Three Imperatives for a Successful Hybrid Cloud Model
By Judith Hurwitz
Increasingly, organizations are looking to cloud services to respond to the need for speed, flexibility and containing costs. As cloud becomes more strategic to the business, the hybrid cloud is becoming the optimal method for delivering services in a predictable and secure manner. Hybrid cloud environments allow businesses to quickly react to market changes and deliver a new generation of applications to customers. When implemented correctly, the hybrid cloud can become a business game changer.
What is a hybrid cloud? A hybrid cloud is a combination of on premises and public cloud services that work in unison to deliver services to employees, partners and customers. A hybrid environment gives organizations the ability to choose the most appropriate environment for specific workloads based on factors such as cost, security and performance. For example, developers may want to test and develop applications on a public cloud, then move these workloads to an on premises environment prior to production.
Why are organizations going to hybrid cloud models? Companies often start to explore hybrid cloud strategies when they need the flexibility to vary deployment models to take advantage of business opportunities. In order to get started with hybrid cloud, businesses need to consider the following imperatives:
- Planning for Integration. Most organizations have data siloed across business units, Software as a Service (SaaS) environments and third party data services. Organizations need to integrate this distributed data to provide the right level of service to customers and partners. For example, data from transactional systems managed in a traditional IT environment may be needed to support a mobile application hosted on the public cloud.
- Managing and Brokering Workloads. Hybrid cloud environments also allow organizations to retake control while still providing flexibility. Having the option to place workload in a public, private, or on-premises environment depending on application requirements can improve performance and save money. In additional, an organization can mandate that certain types of workloads must run on premises or in a public cloud based on privacy laws and security or governance requirements.
- Ensuring Portability of Applications and Data. In order to be able to react to changing business requirements, organizations need the flexibility to move workloads between deployment models. For example, running a big data analytics workload in an on-premises environment may lead to capacity constraints. If you have the capability to easily burst to a public cloud you can retain the capacity you need for mission critical workloads.
The role of infrastructure. Having an infrastructure that can support multiple business requirements that will invariably change is a mandate today. Platforms like IBM’s POWER8 system are purpose built to ensure flexibility in terms of workload management and deployment model support. The POWER8 system is being used today as the infrastructure for public clouds, private clouds, and to run mission critical applications in the data center.
Hybrid cloud will continue to grow as organizations strive to increase their speed and agility to react to changing business circumstances. New, data intensive applications, often delivered to mobile devices is also driving the adoption of hybrid cloud deployments. Having the right infrastructure to support business and IT requirements for performance, capacity, security and management is foundational for a successful hybrid cloud model.
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