We’re seeing a change in the way the modern organization computes. Driven by end-user and market demands, companies have found the need to extend beyond their own data centers. Even though new external cloud resources offer ways for organizations to extend themselves and become more agile, there is almost always a connection to some kind of private data center.
The overarching, dominant cloud model is quickly becoming the hybrid cloud. Think about it: Any company extending its private data center capabilities into the cloud (backup, replication, email, productivity, desktops, and applications) is using some element of a hybrid cloud architecture.
A report conducted by Forrester Consulting for Cisco highlights many of the business drivers for hybrid cloud adoption. “A real hybrid cloud strategy can provide on-demand flexibility for where applications are hosted, and can help optimize cloud infrastructure costs beyond a purely private or public cloud strategy," according to Forrester.
The report showed that more than three quarters of survey respondents planning or using IaaS were looking for a tightly coupled hybrid cloud strategy, or were currently implementing one. InformationWeek’s State of Cloud Computing Survey also indicated the trend toward hybrid cloud: 79% of organizations that use cloud services employ multiple providers.
Today, it's quickly becoming easier to migrate to a hybrid cloud platform. Here's why:
1. Open-source technologies. Technologies like OpenStack and CloudStack are helping pave the way for optimized hybrid cloud interconnectivity. Vendors like Dell, IBM, and HP already offer ways to interconnect with OpenStack. This gives organizations the chance to extend their data centers and allows for more application, workload, and user flexibility. This can involve something as small as a single app that requires frequent user-load bursting or an entire email and communications platform.
2. Software-defined data centers. We now have the capability to abstract almost every physical resource into the logical layer. Network, storage, and even the entire data center can fall into the software-defined definition. Because we can pool almost all of the required hardware resource into the virtual layer, we begin to see the emergence of a software-defined data center (SDDC). Software and logical controls make it much easier for organizations to scale private resources into the cloud.
For example, VMware has an entire initiative to help abstract and manage every aspect of the software-defined data center. VMware's SDDC strategy combines compute, network, storage, and even management. Your capability to interact with that software-defined layer is even more powerful. Now, you can use APIs to connect with OpenStack or use VMware vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) for advanced cloud automation.
3. The mobile user. The way users connect into your environment is changing quite a bit. Their devices are no longer storing as much data, and the requirement falls heavily around constant connectivity. This means seamless connectivity between both private and public cloud resources. However, does it really matter to users where they’re connecting, just as long as they have their apps and data? Hybrid cloud provides user flexibility by making it easier for mobile users to consume rich data and content from all over the world.
New technologies are making it much easier to connect private data center resources with a variety of cloud platforms. Soon, there will be more kinds of devices and endpoints connecting into the cloud. Remember, when working with your own data center and the resources that it houses, always keep in mind the elasticity of cloud computing and how a hybrid model can ultimately allow your organization to scale.