Cloud computing and its delivery models have been transforming diverse workloads in almost every type of enterprise. Among the three cloud hosting models including private, public, and hybrid clouds, most interesting option is hybrid cloud and is perceived as the future of IT infrastructure.
In spite of its compelling advantages, hybrid cloud continues to pose a multitude of challenges that need to be overcome while supporting or designing hybrid cloud architectures. This essentially applies to merging private and public cloud environments that are designed for application delivery.
Although, the principal objective of hybrid cloud solution is to reliably deliver data and applications, there can be several hurdles due to difference in support, design, and management of diverse cloud environments. Supporting two radically different cloud architectures can be an overwhelming task even for the most seasoned IT professionals.There are multiple issues involved in integration of the two different clouds for building a homogeneous application delivery system.
Multitasking applications of hybrid cloud
It is observed that hybrid cloud infrastructure is leveraged for execution of more than one use cases. Usually the first use case involves cloud bursting. It facilitates instant resource provisioning by addition of temporary resources in public cloud environment. Ability to offer cloud bursting can be attributed to the property of cloud elasticity.
In the second use case, which is known as cloud first, any new application is put on public cloud as soon as the same is developed. This is due to flexibility and scalability of public cloud infrastructure. Moreover, the cloud resource can be made available instantly in response to the demand. Deployment of a newly developed application is extremely easy in public cloud environment instead of building the entire array of components from the very beginning.
No two private clouds are identically built
Perpetual evolution of conventional IT infrastructures leads to development of private cloud. Since every single organization has its own set of workloads and distinct IT infrastructures, it is virtually impossible to come across two similar private clouds.
Private clouds are tailor-made creations since these are custom designed for catering to individual enterprise’s requirements. Thanks to amalgamation of application delivery and virtualization technologies, organizations can avail exclusive and efficient application delivery solutions that can be used to construct fully managed IT infrastructures. Private clouds are customized according to the organizational needs vendor oriented technologies, and preferences of IT infrastructures.
In contrast, public cloud solutions are off-the-shelf resources with pre-designed components. These are offered in an environment that hast to be incorporated and accepted into IT architecture of the enterprise. Public clouds also differ from private cloud in terms of technologies since many technologies that are adopted by private cloud architectures may not be accessible in public clouds.
It must be remembered that the limitations of public cloud can prove to be major roadblocks while leveraging benefits of flexibility as well as elasticity of public clouds. One cannot easily obviate the need for operational complexity while designing unified hybrid cloud architecture by blending the components of public cloud with private cloud.
Unification of diverse components can be achieved to some extent by utilizing advanced APIs and tools to orchestrate integration of diverse cloud architectures. However, since these tools are in their initial stage there is still a lot to be achieved for unification of diverse technologies and integration of different technology stacks.
Challenges of creating a unified cloud
Integration of on-site solution in terms of its processes with an outsourced solution that leverages same platform is a common scenario in many enterprises. However, the unique challenges and complexities of integrating private and public cloud solutions pose daunting challenges.
Therefore although it is possible to have separate existence of private and public cloud in an organization, the integration of both solutions into a unified hybrid cloud appears to be impossible. Therefore, organizations prefer to continue with present status of having the two individual clouds for catering to their diverse demands.
There are few tools being developed such as SDN, NFW, Openstack that hold the promise of integrating private and public cloud seamlessly in near future, if not now. The major hurdles between integration of public and private cloud can be listed as different management levels, diversity in ownership of components, and radically different technologies to name a few.
Whenever new applications are being developed, organizations need to establish the appropriateness of cloud model for delivery of the same. Generally, a decision to select a cloud model should be based on requirements of security, scalability, availability, and reliability among others.
If the application is going to be used for handling mission critical workloads and needs to work in a highly secure environment, then the enterprise needs to use private cloud for delivering required criteria. Success of the IT architecture in any business relies on understanding every application’s profile and evaluating pros and cons of using different applications in private or public environments.