Hybrid Cloud Computing
What is it?
Hybrid Cloud Computing is a strategy that utilizes a private cloud (or on-premises data center) with one or more public cloud offerings that are connected via public or private networks. The key capability that links the two environments, is consistent operations that allows the public cloud to act as an extension of a private or on premises environment, with compatible management process and tools.
Benefits of Hybrid Cloud Computing?
Most professionals cite agility and cost as the primary advantages of hybrid cloud computing. Here are the top benefits of adopting this approach to computing:
- IT Flexibility. Since cloud provider capabilities vary, Hybrid cloud lets organizations put workloads where they can take advantage of provider features or to meet exacting regulatory requirements. For example, sensitive information could reside on-premises, while web server workloads run on the public cloud.
- Security and Compliance. Although most cloud providers offer physical security for their servers, many providers can further isolate an organization’s cloud infrastructure by utilizing dedicated servers and private networks to connect to on-premises gear.
- Although cloud providers can meet the demands for most of today’s workloads, organizations know the capability of their own on-premises infrastructure.
- Pay-as-you-go flexibility. By extending IT capabilities into the public cloud when demand spikes, organizations need only pay for the additional capacity when needed rather than purchasing enough equipment to meet spikes in demand.
- Development Sandboxes. Development teams can experiment with new tools and operating systems available on public cloud platforms.
How to build a Hybrid Cloud Computing Strategy?
Key Considerations when determining whether to adopt a hybrid cloud computing strategy.
- Determine whether a hybrid approach is necessary, specifically whether there is a need to have coordination and communication between workloads that reside in public cloud and on private cloud or on-premises servers. Many organizations my opt to migrate everything to public cloud providers or keep on-premises workloads and data logically isolated from public cloud workloads.
- Determine which cloud computing platforms will comprise your hybrid IT environment. Although the major hyperscalers such as Amazon AWS, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure all offer similar features, some workloads may be better suited to a particular platform’s unique features. Regardless of which platforms are chosen, organizations should seek to ensure they are not locked-in to a particular vendor and have the capability to move workloads and data as needs change or to find the most attractive price for a given feature set.
What to do next?
- Determine which workload goes where, focusing on performance, pricing, accessibility, compliance, and the needs of the given applications workload. Migrating legacy (e.g. mainframe) or soon to be EoS workloads to a cloud platform may not be worth the time or money involved. Those workloads probably should remain on-premises, along with any data that is subject to governance or regulatory mandates that demand they be secured on-premises.
- All hybrid cloud workloads need to be managed and orchestrated, hopefully by a single platform or set of tools. Once workload locations are determined organizations must choose a cloud operating system (OS) framework such as VMware Cloud to manage their overall cloud environment.
- Organizations need to understand that public cloud providers operated on a shared-responsibility security model. Although the physical security offered by cloud providers is formidable, IT professionals must consider that every connection is suspect, and should adopt a zero-trust approach to securing cloud workloads, ensuring that every single transaction presents the proper credentials to help prevent breaches or data loss from occurring.
- Our partner at Ascend Cloud Solutions has tremendous experience in assisting customers in their move from traditional to hybrid environments where VMware is a major factor.
Challenges in Hybrid Cloud Computing?
Many organizations will gain the most from a hybrid cloud environment by modernizing their existing workloads to better take advantage of cloud functionality. Although this is the desired end state for many businesses it involves a major commitment to rearchitecting applications.
Coordinating security can be difficult in a shared responsibility model. Regulatory compliance and visibility into security challenges are two of the biggest security issues
Outages do occur, so organizations should have the ability to fail-over and fail-back to and from cloud infrastructure to ensure uninterrupted delivery of applications and services to end users.
Our team has many decades of experience in helping firms move to a workable and efficient hybrid cloud model that fits their business goals and objectives. Contact us for a complementary initial consultation.