The cloud has paved new operational avenues for businesses across all industries. Instead of having to maintain local, capital- demanding infrastructure and relying on internal services alone, most have (naturally) shifted towards acquiring readily-available resources and technology from cloud services providers.
But how do you settle on a particular cloud solution when market players are rushing to outdo one another with better infrastructure, more attractive pricing, and cutting-edge security innovations?
Perhaps there’s a better answer. Instead of getting locked-in with a single provider, you should build a diversified portfolio of cloud assets to mix-and-match, depending on your needs.
Welcome to the realm of hybrid cloud computing.
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Hybrid cloud leverages the best of on-premise, public cloud and private cloud services to flexibly deploy and run business workloads.
Hybrid cloud infrastructure incorporates three delivery models:
Traditional data center and/or a locally-hosted private cloud
Managed private cloud hosted within a cloud service provider’s data center
Portfolio of public-cloud services
Various cloud-resource combinations may be generated in your portfolio, on an as-needed basis. For instance, private IaaS solutions can happily co-exist with publicly hosted SaaS applications.
Hybrid cloud has become a significant enabler of digital business transformation, even for legacy companies who weren’t “born in the cloud.” By permitting workloads to move between private and public clouds as computing needs and costs change, hybrid cloud provides businesses greater flexibility and more data deployment options. Thanks to coordinated management and automated provisioning, hybrid cloud architecture significantly boosts the availability, scalability and utilization of IT resources, while reducing operational costs.
While enterprises are increasing their cloud spend, currently, about 20% to 30% of work is being done through the cloud. What was previously projected to take 8 to 10 years to get to a level of 80% is now expected to be reached in only three years.
This has been accelerated by recent events that initiated the need for staff to work remotely, to enable digital commerce, and to provide services such as telehealth, entertainment streaming, and remote learning. The increased use of application containerization, virtualization and edge computing are big enablers as well.
At the same time, certain workloads which have been hastily lifted to public cloud resources are being repatriated to on-prem infrastructure or private cloud. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of organizations in a recent survey said they needed to repatriate applications due to low performance and/or because the cost of public cloud was higher than expected.3 This points to a need for careful planning in placement and rightsizing workloads.
There are clear benefits to hybrid cloud, and not all of them are focused on IT.
Hybrid cloud architecture has become a proven catalyst for transformational change, even for traditional organizations who also want to play by the “startup” rulebook. The advantages in cost savings, availability, flexibility and operational improvements enable businesses to create new revenue sources, expand into new markets and explore new business models.
Why Hybrid Cloud Architecture is Important for Businesses
Hybrid cloud’s key selling point is that it enables the seamless use of public cloud services, in conjunction with line-of-business applications. Successful startups such as Airbnb and Uber have outpaced their competition by strategically utilizing a multi-cloud infrastructure to deliver new omni-channel experiences to consumers. Today’s traditional enterprises are challenged to keep up the set pace.
By leveraging multiple cloud services, your business:
Gains access to new tools and data to steer innovation I
Is able to place and move workloads by criticality, performance, and predictability
Acquires capacity for temporary processing needs
Expands its toolkit by tapping into massive new realms of services
Obtains flexibility for the future
Depending on your needs, you may combine services from both on-premises and off-premises resources to accelerate time-to-market for new offerings, while balancing development costs.
No longer restricted to launching monolith applications, you can also deploy standalone micro-services that complement and enhance your main offerings. Forget the long deployment cycles and welcome agility.
Using Hybrid Cloud Architecture:
Increases your IT elasticity to adapt to changing needs. For instance, IT systems can be effectively augmented to handle peak loads with the help of cloud bursting. Cloud bursting programmatically expands workloads to a designated public cloud during activity spikes and scales back to original servers once the need passes and it allows you to affordably “rent” additional computational and storage resources in real-time.
Provides greater visibility into resource usage across your entire environment and lets you rapidly identify misallocated and over-provisioned resources.
Allows your enterprise to keep sensitive data away from the "public pool" and meet all compliance requirements while running front-end applications in the open, benefiting from on-demand scalability and cost efficiency.
Key Considerations for Hybrid Cloud Adoption
Hybrid cloud architecture’s “silver lining” is compelling. But no transformational process is without its challenges. When it comes to hybrid cloud migration, three critical success factors should be taken into consideration.
Hybrid cloud adoption is not a “lift & shift” operation. It requires careful workload orchestration—from business processes, through the application, platform, and infrastructure. Your first task is to de-tangle the current intricate system of workflows running on-premises (and perhaps even in the cloud).
Certain workflows are inherently better suited for the public cloud. Legacy applications—that weren’t built with the cloud in mind—may be easier to replatform or repurpose for the private cloud. Establishing workload destinations and placements is a balancing act between performance, system dependency, cost, security and integration.
To determine the optimal workflow placements, consider the following technical characteristics:
Public cloud providers always specify their preferred connection methods. If your portfolio will leverage several service providers, you must ensure their standards match. To avoid any performance issues, private clouds within your portfolio will need to be similarly connected. Your main goal is to to deflect possible bottlenecks by ensuring a consistent connection between all the elements in your environment. Some hybrid workloads may have a low tolerance for the internet’s variations in throughput. So you may need to establish a point-to-point connection between the cloud service provider and your data center.
Maintaining a high-performing hybrid WAN presents another challenge to address. The new cloud architecture will alter data traffic patterns and likely require re-architecting of WANs to avoid performance setbacks. Sometimes, the best way to steer traffic (based on application requirements) may require a direct connection to public cloud, without backhauling to the data center. However, this may also result in wasted bandwidth while creating additional security threats. In general, an over-reliance on the internet as part of your WAN strategy may open new vulnerabilities, endangering sensitive data and network uptime.
Even as the adoption of hybrid cloud grows, security is still viewed as a challenge. For multi-cloud environments, you will need to define a custom security-perimeter that accounts for the following:
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An Easy Option to Consider:
Managed Service for Hybrid Cloud
Bring a new kind of cloud experience to all of your apps and data no matter where they live. Accelerate your cloud adoption with HPE GreenLake Hybrid Cloud, a vendor-agnostic multi-cloud, multi-stack managed service for public and private clouds.
Choose from a broad variety of services for your workloads
Always have capacity to meet demand
Pay only for what you use
Get additional services as needed to operate any of all or your IT stack
Manage private and public clouds from one place
Select the services you need, choose where to deploy, and get the right expertise to simplify and manage any or all of IT.
Anexinet has been chosen by Hewlett Packard Enterprise as a GreenLake services provider for their expertise in cloud migration,
workload optimization, and IT operations.
Founded in 2000, Anexinet understands that every organization’s digital transformation journey is unique. Whether you need help creating custom software or finding and managing the best platform to run it on, we’re built to deliver the outcomes that today’s modern organizations require. We have the capabilities, experience and expertise to help you select, customize and implement a full hybrid cloud solution that provides dependable and measurable results.
¹Harvard Business Review, What CEOs Need to Know About the Cloud in 2021, March 2021
²Virtana, State of Hybrid Cloud and Migration, February 2021
³TechTarget, Reduce Risk With a Consistent Hybrid Cloud That Strengthens Security and Business Continuity, 2020
⁴451 Research, The Economic Case for Hybrid Cloud