Delivering Promise of Hybrid Clouds

Article by Karan Kirpalani

By embracing new technologies and strategies in the public cloud and data center environment, organizations can hone newer capabilities and functionalities, gain competitive edge and substantially increase IT efficiencies – a key hybrid cloud takeaway

There is a bleeding need for organizations across the globe to drive greater agility, speed and cost savings into IT. It is a must-have today, not a good-to-have.

Traditionally, organizations have spent millions to building their data centers and managing them. In today’s rapid growth environment, these data center are not giving the same results – evolution of data centers have led to organizations scrambling to consolidate, lower costs and complexities, and build abilities to cater to ever-changing business and market demands.

DC infrastructure and operations are constantly evolving, and businesses want to optimize the way IT builds, operates and provisions services for the business. There is a bleeding need for on-demand access to elastic computing resource including applications, hardware and networks that can be provisioned rapidly. Cloud is the answer.

Within the cloud journey for most organizations, there is still a daunting question. Private or Public? The cloud journey has been rapid in most parts of the world, and the question today has metamorphosed into how to use both public and private clouds in an organizations IT environment.

According to a global 2014 InformationWeek survey on Private Clouds, over 75% of the respondents have private clouds in production or development, with 17% stating that these clouds are used for most or all of their applications. Cloud adoption is both broad and deep, and for most companies, the debate isn't public versus private, but about how best to aggregate the two.

Enter Hybrid Cloud models! A hybrid model promises the best of both worlds. Private cloud offers security, control, predictability, and easy access to infrastructure, and public cloud offers convenience of provisioning, scalability, cost, mobility and collaboration benefits.

Is cloud becoming a problem?

Cloud strategy needs good looking into. It is important to understand what cloud strategy is right for you? A unified cloud effort is a challenge for most organizations today.

Companies have put trust on public cloud providers and derived benefits such as improved cost efficiency, availability and scalability, speed and flexibility. Organizations have moved to private clouds in their journey of DC evolution – in quest for increased agility, control over their IT and Data, performance and scalability, intense scalability and intricate disaster recovery options.

Adopting a hybrid cloud strategy means ensuring rapidly migrate and move workloads across public and private clouds. It is important to have a unified set of policies across hybrid cloud to enable moving of workloads, modify policies to connect the right workload for the right cloud with the apt SLA in a cost optimized manner.

The organization has to maintain an intelligent and synchronized linkage of the cloud stack with business processes and operational systems for all critical business systems.

Maximizing effectiveness of hybrid cloud architecture

In the hybrid cloud model or a distributed computing model for hybrid clouds, it is important that workloads can be moved across one cloud (private), and scale into another cloud (public) with right resources applied to the right workload – the business process. The need to easily move workloads between environments, and create flexibility to host applications and services, as needs change is a key parameter to maximize effectiveness of a hybrid cloud strategy.

Here are some best practices for improving effectiveness of hybrid cloud architectures:

  • Public Cloud Use: Use public cloud sources for the sake of agility and burst capacity
  • Private Cloud Use: Use private cloud facilities for production operations of large, relatively stable applications - monitoring, high availability, disaster recovery, information security and management of service impacting incidents can be more effectively managed within a private cloud environment
  • Automate: There is a need to enable seamless movement between public and private cloud by simplifying the workload delegation – use automation, monitoring, management and operational tools in an integrated framework to assure and improve operational and cloud efficiency
  • Consider cost, flexibility, agility, availability, resiliency, security, future need, capacity evolution, lifecycle of IT, etc. while choosing the right partner

In Conclusion

Move to hybrid architecture drives improved and new levels of flexibility, scalability and reliability, allowing you to focus on evolving trends in business. Hybrid cloud is particularly beneficial in organizations that deal with environments that change constantly or rapidly.

By embracing new technologies and strategies in the public cloud and data center environment, organizations can hone newer capabilities and functionalities, gain competitive edge and substantially increase IT efficiencies – a key hybrid cloud takeaway.

On the downside, hybrid clouds are harder to design, integrate, manage, monitor and secure. It is important to break all siloed IT processes/activities within the organization and understand workloads very well to derive maximum benefits.