Cloud computing provides resources, especially storage and computing power, that can be accessed on demand over the internet rather than via local resources. Subscription services billed by consumption can be SAAS (Software as a Service), PAAS (Platform as a Service), and IAAS (Infrastructure as a Service) solutions. Depending on the Cloud provider, the customer might have full root access or indirect access to one of these, or an integrated solution.
Cloud Deployment is subject to these categories: Public, Private, and Hybrid Cloud. A private cloud consists of computing resources used exclusively by one business or organization. Contrarily, in a public cloud, you can be sharing the same hardware, storage, and network devices with other organizations or cloud “tenants.”
While there are clear definitions for Public and Private Cloud, how should we define Hybrid Cloud? The trivial response, perhaps enough for Alex Trebek: what is combining multiple cloud deployment models? Stephen G. Bennett, experienced Cloud Architect leader with over 30 years of diverse service, demonstrates that such a common term rarely lends itself to so trivial a definition. One might interpret it as a Public cloud integration with any system that is hosted on-premise, but another can argue that there is a difference whether they were in a private cloud or a more traditional bare metal deployment. In the end, Stephen defines Hybrid Cloud as a strategy of utilizing and combining cloud service(s) both from a private cloud and from public cloud providers.
Multi-Cloud is distinct and can be complementary to the Hybrid Cloud. While Hybrid Cloud necessary consists of Private and Public solutions, Multi-Cloud strategy utilizes and combines cloud services from multiple public cloud providers.
What about on-premise resources? According to Gartner, the world’s leading research and advisory company, Hybrid IT enables development, execution, and governance of integration flow connecting any combination of on-premises and cloud-based processes, services, applications. and data within the individual or across multiple applications.
As you build your cloud enterprise strategy to start using additional clouds or migrate some of your workloads to a public cloud, you might consider adopting Hybrid and/or Multi-Cloud Strategy. You will be sharing a trail with some of the most successful IT strategists, from LLC’s to Netflix.
Hybrid Cloud is gaining popularity because it enables private cloud security and public cloud flexibility.
Compliance. Regulatory requirements are always challenging. For example, governance or financial institution might implement sensitive workloads on premises, but provide other services through the public cloud. During recent GDPR updates, most Public Cloud providers added full audit capability and API’s, an advantage over some legacy environments. Extremely sensitive workloads, though, tend to lend themselves to Private Cloud.
Capacity Augmentation. Incorporating Hybrid solutions, organizations might also employ more traditional deployment strategies such as using the public cloud to back up or archive data. Within solutions that can be architected for such, it is also possible to use public cloud services for seasonal scalability or cloud bursting.
Agility. An organization might run all its production workloads on-premises or private cloud but use the public cloud for development and testing only. An organization might locate its workloads based simply on cost, performance or user experience.
Innovation. With digital transformation, an organization can take advantage of utilizing Chatbots, AI, or Blockchain solutions that are available as PAAS solutions.
Legacy. For that use case, Hybrid cloud is likely to be a staging point as an organization is continuing its cloud journey and public cloud services become more capable and resilient.
Cost. A big data application that requires expensive storage systems may run more cost-effectively on a public cloud. Moreover, a business might choose a public cloud since it is cost effective option for disaster recovery.
By chance. As an example, Shadow IT or can be considered. Mergers and acquisitions. Shadow IT — refers to the tools, technologies, and devices that are used at a company without the explicit permission or knowledge of the IT department. Hybrid Cloud provides a relevant set of infrastructure and platform services that helps to eliminate the challenges of shadow IT. During Mergers and acquisitions, IT infrastructure can be complex, covering hardware, networks, software and even collaboration between people, and some of these components can benefit more, and more easily, from Hybrid Cloud.
Multi-Cloud is the use of multiple cloud computing and storage services in a single heterogeneous architecture.
Reduce Vendor Lock-in. The issue with vendor lock-in is the difficulty in moving to another cloud service provider if something goes awry. By going Multi-Cloud, you become less dependent on one Content Service Provider for all of your needs. Another benefit is that you can cherry-pick offerings from each cloud provider so you can implement best-of-breed services into your applications.
Risk Mitigation. Working with multiple cloud providers or building a hybrid cloud environment helps mitigate the risk of service disruptions in local data centers and with public cloud providers.
Geo-Presence. Every Cloud provider doesn’t offer all the services in all the regions where they have Cloud Datacenters. So you want to make sure that if you are going to sign up for a particular cloud provider in a certain region, that they offer those specific services you need in that region.
Best of Breed. Having access to multiple cloud providers lets your engineers pick the one that is the most appropriate for the workload they want to deploy. By avoiding the “all or nothing’ approach,” IT leaders gain greater control over their different cloud services. They can pick and choose the product, service or platform that best fits their requirements, in terms of time-to-market or cost-effectiveness. Also, this approach may help to avoid problems that arise, when a single provider runs into trouble!
Price Negotiation. Having a presence in multiple clouds can also help with future cloud pricing negotiations since it provides more vendor leverage.
In conclusion, there is no single solution to any problem. Depending on the priority of your organization and certain trade-off the solution might vary. Migration to the cloud is based on an organization’s current business environment, current operating model, current technology deployments, and unique opportunities, challenges and risks. While there will always be arguments against cloud computing, the one only needs to look at the hybrid cloud or Multi-Cloud statistics to know that for most, the benefits far outweigh the downsides.