Justifying the Hybrid Cloud: It’s All About the Application

Arthur Cole
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While detractors may decry the hybrid cloud as a waste of money and resources, enterprise executives seem convinced that it provides the flexibility and stability they need to conduct data-intensive operations on a limited IT budget.

But as with most forms of infrastructure, there are right ways of doing things and wrong ways, which is why hybrids are emerging as primary solutions for key application loads rather than general-purpose data support.

Cloud Computing News’ Chandra Reddy took to the field recently to find out exactly how hybrids are contributing to the data workload, and it invariably comes down to a question of costs: high-volume, low-frequency applications tend to do well with hybrids, while steady, on-going functions do not. One manufacturing CIO, for instance, only needs big infrastructure to crunch sales data every so often but with rapid turnaround. A hybrid solution can deliver the right scale at a much faster pace than traditional infrastructure. Likewise, a government agency gains high-speed backup and recovery through hybrid-based object storage solutions vs. a tape-based archive, with much less management overhead to boot.

Platform providers are starting to key in on these attributes, with the goal of making hybrids not only flexible and scalable but seamless with local cloud infrastructure as well. SwiftStack recently launched its new Cloud Sync gateway that incorporates user-defined policy management to automate the movement of data across public and private resources. Rather than use a proprietary archive, the system replicates native objects into a cloud-based “bucket,” where they can be accessed for CDN, archiving and collaboration applications while at the same time improving burst capabilities onto public clouds like Amazon S3 and Google Cloud Storage. A single namespace provides for better data syncing compared to basic API compatibility.

Legacy IT vendors are also ramping up their hybrid capabilities by linking them directly to leading product lines. HPE is working to add a hybrid component to its composable infrastructure initiative by joining the Synergy programmable infrastructure platform and the Helion CloudSystem 10 architecture to create a fully software-defined distributed data ecosystem. The aim is to support traditional data center applications and new cloud-native services on a single IT platform, using automation and intelligent management to simplify resource provisioning, data migration and other tasks that inhibit productivity. Users will also be able to incorporate multiple third-party platforms like Chef, Docker and Puppet through HPE’s Composable Infrastructure Partner Program. (Disclosure: I provide content services for HPE.)

When you get right down to it, says InfoWorld’s Gavin McShera, the hybrid cloud is more about management than technology. There is no such thing as a “hybrid cloud platform” but rather a layer of software that allows you to compile disparate resources across multiple clouds. The better all these components work together, the more flexible and scalable your hybrid will be. To that end, organizations should concentrate on capabilities like multi-provider integration, application lifecycle support, identity management, and a host of other factors when devising a cloud strategy. And just because IT has become expert in managing data center environments does not mean it will be able to duplicate this same level of functionality beyond the firewall.

With the lines between public, private and hybrid infrastructure becoming increasingly masked by advanced automation and abstract data architectures, it is very likely that concerns over where and how applications and services are hosted will become moot for the enterprise before too long. Hybrid clouds are the next logical step toward full utility-style computing in which resources are consumed, not provisioned and managed.

The immediate goal is to lift applications and data off of legacy infrastructure onto hybrid solutions, but the real prize is to stop worrying about infrastructure altogether and focus almost exclusively on core business processes.

Arthur Cole writes about infrastructure for IT Business Edge. Cole has been covering the high-tech media and computing industries for more than 20 years, having served as editor of TV Technology, Video Technology News, Internet News and Multimedia Weekly. His contributions have appeared in Communications Today and Enterprise Networking Planet and as web content for numerous high-tech clients like TwinStrata and Carpathia. Follow Art on Twitter @acole602.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Dec 1, 2016 2:24 PM madison madison  says:
Very interesting, thanks for sharing! It is true that the hybrid cloud has a lot of potential for improving data computing and processes, however it is important to use BI to make sure that you can apply it in the most effective way possible that works for your business. Reply
Dec 14, 2016 5:50 AM EriTay EriTay  says:
Hi Arthur, thanks for the article. I just have one question: Do hybrid clouds have the edge on "real" clouds when it comes to data security? Reply
Dec 15, 2016 6:57 PM Alfonso Alfonso  says:
Good post!! Reply
Dec 21, 2016 5:54 AM EriTay EriTay  says: in response to EriTay
Still waiting for an answer to my question about cloud data security. :) Reply
Dec 28, 2016 6:30 AM appvn appvn  says:
It’s really a great and helpful piece of line. I am glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing. Reply
Dec 29, 2016 2:49 PM Nimesh Nimesh  says:
Great read, Arthur! Enterprise Mobility has unlimited possibilities if used properly with help of Hybrid cloud. But, how secure is you data? Reply
Jan 4, 2017 6:17 AM appvn apk appvn apk  says:
Really an awesome post. I wondered by reading this blog post. Thanks a lot for posting this unique post which you have shared with us. Keep on posting like this exclusive post with us. Reply
Jan 15, 2017 3:32 PM aromaphoto aromaphoto  says:
Good post Reply
Feb 28, 2017 1:36 AM Mayet Mayet  says:
The growth of a business having the ability to do work without sacrificing security of sensitive information being shared is how businesses should be managed. Reply

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