A hybrid cloud is an infrastructure that includes links between one cloud managed by the user (typically called “private cloud”) and at least one cloud managed by a third party (typically called “public cloud”). Although the public and private segments of the hybrid cloud are bound together, they remain unique entities. This allows a hybrid cloud to offer the benefits of multiple deployment models at once. Hybrid clouds vary greatly in sophistication. For example, some hybrid clouds offer only a connection between the on premise and public clouds. All the difficulties inherent in the two different infrastructures is the responsibility of operations and application teams.
Be Sure to Check Out: Private PaaS Enables the Hybrid Cloud Era
Most hybrid cloud articles, pundits, and specialists are focused on the infrastructure. However, Enterprise PaaS provides some of the most essential pieces of a hybrid cloud:
- Abstraction Layer for Applications – When avoidable, apps should not have infrastructure dependence. Linux and Windows containers are the primary means of abstracting infrastructure from applications. The Enterprise PaaS can also be designed to reduce or eliminate API for platform usage. When there is no API usage combined with third party container standards such as Docker and Rocket, applications will also have technological portability from the PaaS.
- Policy-Driven Deployment – Organizations need to be able to programmatically deploy workloads based on policy. Some workloads will be deployed into public cloud based upon risk profile and development stage while others will be deployed internally. The application may also move back and forth depending on the desired outcomes. For example, an organization might elect to use a public cloud service for its archived data, but keep the maintenance of its operational customer data in-house.
- Policy-Driven Service Catalog – Some developers should have on-demand access to multiple cloud services—e.g., data warehousing and Hadoop—from the chosen public cloud providers and internal operations. That access should be granted to specific development teams in a self-service catalog.
- Existing and New Application / Microservices Support – The new environment should not be exclusive of new greenfield operations and applications but should not exclude them either. Existing applications can and should take advantage of the scalability, elasticity, and other defining characteristics of the cloud. New applications with advanced cloud features should be easier to build. Bootstrap policies and other platform features should help create smart end points that can use dumb pipes, the primary goal of microservices
The idea behind hybrid cloud is that businesses can use it to take advantage of the scalability and cost-effectiveness offered by the public cloud computing environment without exposing mission-critical applications and data to the vulnerabilities associated with the public cloud option. In addition, the hybrid cloud model creates what is often the best and most efficient solution because different types of data can be moved onto whatever platform provides the most efficient and secure environment.
A hybrid cloud is typically created in one of two ways: either a vendor with an existing private cloud solution forms a partnership with a public cloud provider, or a public cloud provider forms a partnership with a vendor that provides private cloud platforms.
Many organizations can reap significant benefits from the hybrid cloud option. For example, a company that wants to use a SaaS application but is concerned about security risks can have a third-party vendor, such as Apprenda, create a private cloud for the company inside its firewall. Or a company that offers services tailored for different vertical markets can opt to use a public cloud to interact with its clients, but keep its data in the secure environment of a private cloud.