site and supports site management and strategy. He can be reached at

Before joining, Eamon was editor for at TechTarget, where he covered networking technology, IoT, and cybersecurity. He is also the author of multiple books and previously contributed to publications such as the Boston Globe, Milford Daily News, and DefenceWeb.