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Are hybrid clouds the best of both worlds?

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This article at Venture Beat, Are hybrid clouds the path to cloud-computing nirvana? states that a hybrid cloud is a best-of-both-worlds mix, where businesses use private clouds for their most important computing tasks and public clouds for occasional peaks of demand or less-sensitive tasks.  Do you agree?

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  • "Odds are that the public cloud will be the infrastructure that inevitably wins out... But hybrid clouds could win in the short-term". I agree with the conclusion of the article.

  • Hybrid clouds are the inevitable future. In this context, CIOs are able to dynamically allocate demand against a diverse portfolio of internal and external compute, platform and application options to optimize for price, policy or performance. This model enables CIOs to emerge as (to borrow Forrester analyst Stefan Ried's words) a "sourcing integrator." To enable this future, application workloads must become portable across environments. Once workloads become a liquid commodity, CIOs gain leverage over service providers, who are forced to innovate to compete. Hybrid cloud is the future of IT and a very good thing for the economics of IT in general.

  • Anyone who suggests otherwise need only examine existing large data centers in which COBOL applications written in the late 1960s / early 1970s are not only still running, but actively upgraded and expanded. These have been augmented with new client access methods and integrated with modern applications but remain a cornerstone in many organizations.

    Some workloads are well-suited and in fact will be more efficient from both an operational and financial perspective in a public cloud computing environment and others will need to remain (for various reasons) in the data center. Thus, a hybrid cloud computing model is the only logical conclusion despite the rainbow and unicorn scenarios in which "public cloud" replaces data centers.

  • Jake and Lori are probably right in most typical corporate environments, that hybrid Cloud deployments will be prevalent, for mission critical applications. But I think to a large extent you have to look at this from the perspective of the stage of evolution of the company in question.

    If you are a 30 year old, even 10 year old company, where you have to support existing products/applications and already own a lot of infrastructure assets, then yes, hybrid cloud deployment strategies make sense.

    However, if you're a start-up you're likely going to begin in the public cloud and stay there. Unless you become so large that the economics of "renting" don't work anymore and then you can build your own mega data-center like Facebook did this year. But how many companies will approach that level of scale? Precious few.

  • I think everyone on the thread gets it, essentially what we are talking about here is something similar to the economic concept of the "catch-up effect," but rather than talking about established economies vs. emerging economies, we are talking about established IT infrastructure vs. emerging IT infrastructure. Use the telecommunications infrastructures of the United States and China as an example...the U.S. isn't going to tear out its copper-based local loop infrastructure overnight just because there is superior wireless technology now available; on the other hand, China isn't going to build out their infrastructure using legacy technology, they're going to start with the latest and greatest as they grow their footprint. Tie this to what Glenn said and it's conceptually the same thing...the Fortune 500 isn't going to just throw the baby out with the bathwater and adopt the cloud overnight, it will happen gradually as cloud technology becomes more viable. On the other hand, a startup isn't going to invest in data centers, servers, software, and databases when superior options exist in the cloud. Eventually we will reach some level of equilibrium / convergence, but it will happen over time, which necessitates the hybrid approach.

  • Yes, everyone will be deploying a mix of cloud solutions in the future. And while I agree generally with the views above, I also think that the widening array of cloud deployment options is an important aspect of its appeal. In fact, I think that cloud functionality will become even more flexible, with a growing assortment of solutions that will be deployable behind the firewall and in public clouds.

  • Cloud computing, public, private and virtual private. If I call any combination of those Hybrid, it should be a best-of-all-worlds mix, not just both.

    I agree with Glenn. As one of very small businesses, I now mostly depend upon Google and Amazon, (a bit use partner company's salesforce.com) and intend to stay there.

    From the very beginning of any computing, we have written programs because we needed outputs, not because we wanted to own computing resources. Hence in a long run, I suppose more people move to public cloud computing and/or virtual private could computing.

    Security: as one of modern economy's victims, I have 99% of my assets off sites, somewhere in financial institutions. Hence, except military data centers, most private sectors have better chances protecting their information from physical and logical attacks, accidents and/or disasters with cloud computing, I suppose. Or I hope.

  • Wholeheartedly agree on a strategy that incorporates a mix of public and private as this would allow companies to test the cloud themselves and find out how and where they can get the most benefit.

    Still, apart from hybrid being a 'best of both worlds' perspective, the idea that this may also be referred to as a 'transition' phase towards majority or full public cloud use seems a real possibility. How much time it will take - depending on a lot of factors, is anybody's guess.

  • Mixing on-premise and public cloud sounds like getting the best of both worlds. But to be able to choose most companies should be prepared to do a lot of work. Convoluted enterprise architecture is one of the major showstoppers of cloud computing: The top 3 showstoppers of cloud computing – and an unexpected one

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