There have been a multitude of hybrid cloud news announcements so far this year, many confusing readers by blurring the lines between public and private clouds, yet still not addressing the challenge of hybrid cloud automation and the importance of synergy.
Without hybrid cloud automation there is minimal synergy between clouds. Let me illustrate the point with two illustrations:
Illustration 1: The Hybrid Cloud Operating Model
The blue shading conveys the seamless integration and management off all environments and locations, including public and private cloud. There is no lock-in between public and private, no virtualization requirement, no separation of clouds for production versus pre-production.
This is a unified environment with apps and services capable of being deployed where needed as needed for protection, (think cloud continuity), devtest and patching (think cloud cloning), as well as cloud bursting and new solutions that we haven’t yet imagined.
To show the power of synergy I created a chart showing the relative (theoretical) payoffs of hybrid cloud virtualization over server virtualization around key efficiency, scalability, availability and protection metrics.
Illustration 2: The Power of Hybrid Cloud versus Server Virtualization
This chart doesn’t present data; instead it argues that a single hybrid cloud will be more scalable, more resilient, more agile, etc. than the same environment confined within a private cloud or a data center or both. Comparing two private clouds, for example, to a hybrid cloud is like arguing that 10+10=10(10) or perhaps even 1010. Results will obviously vary and there is obviously room for discussion around each relative score.
The chart articulates why it makes more economic sense to have strategic agility and control, with the ability to operate existing and virtual apps where needed, as needed, without lock-in and on a platform that supports both pre-production and production environments (not one or the other).
As more IaaS options emerge over the next few years, it makes sense to keep your hybrid cloud options open versus being locked-in to any single cloud, private or public.
That is why I find the idea of a hybrid cloud so compelling and revolutionary: the power of synergy.