Surveys of CIO’s show an acceptance that Hybrid Cloud computing will be the preferred choice for infrastructure and application deployments in the future. Surprisingly the surveys are also showing that many IT leaders are still struggling to understand what this shift means for their organization and their IT expenditure. A survey from Hybrid Hive available here has details of a recent survey. Let’s take a look at the different types of Cloud deployment and then discuss some use cases for each.
Types of Cloud
There are three types of Cloud deployment that organizations can use:
- Private Cloud – In this scenario an organization builds their own Private Cloud platform, in their own data centers or on a third party host site. This private cloud needs to be built to allow rapid provisioning, self-service, orchestration, per use billing, and other Cloud features in order to be classed as a Private Cloud. If it doesn’t then it’s just a traditional private data center. Private Cloud allows organizations to ensure that their data is not on the same infrastructure that other organizations might be accessing. Which can be important for some regulatory purposes.
- Public Cloud – This uses compute and other IT resources that are available on demand from third party providers like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. Many organizations will be sharing resources in a Public Cloud infrastructure but robust security means that there is logical separation between them. Organizations can use the resources they need on a pay as you go model from Public Cloud providers, and flex their usage up and down as their needs change over time.
- Hybrid Cloud – As the name suggests a Hybrid Cloud is comprised of a mixture of other types of Cloud services. The mix can be made from Private and Public Cloud, or combined from several Public Cloud providers. As with a Private Cloud the Hybrid Cloud needs to allow rapid provisioning, self-service, orchestration, per use billing, etc. The Hybrid Cloud also needs to appear to applications and users as a single entity with no regard to the actual location of the services. The Hybrid Cloud model is the easiest for organization to adopt as it can be done gradually by adding Private and Public Cloud services alongside existing IT infrastructure over time as services are refreshed and amended.
Use cases for Cloud types
Private Cloud deployments are often mandated if the data and applications being used are sensitive. For example medical data, financial data, or personally identifiable data like Social Security records. It can be catastrophic from an organizational reputation perspective, as well as financially damaging, if information such as this is compromised. For this reason many organizations that handle such data and who still want the convenience of modern Cloud based applications and infrastructure, will build their own Private Cloud that only they use.
Public Cloud deployments allow organizations to get access to the resources they need without having to invest in a large capital expenditure up front. That is taken by the Public Cloud provider who reduces the cost due to the scale of the deployments. Organizations take advantage of this cost reduction by deploying server virtual machines, storage, network bandwidth, etc. on a per use basis. Additionally, not having to manage the underlying infrastructure allows organizations to focus their operation expenditure on IT staff towards more revenue generating services and better business processes. Public Cloud can be used to provide all of the IT services that would have previously been delivered from organizations own data centers in a modern way.
A Hybrid Cloud deployment takes the best bits of the Private and Public Cloud and lets organizations use them as best fits their needs. Over time services and applications that are being refreshed can be moved to the Cloud. If the data is sensitive then a Private Cloud can be built as part of the Hybrid Cloud to keep the sensitive data in house, with all the rest delivered via Public Cloud. This can even extend to services such as email. Users who deal with sensitive topics can have their mailboxes in house on a Private Cloud hosted server, and everyone else can be on a Public Cloud hosted server or service such as Microsoft Office 365.
Moving to a Hybrid Cloud based infrastructure over time will deliver a better, easier to manage infrastructure, that can flex with the organization as it evolves. Many business applications from Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and others are Cloud ready now. With Microsoft Exchange being the archetype example. Most organizations have custom written line of business applications that use technologies that are not suited for the new Cloud based delivery models. Writing these applications from scratch with new development tools would be very expensive. Fortunately there is another option. KEMP LoadMaster application delivery controllers can help you provision and deliver legacy applications and services on Cloud hosted virtual machines in Hybrid Cloud scenarios. LoadMaster can handle access requests to the virtual machines running legacy line of business applications, handle state so that sessions are preserved, and monitor performance so that the user experience is optimized. Check out LoadMaster solutions here for more information.