The Importance Of Hybrid And Why It Matters
Which cloud is best for you? Private, public, managed or hybrid? Every month, more and more companies make the decision to move to the cloud, but they soon discover that a range of choices awaits. The cloud is not one single entity, after all. The term refers to technology that primarily specializes in holding and processing data in a space that is physically separate from a company’s place of business, but that does not mean there is just one cloud, or even one type of cloud.
There are four key types of cloud setups: private, public, managed and hybrid, and the first two of these might seem self-explanatory: private cloud refers to an infrastructure operated and run for the benefit of one single company or organization, with its operation being handled either by the company itself, or by a third-party. Public cloud uses a network that is available for public use and accessible only via the Internet, as opposed to private and direct. Managed cloud refers to services offered to manage and maintain the underlying technology to run cloud services.
These three types each have their benefits and drawbacks, for example, private cloud gives a company complete control, but is costly to maintain. Public clouds are easily and quickly accessible, and represent cost savings through offloaded maintenance and scalability responsibilities, but it is important to keep an eye on security and reliability. Managed cloud provides a company with extra support for managing cloud infrastructure, but at the same time the company is giving up control.
But there is a fourth option, called hybrid cloud. This happens when two or more cloud systems, private or public, including clouds managed by different service providers, are connected. They remain unique, but can access additional resources on an as-needed basis.
Why would anyone need hybrid cloud? Some companies might wish to store confidential data on their own private cloud application, while using the dynamic and cost-efficient nature of public cloud for billing and enterprise resource planning. They can also turn to public cloud resources when their own capacity is exceeded temporarily, essentially “spilling over” into the available space of a public cloud for any period from mere seconds through to weeks or months, but only as long as needed, thus reducing excess costs to a dynamic, “on-demand” model.
A hybrid cloud platform, then, allows a company to enjoy the best of both worlds: privacy and control as well as dynamic, unlimited use. As Steven Dietch, Vice-President, HP Cloud explains, “enterprises are moving to the cloud at a rapid rate to gain benefits around agility, cost effectiveness and faster time to market. As they do this, they are faced with the reality that it’s a hybrid world, consisting of a mix of traditional IT, public, private and virtual private clouds.”
Dietch explains how organizations face specific challenges around complexity, security and governance and interoperability, and as such they need a common management and user experience to deliver a holistic view with centralized control, common security and governance across all of IT, safe storage of data, and access to experts who can help them determine the right cloud strategy for their current and future needs. Also, with data spread across clouds, the issue of data sovereignty and access control rules is a concern.
One of the key issues that Dietch points out is that customers need not purchase a one-size fits all approach. “Organizations must consider where they are today and where they want to go in the future, and as such, they should seek out a partner who can offer customizable solutions, whether it be a public cloud, private cloud, managed cloud, traditional IT or a hybrid combination, and one that offers interoperable solutions, based on open standards, providing flexibility to tailor their workloads and make them portable between providers.”
In other words, flexibility is the key, which is why he believes the comprehensive set of cloud building blocks offered by HP, and known as a cloud ‘stack’, gives customers the greatest value in terms of current and future needs.
Recently, financial services giant GE Capital embarked on a journey to drive IT simplification by embracing cloud solutions based on OpenStack. HP provided a strategic cloud transformation roadmap to help address critical areas of technology investment to accelerate GE Capital’s modernization and overall cost reduction, as well as to improve financial regulatory compliance and end user experience. GE Capital partnered with HP based on its private and hybrid cloud capabilities, and sought to leverage HP’s Converged Infrastructure and cloud offerings.
Also, at HP’s recent Global Partner Conference, HP announced new programs, training and dedicated resources to HP cloud partners to support their delivery of hybrid cloud to end customers. HP’s cloud partners can help customers on their cloud journey to identify and implement the best cloud set-ups from private cloud to public cloud to managed cloud to hybrid delivery. To find the HP cloud partner that is right for you, check out HP Cloud Partner Solution Navigator.
Over the coming weeks, HP and CloudTweaks will present additional articles relating to hybrid cloud and its value to companies large and small. More information about HP Cloud can be found at hp.com/cloud
By Steve Prentice
Series Sponsored By HP Cloud
Steve is an acclaimed author and professional speaker who delivers timely, relevant, entertaining and informative keynotes dealing with technology, people and productivity in the workplace. As a mentor, he works with executives in one-on-one discussions, delivering answers and guidance to issues dealing with technology, personal time management and other practical skills. In addition, Steve is also a technology writer and consultant for CloudTweaks Media.