Degrees of Hybrid Cloud Computing

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

The State of Cloud Computing Adoption

End users and IT services companies are closely aligned on what they hope to get from the cloud.

Although there is a lot of debate about the merits of hybrid cloud computing, there does seem to be a building consensus that says a hybrid cloud will be necessary to one degree or another either as the dominant form of cloud computing or as some transitory state of enterprise IT on the way to cloud computing nirvana.

If you accept that premise, then the next logical concern becomes how quickly can your organization set up a hybrid cloud environment? As any IT executive will tell you, replicating all the application and network settings in the enterprise on a third-party cloud computing service is not especially easy.

So it's interesting to hear now how cloud computing providers such as Skytap have come up with tools that automate the whole process of replicating a customer's IT environment in the cloud. According to Sundar Raghavan, chief product and marketing officer at Skytap, the whole process can be done in a matter of minutes in most cases. That will appear to be too good to be true to a lot of seasoned IT executives, but assuming it is the path to hybrid cloud computing, the process just got a whole lot less complex to navigate. If so, there will be three trends driving IT organizations to embrace hybrid cloud computing:

Outsource Nonessential IT Infrastructure: A lot of IT resources today are allocated to activities such as application development. A hybrid cloud computing model makes it more cost effective to develop applications in the cloud and then move back on to internal production servers when the time comes to launch them.

Capacity on Demand: Rather than have to size the IT investment to meet maximum processing requirements, IT organizations could size the IT investment to the average peak loads, and then rely on third-party cloud providers to bring additional capacity online as required.

Private Clouds on Public Infrastructure: As the concept of virtual data centers continues to evolve, there are those that argue that private clouds on internal IT infrastructure will make no financial sense. In the scenario, hybrid clouds are simply a means to that ultimate end.

No matter what you believe about cloud computing, it's almost a certainty that some form of hybrid cloud computing is going to impact your IT organization. The degree to which that happens is pretty much up to you and your company. You can either maintain total control or set up a self-service environment where users provision their own services. In either scenario, enterprise computing is moving well beyond the four walls of the internal data center.

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