Hybrid clouds: the best of both worlds
There are several compelling reasons that companies are increasingly viewing hybrid cloud solutions — constructs that couple multiple components such as private resources and public cloud services — as their target end state, rather than merely an interim step towards running all applications in the public cloud. Although there are a number of variations of hybrid architectures, they offer numerous advantages over a forced choice of one or the other. These advantages can include lower total cost, enhanced performance, greater availability and resiliency, reduced time to market and time to volume, enhanced user experience, and increased flexibility.
There are several main options available for running applications:
Legacy architectures such as mainframe environments; special-purpose technologies such as high-performance computing and quantum computers; modern architectures running on dedicated, siloed resources in an enterprise data centre or colocation facility, on private clouds in an enterprise data centre or in a colocation facility; managed services; bare metal; virtual private clouds, and public clouds.
Although some take issue with the term “private cloud,” it is not the term that matters as much as the notion of a computing environment that can accelerate provisioning and dynamically allocate resources among workloads that vary in size, thereby achieving higher utilisation and reduced costs.
From an economic perspective, the salient differences between computing options are illustrated by one extreme of owned, dedicated resources that incur a fixed cost regardless of whether they are used, and shared pay-per-use resources that incur a variable cost as they are used. Capital expenditures vs. operating expenses are often mentioned, but fixed resources can be leased and incur operating expenses, and some reserved instances have reportedly been capitalised, so that distinction is imprecise.
Joe Weinman is the author of Cloudonomics: The Business Value of Cloud Computing