The Hybrid Cloud Is Unavoidable for EnterprisesMay 22, 2012 1 Comment
By David A. Kelly, Upside Research
In recent posts, I’ve discussed the various efforts by enterprise software vendors to offer cloud services. Initially they were based on private clouds, either internal for an enterprise or dedicated hosted. But, most recently I discussed HP’s public cloud offering, which takes cloud adoption to a new arena for the enterprise, one that many organizations are reluctant to enter – the public cloud space. In this article, I’d like to sketch out a resounding reality for future of cloud services in enterprise computing: there needs to be a combination of public and private cloud adoption.
What’s been happening behind the scenes at many organizations, even as management has touted support for private clouds and expressed reservations with public cloud, is that many developers within these organizations have been quietly utilizing public cloud for application development, and for good reasons. Public clouds have provided developers with a much faster way to obtain the needed resources to quickly build applications that the business needs, without getting bogged down in the requisition process for capital expenditures. And, since business is moving at the speed of light, the need to keep application updates and new versions coming fast and furious is quickly outpacing the traditional method of using in-house infrastructure.
So, what is a company to do? One approach gaining popularity is to embrace both public and private cloud services, since each has its own purpose within the larger IT ecosystem of an organization. Now, it is important to find a way to ensure that both pieces, public and private, work together in a hybrid arrangement. It will do no good to have two separate silos of applications and data, one on the private cloud, and one on the public cloud. In this ideal scenario of the hybrid cloud, the private cloud will be able to handle core business applications that are performance-sensitive (think customer database) and then leverage the public cloud for non-core applications and those that need to scale significantly (like mail or collaboration components).
From a development perspective, the idea of the hybrid cloud presents a number of potential challenges, and requires a fundamental shift in development approach to succeed. For example, if developers are not using an agile approach to development but a more traditional approach to deployment, it will be difficult to reconcile the two processes if the development occurs in the public cloud and then needs to be transferred to the private cloud for deployment. Therefore, organizations need to move toward a continuous integration approach to application development, deployment, and management.
To support this application development approach and leverage public and private cloud services, IT leaders need to create the policies and plans that will be necessary to manage and enforce corporate behavior as it relates to utilizing the cloud. Whether it is Amazon Web Services, Google Drive, or HP Cloud Services, the public cloud will become an integral part of an organization’s development fabric. The sooner IT reconciles this reality and creates the appropriate safeguards and processes, the better positioned the organization will be to benefit from the upside the hybrid cloud offers.Analyst Blog