By Kelvin Lim, Team Lead, Enterprise and Cloud Solutions, NetApp APAC
Cloud computing is evolving into mainstream IT. Many enterprises have established their own private cloud as well as subscribing to public cloud services. Enterprises are tapping onto the benefits of cloud computing to improve the agility of their IT services in response to business needs. However, in order to unleash more benefits from cloud computing, enterprises should consider setting up a hybrid cloud environment.
Hybrid cloud adoption is gaining momentum. According to a study done by Research and Market, the Hybrid Cloud market is expected to grow from $25.28 billion in 2014 to $84.67 billion by 2019, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 27.3% from 2014 to 2019.
There are several technical and operational considerations that need to be addressed prior to setting up a hybrid cloud. It is certainly not as simple as setting up a VPN between the private and public clouds and calling it a day. Setting up a meaningful hybrid cloud requires planning across multiple considerations. Some of these considerations include:
Networking – Considerations here includes bandwidth and latencies between clouds, replicating multi segment networks settings between clouds. Services will fail to launch if the network settings are not configured correctly in the clouds.
Hypervisors – Hypervisor format conversion is often required when moving virtual machines between clouds. Enterprises have to be aware of the resources, challenges and time required to convert between different hypervisor formats.
Bare metal servers – Most public cloud providers do not provide provisioning of bare metal servers. While it is possible to convert bare metal servers into virtualized machines, consideration must be made on the scalability, performance and size of these virtual machines in the public cloud.
Data – Data unlike compute has gravity. It takes time and considerable amount of bandwidth to move large data sets between clouds. Enterprises will need to explore solutions that provide them with high levels of data replication efficiency between clouds.
Security – This is a major area of concern for most enterprises when they embark on cloud computing. Setting up a hybrid cloud adds complexity to the equation. The attack landscape and operating environment of a hybrid cloud environment is larger than that of a traditional IT environment. There is a need to allocate more resources in securing the hybrid cloud.
System Management – Management of virtual systems across clouds can be gruesome. Although OpenStack seeks to address some of these challenges, amalgamating your private cloud OpenStack environment with a public cloud on OpenStack is not a walk in the park.
There are multiple solutions from different vendors on enabling hybrid cloud. Most of these solutions are only able to address the above considerations partially. Apart from selecting the best solutions, enterprises may also want to consider the choice between linking their private cloud to public clouds from managed service cloud providers or born-in-the-cloud service providers.
Data Fabric is NetApp’s vision for the future of data management. It gives you the freedom to seamlessly manage your data across the hybrid cloud. You can move data where you need it most, innovate faster, and always make the best decisions for you and your organization.