Although enterprises are increasingly tapping into public, private and hybrid cloud resources, they’re not always on the same page – internally, or with one another.
The 2016 “RightScale State of the Cloud Report” found that 71 percent of organizations are using hybrid cloud in some capacity, but their definitions of a hybrid approach don’t always line up. This “cloudy” definition of the cloud itself can become a serious problem when companies try to replicate, scale or advance hybrid cloud resources.
Recently, Moor Insights & Strategy Senior Analyst John Fruehe discussed this lack of standards for the hybrid cloud space in Forbes. Fruehe noted how most top-tier IT vendors now package and sell a hybrid approach, but “like potato salad recipes, no two are alike.” Fruehe explains:
“Today ‘hybrid cloud’ is becoming ‘hybrid cloud environment,’ a strategy where businesses might be running applications in different environments, with multiple cloud vendors, both public and private. Data and resources are shared across multiple domains (and providers), but each element only lives in one domain.”
Since no two organizations manage the same data, their hybrid cloud needs are bound to be different. Factors like latency, security, industry regulations and others sometimes require organizations to use an edge computing model, or otherwise tweak the way data and compute resources are managed and stored. Service providers often enter the frame to take responsibility for such distribution and management processes. Regardless of the definition each organization uses to describe its hybrid cloud strategy, the goals are usually simple:
- Prioritizing data access, security, performance and mobility; and
- Allowing companies to access data, no matter where it lives, as if the information were kept on premises.
As more organizations continue to adopt hybrid cloud at a rapid rate, the definition of “hybrid” will continue to change. Fruehe makes the case that a common framework for hybrid cloud would help companies and service providers streamline their work with cloud hosts, brokers and technology vendors, especially for use cases like moving apps between clouds. Whether or not such a framework comes to fruition, service providers should continue to prioritize the above goals in order to support customers and deliver the cloud’s central promises: efficiency and flexibility.
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