Right now, there's a lot of focus on the public cloud versus private clouds, but there's a good chance that long term, organizations will want to embrace both. And why not? There are some things you want to keep in-house, but certainly being able to acquire a bit of extra boost from a public cloud would be a nice cost-cutting feature.
Admittedly, this is a model few are capable of considering at this point. But it's worth remembering, whether you're trying public or private, that at some point, you may want to have both.
That's because the hybrid model will not be without hassles-and one of the biggest considerations will be integration, as integration/cloud expert David Linthicum points out in a recent column.
Linthicum focuses on the data-integration component, which is his specialty, but Lori MacVittie points out hybrid clouds will also require infrastructure integration. That's something at which IT isn't particularly adept.
McVittie, who is the technical marketing manager and blogger at F5, warns it's not just about the integration-it's also how you manage all these integrated resources and support consistent processes across the enterprise:
The scenario in which hybrid is most often mentioned is overflow capacity, cloud-bursting if you will. The gist is that the datacentre is somehow extended to include public cloud compute resources as a means of expanding local capacity. Simply provisioning the resources in a public environment isn't enough. It must be tied back into the infrastructure and the delivery process. It must be joined to the existing resources so that it appears a seamless extension of the corporate compute resource pool. This process requires integration into existing infrastructure architecture.
As for data integration, Linthicum writes that there are data-integration solutions that can help. Besides the usual data-integration issues, you'll also need to keep in mind latency and out-of-the-box support for the public clouds you use. Latency is especially crucial, since it ensures the public and private clouds can share without one dragging down the speed of the other, he writes.
As Joe McKendrick points out in a post at ZDNet, simplifying integration with the cloud is all about planning out your architecture.
By the way, McKendrick also recently outlined three phases organizations should follow when building their own cloud. It's a useful piece and well worth reading for those planning to deploy an internal, or private, cloud.