Load Balancers

Adopting a hybrid view for cloud success: “hybrid cloud” for Modern Applications

Hybrid Shift Application DeliveryCloud continues to trend in IT. Customers are increasingly consuming and offering services via Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Software-as-a-Service, (SaaS), Mobile-Backend-as-a-Service (MBaaS) and Recovery-as-a-Service (RaaS) models. With this list of options multiplying, an interesting expansion on what “hybrid cloud” actually means is resulting.

In general, the hybrid cloud definition is still the embodiment of a model that entails transitioning from a traditional data center architecture to a true private cloud followed by incorporating public cloud platform(s) with a single pane of glass for provisioning, management and monitoring. When implemented properly, this enables the deployment of applications in an active/active model across cloud boundaries and data in the right place at the right time, regardless of the point of ingress of client requests. This is often harder to achieve than it might sound, primarily because of the way that many existing applications have been architected along with core networking and database limitations. Still, it is often the Holy Grail which many aim to achieve. While on this journey, however, customers many times find that there are other models or combinations of models that actually satisfy their unique needs better, resulting in a new paradigm for the definition of “hybrid.” It’s no longer only a holistic coupling of on premise and off premise, but a combination of different cloud models that result in the needed time to market and return on prediction that modern organizations are looking for.

For example, deploying certain lightweight internet-facing services only using a PaaS model from Amazon Web Services (AWS) may be the answer for certain organizations that have multiple facets to their method for reaching customers but must maintain an online presence for a variety of services consumed in small increments. For instance, financial institutions often offer applications related to their products that have appeal to small groups of customers but become very important to them after adoption. Mature cloud platforms such as AWS offer a number of availability capabilities that allow distribution across availability zones so that the service or application can withstand actual infrastructure failures in the AWS environment. Others find that taking advantage of their existing infrastructure as their primary production site for tier 1 applications and using targets such as Microsoft Azure or VMware vCloud Air for failover and recovery suits their requirements by giving them the benefits of local access to resources while cutting costs for maintenance of secondary and tertiary data centers. As an example, hot or warm SharePoint farm deployment in Microsoft Azure combined with database log shipping and SQL AlwaysOn Failover Cluster Instances enables administrators to recover in as little as minutes if their on premise data center experiences a failure. Support for redundant deployment across Azure regions makes for a truly resilient deployment at the fraction of the cost of maintaining multiple on premise sites. More and more, packaged mobile platforms are also being offered by public cloud providers tying all of the core services that are required for successful mobile application delivery in a single vehicle as is the case in VMware’s vCloud Air offering.

These varied models and centralization of these services from each player makes mixing and matching easier and gives organizations the ability to implement them a’la’carte across their company. The benefit of this is that individual business units can decide what best meets the needs of their required services without straying from the overarching corporate IT direction.

One of KEMP’s core goals is to support the ongoing move to hybrid cloud architectures. By being the first application delivery controller (ADC) vendors to extend native load balancing and intelligent traffic steering support for Microsoft Azure, we’ve been able to help customers simplify and expedite their application migrations and cloud adoption strategy. KEMP was also one of the first to achieve validated ISV support in VMware vCloud Air and also has both free and commercial products available in the AWS MarketPlace.

For many existing packaged and custom applications, moving them in whole or part to a public cloud infrastructure is non-trivial. Because “legacy” applications may not have been built with cloud principles in mind, they often require the services that can only be delivered by a real ADC. By delivering the same core features and functionality regardless of platform or environment, KEMP is able to mitigate the need of application re-architecture when the chosen cloud platform’s frontend networking layer lacks the required L7 services needed for the application to successfully migrate and operate. Even when it does, for what is in the process of developing into the “classic” hybrid cloud definition, an intelligent mechanism is still required in order to dictate where clients should be directed across the cloud infrastructure depending upon the makeup of the request and identity of the requestor. Technology like that provided by KEMP’s LoadMaster ADC helps to bridge the gap for what’s needed in the cloud for application delivery and security, regardless of the cloud model you choose to use.

Learn more at www.kemptechnologies.com.

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