The hybrid cloud model is sometimes viewed as a transitional phase – a necessary precursor to a new world of 100% cloud-based IT. However, it’s more likely that hybrid cloud is the new world, and that it’s here to stay.
For one thing, it simply makes better sense to run certain workloads on-premises instead of in public clouds. Some industries have stringent security and compliance requirements that are easier to meet with on-premises systems.
While public cloud services are typically very scalable and affordable, they can be limited in terms of compatibility with legacy applications or security compliance requirements. Furthermore, a substantial percentage of cloud services are deployed specifically to extend, supplement, or enhance existing on-premise infrastructure.
Still, most organizations don’t have the resources to maintain an on-premises infrastructure that can handle all of their operations, especially if they need to quickly scale up or down to accommodate dynamic workloads. Rather than incurring the expense of setting up and securing a private cloud, it makes more sense for most organizations to combine on-premises systems with public cloud services to create hybrid cloud environments.
Public Cloud Vendors Get in the Hybrid Cloud Act
Major public cloud vendors such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) are betting on hybrid cloud to become the new normal as well, and have made major moves enabling them to also deliver their cloud-native services on-premises through Outposts, Stack, and Anthos respectively.
While hybrid cloud deployments offer the best of both worlds, they can be very complex to manage. IT departments will be continually challenged to ensure private, public and on-premises systems play well together. Enabling this requires two capabilities: comprehensive monitoring and visibility into all relevant systems, along with the scheduling and orchestration of automated tasks across them.
Seamless Hybrid Cloud Visibility
In hybrid cloud environments, it’s no longer practical – or often even possible – to leverage each cloud provider’s built-in visibility tools. These tools were designed for each provider’s own cloud infrastructure. You cannot, for example, use AWS CloudWatch to monitor GCP’s network statistics and/or your own on-premises datacenters. But relying on different dashboards and interfaces for visibility into separate clouds in a hybrid environment is inefficient and by definition incomplete.
Seamless, unified visibility enables modern IT leaders to monitor and collect data from all on-premises and public cloud systems and display them on a single pane of glass. The ability to seamlessly view all of your clouds and on-premises systems from one place, with a common system for metrics and reporting, makes governance in hybrid cloud environments significantly easier.
Orchestration for a Hybrid Cloud World
IT teams today must manage hundreds or even thousands of applications and servers. Doing so manually is not feasible, so it is important to automate as many tasks and processes as possible.
As we’ve written before, cloud orchestration coordinates a whole set of lower-level automations. It is essentially the automation of automations – scheduling automated tasks and integrating them between complex distributed systems and services. Orchestration tools expedite resource deployment in automated environments.
Orchestration also connects automated tasks to create a cohesive workflow across all cloud and on-premises systems. You can – and should – use orchestration to ensure activities such as auto-scaling happen in the right order, and for everything associated with cloud provisioning. Orchestration tools should also be “intelligent”–that is, capable of determining the best cloud or resource for any given situation, while also ensuring that permissions are managed consistently and proper security and compliance is maintained.
Strike The Perfect Balance for Hybrid Cloud
Hybrid cloud is fast becoming the preferred approach to enterprise infrastructure. According to 451 Research, nearly 70% of enterprise workloads will be in hybrid environments in 2020.
It is crucial for organizations to be able to manage multiple cloud and on-premises environments securely and in compliance with all relevant regulations. This means having comprehensive governance in place. At the same time, maintaining this level of control cannot come at the expense of the agility and cost savings that hybrid cloud promises in the first place.
By combining seamless visibility and orchestration of automated tasks and processes across all of your clouds and on-premises systems, you can strike the perfect balance of control and security with agility and cost-savings.