Cloud computing continues to make market inroads: Public clouds are ubiquitous and the market for multicloud and hybrid solutions is on track to grow billions over the next several years. However adopting a “one size fits all” approach to cloud can result in frustrations and cost overruns. The overlapping nature of public, hosted private and on-premise clouds — can make it difficult to determine the right home for your applications.First, it’s important to understand that ‘Multicloud’ is not a thing, it’s a strategy. The goal of which is to maximize performance, cost, security and control. The most important rule for crafting this strategy? Think of your applications before you think platform.
Your applications are core to multicloud planning and strategy. To start, you’ll need to understand your application landscape, the requirements of each application, how and when they need to run. Be sure to consider specific questions about your applications prior to evaluating the potential cloud platforms to support and power them. These may include needs surrounding compliance, security, automation, data, and usage patterns.
After answering those questions, many IT pros are pointing to hybrid architectures, wherein various applications run in different environments or a single application utilizes a mixture of both public and private environments. In this post, I’ll explain how to evaluate whether a hybrid solution is right for your applications.
Hybrid Cloud Explained
Hybrid and public clouds share much of the same IT space. Both offer a way to tap off-site resources, empower collaboration and enhance the impact of existing technology.
The difference? Public cloud models rely entirely on resources provided by hyperscale giants like AWS and Azure, while hybrid solutions offer a way to merge public and private clouds into a single solution. In many respects, hybrid clouds mimic existing IT structure; noncritical data is handled in multi-tenant environments, while sensitive or steady-state workloads are kept in a secure, private cloud environment.
Couldn’t you use on-premise bare metal as an alternative to private cloud? Absolutely, but understand that swapping local stacks for private cloud hardware simply changes the scalability and agility of your tech scenario. Instead of encountering hard-and-fast boundaries at the edge of server capacity, you can scale to meet emerging demand.
Why choose the public cloud? There are several solid reasons to pick the most familiar and straightforward cloud type, including:
You’re just getting started. If this is your first cloud deployment and you’re looking to evaluate the potential of , public solutions enjoy a low bar for entry, with many large providers offering free or incredibly low-cost “starter” packages that give your IT teams a feel for the cloud.
Cost is critical. Cloud may be on your radar, but that doesn’t mean you have an unlimited budget. Entry-level public options are always cost-effective and can help take the pressure off overloaded in-house servers. With many providers trying to bring in new customers, the “race to zero” continues as big cloud vendors fight for the lowest viable price.
Scale solutions. If on-demand capacity is high on your cloud and more server capacity is outside the budget, public clouds give you the room to scale up, as needed.
Finding the right fit. Some workloads works better in a hyperscale cloud. For example, it’s easier to manage a nascent mobile app with fluctuating, inconsistent in the public cloud.
App-ortunity. Speaking of legacy systems, many don’t work well in the cloud. Rather than trying to move old programs to the cloud or shoehorn in new solutions to existing servers, it’s often worth making the public cloud move for apps alone.
While public clouds are a good fit for many workloads, there are many that would be much better suited in a private or dedicated environment. For those workloads that have static run rates, meaning they are not very bursty. A public cloud model could result in greater costs. Applications with specific compliance, or large data base needs also are better suited for private clouds. Thus driving the growth in hybrid and multicloud market. So what’s the advantage for your organization?
What’s the best place for your applications and services? In a hybrid cloud model, that’s entirely up to you — keep certain apps close to home in your private cloud and let others run free across public solutions. Shift the balance as needed to meet emerging demand without the need to purchase more cloud services.
Splitting apps. Hybrid clouds also let you get down to the nitty-gritty and decide exactly what runs where. Let’s say you’re running an app that deals with consumer credit data. Keep the authentication and authorization functions on the private portion of your hybrid cloud, but put the front-facing customer portal, business logic and your monitoring tools on public offerings.
Improved security. Niche providers have now emerged to offer cloud security solutions that rival those of on-premises systems. Though for some applications and services — such as SCADA or ICS tools — any connection to public clouds is problematic. Going hybrid gives you granular control over security.
Recovery time. How quickly can your company get back on track after a disaster? Hybrid clouds can help reduce your recovery time: Leverage public cloud solutions to power your app and use a dedicated private cloud as your recovery site if disaster strikes.
Better bursting. Staying on budget with cloud spending means resisting the temptation to overprovision. Hybrid cloud naturally provides this advantage: Use private resources for day-to-day operations and traffic, then burst into the public cloud as needed to deal with traffic spikes. The result? You minimize expensive, on-demand bursting without the risk of overloading IT resources.
Public or hybrid cloud? Both offer advantages but in a tech world now dominated by the need for enhanced flexibility and agility, the multicloud/hybrid option gets the upper hand: Do what you want, when you want with the cloud while still enjoying solid information security and flexibility. It’s the next logical step in cloud adoption — all the benefits of public offerings tempered by the ability to run any workload, anywhere and maximize IT efficiency.