Hybrid clouds are cool, or at least that was the thought about three years ago. In response to hybrid cloud popularity, enterprise hardware and software players have cloud washed their technologies as private clouds that could be part of a hybrid cloud.
And while public clouds are increasingly popular, enterprises continue to ask:
- What value do hybrid clouds bring that public clouds do not?
- What are the benefits of hybrid cloud computing and private cloud if I have to buy new hardware and software?
- Can I share workloads between private and public clouds?
- Are hybrid clouds more secure?
Cloud computing is about providing lower costs through efficient use of cloud-based resources and the ability to run workloads on instances that are paid per usage. Hybrid clouds are often sold with a set of options to run workloads as private, public or both. However, you are required to purchase a great deal of hardware and private cloud software to support that private cloud portion. To choose the right cloud for you, calculate the value of public clouds versus private clouds and your workload requirements.
Enterprise IT uses private cloud as a default because it is typically reluctant to place application workloads on public clouds, often because of security concerns. There is no reason to run workloads on private clouds unless there are regulatory issues. While you can claim more control with a private option, that control will likely cost thousands more a month than a public cloud option. As a last resort, make new capital investments. And if there is no compelling reason to build a hybrid cloud, then it may not make sense for your situation.
The ability to transfer workloads will help enterprises see the benefits of hybrid cloud. Computing resources must provide the ability to run workloads on compatible platforms while using your operating system. However, localized applications for public and private clouds are hard to move. The ability to drag and drop workload instances in hybrid cloud is largely a myth. Instances of this technology are around today, but they are proprietary and not widely used. To share workloads in a hybrid cloud, write portable code or use containers to provide more portability.
The advantages that we thought hybrid clouds would one day bring have not materialized. The growth in public cloud features and functions, as well as the drop in price and increase in reliability, could mean that public clouds are the more logical choice. At least for now.
About the author:
David "Dave" S. Linthicum is senior vice president of Cloud Technology Partners and an internationally recognized cloud industry expert and thought leader.
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