Hybrid Cloud - What is it?
Contrary to what the marketers will tell you, the Cloud isn’t the solution to all of the IT problems of the world; in fact it has just added to the myriad of options and concerns for any organisation that uses IT and what organisation doesn’t these days?
In general, the IT Cloud is seen to be a big chunk of computing power storage and network access that an individual or organisations can pay to use, there are massive advantages to this:
You don’t have to invest in hardware and software up front.
It is Operational Expenditure (OpEx) vs a Capital Expenditure (CapEx) cost.
You only pay for what use compared to on-premise installations where you pay whether the hardware and software is being used or not.
It is highly elastic meaning that you can scale up to use much more power and storage when peaks in your business demand, and use (and pay) for less when things are quieter.
Hybrid Cloud Challenges - Some reasons for slow adoption
So why with all of these benefits has everyone not simply moved to the Cloud? There are a number of reasons why organisations are not embracing the Cloud regardless of the advantages it can bring. Some of these fears are real; others are a matter of perception:
- Where an organisation is running software on-premise, it is not simply a case of moving the application to the Cloud due to the number of legacy applications that are out there.
- Many organisations are worried about the security of the Cloud. This is more about perception than reality simply because all Cloud vendors have state of the art security and monitoring which is likely to surpass all but the most secure sites in the world.
However, possibly the key reason comes down an organisation’s data and the governance of that data. All countries (including the EU) are introducing stricter legislation about what organisations can do with data which brings in further challenges:
- There are strict rules around where the data must be physically located when it is ‘at rest’. In other words, there is legislation defining where the physical storage must reside. Many Cloud providers cannot guarantee where the data will physically be located.
- There are strict regulations about who can access what type of data and under what circumstances. Policies have been implemented over many years in organisations and rules set up to implement those policies which would be difficult and time consuming to replicate in the Cloud.
Hybrid Cloud - Costs
Backup and disaster recovery strategies around the data have been built up and tested over many years. Again replicating this in the Cloud would be expensive and time consuming. This is a benefit of Cloud - scaling and recovery.
Hybrid Cloud - Security
There is a massive fear of a data leak in the Cloud. While security in the Cloud is state of the art, it’s not normally the IT security implementation that is breached but processes around user ID's, passwords etc. enabling unauthorised individuals to get access. Ultimately there is a perception that it’s easier to protect the data when it is on-premise.
Whatever the perceived or real threats, many organisations simply will not consider moving all of their applications and data into the Cloud.
Splitting applications and data is one thing – but how do you cope with the latency at the application/data level?
Hybrid Cloud Solutions
And this is where one element of the Hybrid Cloud has come in. Much like hybrid cars, it’s a case of making the best of both worlds.
Ostia’s view of a Hybrid Cloud is where an organisation maintains its data in their on-premise IT infrastructure. A secure connection is then built to the data so that it can be used by applications from the Cloud. This has the dual advantage of allowing organisations to benefit from the ability to deploy applications in the Cloud satisfying their user demand while ensuring that they know where their data resides, that it continues to be secured by existing policies and that the backup and disaster recovery processes built up over the years will kick in should the worst happen. Essentially the Hybrid Cloud is the best of both worlds!
Ostia Can Help
Ostia can help you to build out a Hybrid Cloud as we are experts in setting up secured channels to your on premise data from the Cloud. Ostia’s preferred partner in this area is IBM’s SoftLayer Cloud infrastructure due to the close partnership we have developed with IBM in this area.