The Necessity of a Hybrid Cloud

8 Oct 2014 by Lori Soard

A businesswoman looking off into the distance

If you’ve hesitated to take your business to a full-out cloud-based environment, consider a hybrid cloud where part of your business runs in-house and part runs on the cloud. A hybrid meshes the old school benefits with new technologies. Bill Fathers, Senior Vice President of Hybrid Cloud Services Unit at VMWare, discusses how the growth of virtual machines and next-gen applications has impacted business data in his presentation for CloudCast “Why Is Hybrid Cloud Necessary?” There are some key factors you’ll need to keep in mind when deciding what to take virtual and what to keep in-house.

Transition to Third Platform Application [02:30]

The face of how people use information is changing and shifting. Some key points include:

  • The transition to next generation applications will take time, so companies will straddle different types of platforms over a period of 5, 10, and even as much as 30 years.
  • There is rapid growth in connected devices. As billions of different users start to use millions of different applications, how will your company’s platform expand and grow to accommodate this?
  • The market will likely double by 2020 as far as the number of IP-connected devices. It is important for companies to embrace new third platform applications between now and then.

Next Generation Applications [06:50]

Fathers also focuses on the percentage of focus companies should have on next-gen apps or that third party platform.

  • Currently next-gen applications make up about 13% that you are running in your company’s enterprise data center.
  • By 2020, it is expected that they will make up about 40% of usage.
  • At some point between now and 2020, your company will see a doubling of needed infrastructure capacity on average every 9 months.
  • “Unprecedented” increase in needed capacity, so it is impossible for companies to keep up with current practices. Public clouds are going to be the only way to handle this increased capacity need.

Where Is the Money Going? [11:59]

As the need for more capacity impacts businesses, the shift in how IT dollars are spent is likely to change.

IT services is a $3.7 trillion industry.

  • Currently, less than 1% of IT was spent on the cloud in 2013, so the industry is just starting to take off and has room for explosive growth.
  • The applications right now are spanning two worlds (in-house and cloud). Companies must begin to look at how to reduce operating costs of in-house and invest a bit more in the cloud as they make the transition as usage morphs to the third platform.

Challenges with Transitioning from Private to Public Cloud [17:21]

There are challenges to making the transition from a private cloud to a public cloud or any combination of using both platforms.

  • Public clouds may be incompatible with private clouds or with one another.
  • The public cloud may only work with newly developed apps and older models may not function on that platform.
  • There are separate management tools for the public versus the private cloud.
  • Some apps are only available in the public cloud.

Building a Public Cloud that Is Entirely Compatible [19:25]

To overcome some of the issues with transitioning from a private infrastructure to a hybrid (part cloud, part private) model, there are some key things that are necessary:

  • Tools that you are using to manage your private data center should be the same tools used to manage the public cloud. This allows current IT personnel to hit the ground running.
  • An environment that is friendly to both current applications and next-generation applications. You don’t want to suddenly stop supporting current applications, for example.
  • By finding common management ground, users only need to call one person instead of piggybacking between different IT professionals to try to solve a problem.

VMWare’s Public Cloud [21:58]

Keeping the challenges in mind of a hybrid cloud transition, Fathers explains that VMWare launched a public cloud in October of 2013. They solved the issues of compatibility, next-gen versus current second platform apps, and IT training issues.

  • They came up with a hybrid services catalog of computer network resources that are balanced and the same between the private and the public.
  • Offering managed services such as Virtual Desktop as a service that can be ran in-house or off-site.
  • Tools to move workload between on-site and the cloud.

A Seamless Transition

Utilizing the VMWare public cloud is a way for companies to begin the transition to a hybrid cloud without the stress usually involved in figuring out how to make data centers work together. The managed services fill the gap for areas where IT might still need training. As an added bonus, data backup can be automated on the cloud.

Hybrid cloud is the future of data infrastructure. Companies who begin the transition now will have the time to take on the higher capacity demands and get systems in place to serve customers seamlessly between private and public platforms.