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Hybrid clouds refresher: Top five tips of 2014

Companies choose hybrid cloud for the perks of public and private clouds, but not all get it right. These top hybrid cloud tips from 2014 will help you succeed next year.

When it comes to choosing a cloud environment, enterprises have a lot to consider. Public cloud provides scalability and a pay-per-use model while private cloud offers more control with an on-premises environment. To alleviate some security concerns about public clouds and still receive its benefits, enterprises turn to hybrid clouds.

Talk of hybrid cloud adoption increased in 2014, as more enterprises looked to capitalize on the combination of public cloud services and private cloud. But even the best-of-both-worlds hybrid cloud model comes with challenges. It's crucial for enterprises to have a solid understanding of its use cases and complex nature to best manage the hybrid cloud. And to help enterprises develop a stronger knowledge base and ensure future hybrid cloud success, we've compiled our best expert advice about hybrid cloud from this year.

5. Take the private cloud out of hybrid cloud computing

Many companies consider hybrid clouds because they create a controlled environment with public cloud services. However, not every company wants to commit to the private cloud piece of the hybrid puzzle. While a typical hybrid cloud is a combination of public cloud services and private cloud with orchestration between the two, there are other ways build a hybrid cloud. DevOps allows enterprises with cloud-friendly integration to combine public cloud application components and on-premises components, according to cloud expert Tom Nolle.

So, how do enterprises remove the private cloud portion of hybrid cloud computing? Nolle provides a step-by-step process to eliminate private cloud from the hybrid cloud equation, from determining which components to move to the public cloud to separating the app deployment process with workflows.

4. Learning to love the complex multi-cloud

Multi-clouds -- like hybrid clouds -- mix public and private cloud services from different cloud models, types and providers to meet certain requirements. The tradeoff, according to David Linthicum, is complexity. The multi-cloud's complex nature comes from the need to fit different cloud pieces into one environment. And to ensure the best performance, multi-clouds also require monitoring tools that can be costly.

Although a multi-cloud scenario can be complicated with different pieces coming from different vendors, it often can provide better value. Linthicum lists a number of reasons why enterprises choose this approach.

3. Hype muddies waters around true hybrid cloud definition

Companies are still learning about hybrid cloud and its capabilities, so there are many misconceptions about the environment. Some companies that believe they are using a hybrid cloud are surprised to learn they are merely using separate public and private clouds. With the true hybrid cloud definition muddied with hype, how can a company be sure it's actually building the real thing?

Cloud expert Jim O'Reilly shares the criteria that make up a true hybrid cloud, including automated orchestration across public and private clouds, as well as the ability to move data between clouds as needed. Is your hybrid cloud up to snuff?

2. Designing public cloud applications for a hybrid cloud future

As cloud computing evolves, many enterprises see their future in hybrid clouds. But to prepare for a hybrid cloud move, enterprises must look at both sides of the hybrid cloud coin -- public and private cloud needs -- or risk project failure.

And to avoid poor performance or even failure, cloud expert Nolle lists four crucial factors to consider when designing public cloud applications for hybridization.

1. Public, private and hybrid clouds: Beware of cloud washing

While a fresh coat of paint can make an old car look new again, it doesn't reset the odometer. Cloud computing has a similar problem with cloud washing -- vendors rebranding an old cloud service and selling it as new. And all cloud types are subject to cloud washing, even hybrid clouds. To avoid being duped by cloud washing, find the right cloud type for your company's needs. And then choose the best workload for that hybrid cloud. Mark Eisenberg explains how to do both those in this tip.

Nicholas Rando is assistant site editor for SearchCloudComputing. You can reach him at

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