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April 14, 2015

Implementing a Hybrid Cloud Strategy

Paper: A view on how to achieve the benefits of hybrid cloud

By James Nunns

IT has long debated the merits of public and private cloud. Public clouds allow organizations to gain capacity and scale services on-demand, while private clouds allow companies to maintain control and visibility of business-critical applications. But there is one cloud model that stands apart: hybrid cloud.

Hybrid clouds provide the best of both worlds: secure, on-demand access to IT resources with the flexibility to move workloads onsite or offsite to meet specific needs. It’s the security you need in your private cloud with the scalability and reach of your public cloud. Hybrid cloud implementations should be versatile, easy to use, and interoperable. Interoperability allows the same people to manage both onsite and offsite resources while leveraging existing processes and tools and lowering the operational expenditure and complexity.

Customers have acknowledged the following five key use cases for a hybrid cloud implementation.

Development and Testing
Hybrid cloud provides businesses with the flexibility to gain needed capacity for limited time periods without making capital investments for additional infrastructure.

Extending Existing Applications
With hybrid cloud, businesses can extend current standard applications to the cloud to meet the needs of rapid growth or free up onsite resources for more business-critical projects.

Disaster Recovery
Every organization fears an outage, or outright loss, of business-critical information. While onsite disaster recovery solutions can be expensive, preventing businesses from adopting the protection plans they need, a hybrid cloud can offer an affordable disaster recovery solution with flexible commitments, capacity, and cost.

Web and Mobile Apps
Hybrid cloud is ideal for cloud-native and mobile applications that are data-intensive and tend to need the elasticity to scale with sudden or unpredictable traffic spikes. With hybrid cloud, organizations can keep sensitive data onsite and maintain existing IT policies to meet the application’s security and compliance requirements.

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Development Operations
As developers and operations teams work closer together to increase the rate of delivery and quality of deployed software, a hybrid cloud allows them to not only blur the lines between the roles, but between Dev/Test and production, and between onsite and offsite placement of workloads.

The Conceptual Architecture
There are two main types of consumers of the service, namely the developers and application owners. Both will be capable of defining their requirements when they request resources. The outcome in this scenario is one, or multiple, virtual machine(s) deployed in the location determined suitable for running these workloads by the policy engine and automation layer and, more importantly, also configured to the needs of the consumer. This includes things like the approval process, management, retirement and archival of requested services.

Creating this seamless hybrid cloud experience requires some fundamental components, including a common management and orchestration platform, unified networking, a common security model, and one place to call for support.

This means an organization can remain in control using all the same procedures and tools they already know, and the key stakeholders can get to the cloud faster without having to re-architect the application.

The Networking Infrastructure
The underlying network infrastructure is required for cross-site communications. The workloads that are provisioned off-premises must be able to communicate to the on-premises infrastructure services. To achieve this, a site-to-site VPN tunnel between two gateways is configured.

The Compute Resources
Once the on- and off-premises clouds are connected and traffic is able to flow back and forth between these clouds, it is time to organize the compute resources within.

This hybrid approach avoids the need to have idle excessive capacity on-premises as additional capacity can easily be procured when needed. New projects can be supported on-demand while providing a single place for developers and application owners to request resources. This approach lowers capital expenditure but also operational expenditure and provides business agility by allowing organizations to scale out applications at times of need and scale back when applicable.


This is an extract from a Vmware Whitepaper Implementing a Hybrid Cloud Strategy

Authors: Authors:
Hany Michael, Lead Architect SEMEA Professional Services Organization at VMware, CTO Ambassador.
David Hill, Senior Technical Marketing Architect at VMware, Cloud Services Business Unit.
Duncan Epping, Chief Technologist at VMware, CTO

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