The Hybrid Cloud Challenge
Here is a definition of Hybrid Cloud from Azure (Microsoft):
A hybrid cloud is a computing environment which combines a public cloud and a private cloud by allowing data and applications to be shared between them. When computing and processing demand fluctuates, hybrid cloud computing gives businesses the ability to seamlessly scale their on-premises infrastructure up to the public cloud to handle any overflow – without giving third-party datacenters access to the entirety of their data.
Organisations gain the flexibility and computing power of the public cloud for basic and non-sensitive computing tasks, while keeping business-critical applications and data on-premises, safely behind a company firewall.
Click here to learn how to build a hybrid or multi cloud management interface.
Note that the stress in the above definition has been on 1. Scalability and 2. Flexibility. Both lofty goals and once achieved, should deliver immense levels of IT savings. However, achieving that goal is not so straight forward. It has several implementation challenges. Let us enumerate the more important ones here:
- The first challenge is to somehow get an overall view of the Hybrid Environmentfrom a single integrated interface so that the IT resources on the various partcipating clouds and hypervisors can be managed from a single central interface.
- Then, there needs to be a central interface that could work as a IT Vending machine where the consumers of the Hybrid Cloud services could provision resources that they need. (Note that this is related to 1 above, but, while 1 is from the perspective of the administrators, 2 is more geared towards the DevOps users who are the consumers of the hybrid cloud’s services).
- However, when we somehow implement 1 and 2, the next challenge is of access control and security. Once DevOps users have ability to self provision their required IT resources, restrictions need to be in place on who can do what with which resources etc.
- Finally, to be able to gain the full benefits of Hybridization of virtual IT resources, application portability between the clouds and hypervisors is of paramount importance. There needs to be a way to somehow define the IT infrastructure necessary for an application in a cloud agnostic template (e.g. TOSCA) and then a deployment tool that could interpret such a template and do a best fit deployment to any of the participating clouds/hypervisors.