As the world of Cloud computing evolves and many enterprises move closer to hybrid solutions to build and enhance their technology legacies, one Pacific Island is planning to use the Cloud to another extreme to become the first hybrid nation on the planet.
Tuvalu, midway between Hawaii and Australia, plans to recreate itself piece by piece on the metaverse to build the planet’s first completely digital nation to preserve its history and legacy that is under threat by global warming.
The island is sinking as the seas rise and it is expected to be completely submerged in under 100 years.
The island wants to conserve itself in a “state that generations of Tuvaluans can look into it … that’s the digitised idea,” said Dr Eselealofa Apinelu, Tuvalu’s former attorney general and current high commissioner to Fiji.
They want to create a “digital twin” for the 12 000 who call the island, the fourth-smallest country by area in the world, home. “Piece by piece we’ll preserve our country, provide solace to our people, and remind our children and our grandchildren what our home once was,” Tuvalu’s foreign minister Simon Kofe told COP27 last year in an address he made while standing with his knees submerged in the rising seas.
“Without a global conscience and a global commitment to our shared wellbeing, we may soon find the rest of the world joining us online as their lands disappear.”
It is an extraordinary move and statement in an extraordinary time. The world’s first hybrid nation with a physical boundary and area with its memories, history, government services, cultural and identity records, and natural resources available in the Cloud for future generations of Tuvaluans.
Just as the Cloud will be a safe, instantly accessible place for Tuvaluans to embrace their hybrid status, so too are hybrid Cloud solutions gaining traction amongst enterprises as they seek to safeguard their past, present, and future.
A hybrid Cloud is a combination of all the good things from public and private clouds. With the public Cloud, there is sometimes a trade-off in terms of performance, while the private Cloud is a dedicated environment to a single enterprise.
A private Cloud can be operated by an in-house team, allowing the enterprise a firmer control of its assets and resources. It has a high level of security, perhaps the highest, but comes with cost issues and, if you live in South Africa, may also be vulnerable to the foibles of load-shedding if your company does not have a significant back-up power solution.
Marry the public and the private and you have a solution that will offer you the best levels of security, cost, and access. Flexibility. That’s the word you will hear over and over again when you enter into any discussion about hybrid Cloud solutions.
At BCX, we announced an exclusive South Africa go-to-market alliance with Alibaba Cloud in September last year.
This was to offer a service-centric cloud experience for Africa and to speak to the issues some enterprises faced in moving to the cloud. African enterprises are looking to minimise the disruptions of downtime and ensure they can maximise their success.
For many of them, the Alibaba hybrid Cloud will offer an ideal solution. It addresses some of the concerns enterprises have with hybrid solutions. It overcomes compatibility issues between public and private with an auto-scaling feature with 50 product portfolios and over 10 000 servers. Simple, secure, and intelligent security services take care of security issues. Cross-geography disaster and hot-upgrade recovery scenarios are taken to the next level to overcome reliability and scalability concerns that may affect stability and impact the user experience.
Seamless deployment scenarios allow you to expand services between on-site and Cloud resources. The Alibaba hybrid Cloud solution’s disaster recovery, backup, upgrades, and elastic scaling make it a highly capable and reliable architecture.
“Alibaba wants to do business together…we don’t just want to sell products, we want to use our exclusive partnership with BCX to create new business models for Africa. We want to help businesses to set up their private clouds, those who may not want to use public cloud or want to use multiple cloud models,” said Daniel Jiang, general manager of Alibaba Cloud, EMEA, last year.
The hybrid model is about recreating what you know and how you approach the Cloud. It’s about building a legacy.