Enter The Hybrid Cloud
I think there’s a huge opportunity (and need) for hybrid cloud management tools. Let me explain.
First of all, there is a great deal of intellectual property that is either highly sensitive and/or subject to regulatory controls. Actuarial data, R&D, medical records, big data analytics and more. Many organizations will not allow such profoundly sensitive data onto externally hosted infrastructure for several reasons. They are familiar with their own security protocols and governance and also in their ability to demonstrate compliance with auditors. For these reasons I think that a lot of organizations will choose to keep sensitive intellectual property in various private clouds (control) as opposed to public clouds.
But what about all the workloads which don’t share the same intellectual property concerns? Here the public cloud has two key advantages – one is that it has a lower per-unit cost structure due to “datacenters of scale”. Second, public clouds are more elastic. It will often be quicker to consume capacity on a hosted public cloud, than it would be to add capacity to a private cloud. A third benefit of public cloud would be a reduction in the datacenter operational burden on the IT department. Running a datacenter is expensive and challenging – why increase your internal operational burdens?
So it seems we have strong use cases for both private and public cloud. Enter the hybrid cloud. But now we have new challenges….
Having a different management portal for private and public clouds raises some new challenges. It’s not just having “single-pane-of-glass” visibility into the aggregated environment but how are you going to maintain consistent security and governance across your hybrid cloud? How are you going to be able to demonstrate and ensure compliance for HIPPA, PCI and many other auditable requirements? And if you’re doing chargeback, how do you effectively keep track of it all?
For these reasons and more, I think there is a huge opportunity in the future for hybrid cloud management tools. VirtuStream is once such vendor with their xStream offering and I’m sure there are others – as well as products under development right now.
What do you think? Are hybrid clouds going to become more common place and is there a strong need for cloud management tools which can transcend and manage across the elements in hybrid clouds? Any while we are on the topic what about multiple-hypervisors as well? Do we need some sort of reference architecture for cloud components in order to enable more effective management solutions?