Heading for a hybrid cloud? Here’s what you need to know

A recent report from Gartner claimed that half of large enterprises will be using hybrid cloud computing, a combination of external cloud computing and in-house management, by 2017.

The report from Gartner, covered here (http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240206459/Half-of-large-enterprises-will-have-hybrid-cloud-by-2017-says-Gartner) by Computer Weekly, says that enterprises are looking for the combination of public cloud scalability and other benefits and the security offered by running a private data centre.

Adoption of hybrid cloud computing is at the same level as private cloud was three years ago, and that will continue to rise and the technology continues to mature. This means that by 2017 50% of large businesses will be using hybrid cloud computing.

It’s a trend we’re seeing at F5. Customers want the benefits of externally-provided cloud computing, such as increased scalability and reduced costs, without compromising on security. The fear of handing over mission-critical data and applications to a third party is still present, and is also totally understandable.

However it is important to ensure that your public cloud, whoever it is provided by, is fully integrated with your private cloud. Otherwise a business is left with two separate entities and the benefits of running both will be missed.

Integration can help with traffic balancing, for example. Something like F5’s BIG-IP platform can dynamically route traffic to a public cloud if demand on a private cloud is too high. It’s a seamless process that users will not even notice, but it ensures the business keeps on running.

It is also vital to ensure that the management of your private cloud is integrated with the management of your public cloud. After all, if the public cloud is seen as an extension of your data centre it makes sense to manage the applications and services that they deliver in the same way. Your applications may now be handled beyond the physical boundaries of your organisation but that doesn’t mean they should be managed any differently.

Integration will help you manage your private and public cloud as one single entity, which will vastly simplify matters. It will also help if part of your cloud deployment should ever go down; the process of switching to a backup will be quicker and easier if public and private are integrated.

With data and applications moving from device to device and from a private cloud to a public one, it is vital that policies, particularly security policies, are enforced across the entire business. Access control can and should be consolidated at the application delivery tier. This means policies covering the location of the user, what device they’re using and what data they’re accessing are uniform across the business and in both private and public cloud environments.

Ultimately hybrid cloud computing presents the best of both worlds: the scalability and cost-effectiveness of a public cloud coupled with the security of a private cloud deployment. To get the best out of a hybrid environment it is vital to ensure that your public cloud is managed in just the same way as your private cloud.  Read more here.


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Published Nov 11, 2013
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