Until recently the world of IT was going gaga over public cloud computing. The IT guys were blindsided by the possibilities the public clouds offered. But in 2010, when some of the IT directors blew the whistle on security concerns of public clouds, the focus shifted to private clouds. And now we have something called ‘cloudburst’ staring right at us.
But what is a cloudburst? Cloudburst is a strategy wherein the enterprises when they run out of capacity on their internal cloud resources pass on the additional workload to the external resources. This ‘bursting’ of additional workload from internal to external resources is called cloudburst.
In this arrangement, the internal cloud is the Private Cloud and the external cloud is the Public Cloud. Public clouds charge the enterprises on pay per use basis. This combo of public and private cloud is called a Hybrid Cloud.
Analyzing the Hybrid Cloud
2010 has seen tremendous rise in the popularity of hybrid clouds. With industry heavyweights like IBM, Amazon, and VMware vying for lion’s share in hybrid computing, enterprises are having a field day. But what fuels the growing popularity and adoption of hybrids?
It’s quite obvious. Hybrid, a combo of private and public cloud, offers the best of both worlds. It bundles up the advantages of both of them in one single package. These advantages are as follows:
(1) The enterprises have to pay for only what they use in public clouds which means lower investment.
(2) The public clouds provide good testing and development environments for applications that require scaling.
(3) The private clouds in the combo address the security concerns.
(4) Enterprises retain control over the database since they reside in private clouds.
(5) Enterprises can run mission critical applications on private clouds and offload the rest on public.
How to Adopt Hybrid Clouds?
We do not deny the benefits that hybrids offer to enterprises. But there are a typical set of challenges that accompany hybrids. For many enterprises, hybrid clouds could turn out to be the best thing to happen to them. But at the same time, enterprises should be fully aware of what they have on their hands when they hop on the hybrid bandwagon.
The first point of parity is integration. Generally, private clouds and public clouds have varying APIs and management frameworks. This difference leads to integration glitches. An enterprise has to fine-tune these to reap the benefits of a hybrid.
A hybrid setup also has to account for performance and latency issues of a public cloud. Thus, it’s advisable that enterprises shake hands with public cloud folks and evaluate their troubleshooting capabilities. It’s better to know your go-to person if your application goes down in the middle of the night.
Another crippling factor of hybrids is cloud interoperability. It’s a high possibility that your private cloud might not be interoperable with the vendor’s public cloud. Thus, enterprises should pick a cloud vendor who has large number of partners and cloud APIs.
Hybrid Clouds – Play Safe
It’s no secret that enterprises are going all gooey-eyed over hybrid clouds. But the IT directors of these enterprises need to tread paths carefully. Hybrids might top their wish list. But a haphazard approach can land them in a soup. The best thing to do is to step back, evaluate, and then proceed.