Hybrid Cloud models will predominate the computing landscape in the years to come. As the underlying technologies which make up the Cloud eco-system continue to develop and mature, integration between on-premise, private data-centers and public cloud deployment models will only accelerate.
A hybrid cloud uses multiple cloud services—any combination of public, private, community, and traditional IT (enterprise) datacenters. The trend is for private clouds to be a baseline for many organisations and eventually extended services to one or more public cloud XaaS [any IT artefact or everything as a Service] offerings to form a hybrid cloud.
Technically, when you connect one cloud to another cloud, or you connect to legacy datacenters and applications, you then have a hybrid cloud.
Industry and early cloud adopters have learned that it is wise to implement a cloud management system with embedded hybrid capabilities to integrate multiple cloud providers and legacy customer IT assets. The cloud management system is the centralised ordering, automation, and reporting engine that integrates each cloud service, integrated module, or application.
As customers push the limits of what a public cloud is able to offer, or implement a private cloud, the immediate needs often fit within the combined features of both. In the real world, even the newest private cloud customers just starting out can already see potential uses for a hybrid cloud; they just aren’t ready for it yet. Although public and private clouds are the dominant models deployed today, expect to see hybrid clouds become the norm. Hybrid clouds will become so commonplace across most organizations and datacenters that the terms private and hybrid cloud might disappear in the future.
Motivations to implement a hybrid cloud are numerous; primarily, customer organisations might fit within one cloud model (public, private, or community) initially, but future needs to extend their cloud, service, integration, or data sharing with third parties force expansion into a hybrid cloud deployment. Rather than individual management and operations of multiple cloud providers, it is preferable to use a single cloud management system to manage or broker between cloud providers, retaining only one platform to manage all financial, ordering, procurement, automation, workflow, security, governance, and operations in your cloud deployment.
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Once a hybrid cloud service is deployed, the ability to take advantage of the best of breed software applications and XaaS cloud providers is increased, but management of the overall cloud solution is still crucial. Although a customer can purchase cloud services from multiple cloud providers—one hosting a public cloud service, another a private one—purchasing multiple services from different cloud providers requires managing each cloud provider separately. You would use each cloud provider’s management portal for ordering, billing, reporting, and so on—multiplied by the total number of cloud providers to which you have subscribed.
A hybrid cloud management solution is unique in that all cloud services across any number of cloud providers are all managed through a single management portal. All ordering, billing, reporting, and cloud operations are managed through the centralised hybrid cloud management platform. The level of development and multi-provider integration to create a unified hybrid or cloud broker platform is significant, and it is highly recommended that no individual customer try to develop a system internally.