Is this the Start of a Hybrid Cloud Revolution?

Prepare yourself. Hybrid cloud is about to explode.

At too many companies, new technology is adopted not because IT planned it or wanted it, but because they were forced into it. Luckily, there are solutions that are allowing IT to get ahead of the technology curve—hybrid cloud being one of them.

Consider this: What if you could expand your datacenter’s capacity in less time than you spend reading your morning email? Think about the significant amount of time you, as a datacenter administrator, server administrator, or application owner, spend on:

  • Worrying about capacity
  • Proposing datacenter updates
  • Sizing datacenter infrastructure (power, cooling, network, and storage) to accommodate servers
  • Racking new servers
  • Installing server operating systems and applications inside servers
  • Reversing the entire process when business slows down

Hybrid cloud can eliminate these tasks, making life easier for IT, and enabling the enterprise to do things they never thought possible.

Hybrid Cloud – A Quick Definition

Before we jump too far into the benefits of hybrid cloud, how they are built, and how smart businesses are already using them, let’s first make sure we are all working from the same definition.

A hybrid cloud is two clouds working together. It could be your private cloud and a partner’s private cloud; however, most of the time, the two clouds working together are your cloud and a public cloud provider’s cloud. Because the private-public hybrid is the most common form, that’s what I’ll be referring to when I discuss hybrid cloud in this article.

Hybrid clouds offer the same features as a public cloud (self service, application/VM catalog, and pay-as-you-go billing), but with servers that are available on your network, just as if they were local.

Figure 1. Typical Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid Clouds – All Grown Up

Today’s hybrid clouds are vastly different from what was available in the past. Gone are slow response times, limited application availability, configuring complex network equipment, and the mass confusion of just trying to get started. Today’s modern hybrid clouds are enabled by smart software at the public cloud level that allows you to create hybrid clouds, from your site to the public cloud, using only your web browser. In fact, today’s hybrid clouds offer self-service network configuration that can connect your site to the public cloud in a variety of ways, including:

  • Private cloud to public cloud
  • Multi-point, multiple private clouds to public cloud
  • Private clouds to multiple public cloud environments
  • Multiple private clouds to multiple public cloud environments

Figure 2. Multiple VPN Scenario

With the network up, you can continue using the new and improved self service to perform common administrative actions, such as:

  • Automate common tasks with the task scheduler
  • Clone entire groups of virtual machines at any point in time
  • Create templates of one or multiple virtual machines based on production VMs
  • Manage VM quotas, including storage and network limits
  • Configure role-based access and report on usage
  • Access your VM/application template library and deploy new VMs (or groups of VMs, as needed)

In other words, modern hybrid cloud management is finally easy. And what this simplicity and functionality will bring is freedom.

Welcome to the Hybrid Cloud Revolution

Some technology is ahead of its time, and my prediction is that the time is right now for enterprises around the world to recognize the benefits offered by hybrid cloud. Let’s face it—as datacenter administrator, server administrator, or application owner—you want the freedom to quickly access the resources you need, when you need them. This freedom, flexibility, and elasticity with servers and applications will reduce the time needed to manage, add, and shrink datacenter capacity, and connect multiple datacenters to the public cloud—all in an easy, pay-as-you-go model.

I’ll continue talking about this topic in three upcoming installments that will outline how to build a hybrid cloud, how enterprises are successfully using hybrid cloud, and what you need to start using it yourself.

In the meantime, do you have any questions or insights on hybrid cloud? Feel free to comment below.

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