Hybrid–The New Normal

From Cars to Clouds, The Hybrids are Here

Most of us are hybrids.  I’m Hawaiian and Portuguese with a bit of English and old time Shogun.  The mix is me.  I bet you probably have some mix from your parents which makes you a hybrid.  The U.S. has been called the melting pot due to all the different ethnicities that live here.  I’ve got hybrid seeds for planting – my grass is a hybrid that contains 90% of the fescue and 10% bluegrass so bare spots grow back and also got some hybrid corn growing.  With the drought this year, some farmers are using more drought resistant hybrid crops.  There are hybrid cats, hybrid bicycles and of course, hybrid cars which has a 3% market share according to hybridcars.com.  My favorite has always been SNL’s Shimmer Floor Wax – A Floor Wax and a Dessert Topping!  Hybrid is the new normal.

Hybrid has even made it’s way into our IT terminology with hybrid cloud and hybrid infrastructures.  There are Public Clouds, those cloud services that are available to the general public over the internet; Private (Internal or Corporate) Clouds, which provides cloud hosted services to an authorized group of people in a secure environment; Hybrid Clouds, which is a combo of at least one public cloud and one private cloud; and, what I think will become the norm, a Hybrid Infrastructure or Hybrid IT, where there is a full mix of in-house corporate resources, dedicated servers, virtual servers, cloud services and possibly leased raised floor – resources are located anywhere data can live, but not necessarily all-cloud. 

This past June, North Bridge Venture Partners announced the results of its second annual Future of Cloud Computing Survey which noted that companies are growing their trust in cloud solutions, with 50% of respondents confident that cloud solutions are viable for mission critical business applications.  At the same time, scalability remains the top reason for adopting the cloud, with 57% of companies identifying it as the most important driver for cloud adoption.  Business agility ranked second, with 54% of respondents focused on agility.  They also noted that cloud users are changing their view with regard to public vs. hybrid cloud platforms.  Today, 40% of respondents’ are deploying public cloud strategies, with 36 percent emphasizing a hybrid approach and within five years, hybrid clouds will be the emphasis of 52% of respondents’ cloud strategies.  Most respondents (53%) believe that cloud computing maintains a lower TCO and creates a less complex IT.

Earlier this year, CIO.com ran a story called, Forget Public Cloud or Private Cloud, It's All About Hyper-Hybrid, where they discussed that as more organizations adopt cloud services, both public and private, for mission critical business operations, connecting,  integrating and orchestrating the data back to the core of the business is critical but a challenge.  It’s no longer about cloud but it’s about clouds.  Multiple cloud services that must link back to the core and to each other.  Even when organizations that are cloud heavy, IT shops need to keep up the on-premise side as well, since it's not likely to go anywhere soon.  They offer 5 attributes that, if relevant to a business problem, the cloud is a potential fit: Predictable pricing, Ubiquitous network access, Resource pooling & location independence, Self-service and Elasticity of supply.

If you are heading in the Hybrid direction, then take a look at BCW’s article from April this year called, Hybrid Cloud Adoption Issues Are A Case In Point For The Need For Industry Regulation Of Cloud Computing.  They discuss that the single most pressing issue with hybrid cloud is that it is never really yours which obviously leads to security concerns.  Even when a ‘private cloud’ is hosted by a third party, 100% control is still impossible since an organizations is still relying on ‘others’ for certain logistics.  Plus, interoperability is not guaranteed.  So a true hybrid is actually hard to achieve with security and interoperability issues still a concern.  The fix?  Vladimir Getov suggests a regulatory framework that would allow cloud subscribers to undergo a risk assessment prior to data migration, helping to make service providers accountable and provide transparency and assurance.  He also mentions the IEEE's Cloud Computing Initiative with the goal of creating some cloud standards.  He states that a global consensus on regulation and standards will increase trust and lower the risk to organizations when precious data is in someone else’s hands.  The true benefits of the cloud will then be realized.



    Published Sep 18, 2012
    Version 1.0

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