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Hybrid Clouds: The Empire Strikes Back | @CloudExpo #API #Cloud #DigitalTransformation
The battle for dominance in the cloud between the Empire and the rebels is far from over
By: Moshe Kranc
Aug. 5, 2016 01:00 PM
Clouds are typically classified into four different topologies: private, public, community and hybrid clouds. Let's focus on hybrid clouds: what are the use cases that require this topology, what are the challenges, and who stands to benefit from the hybrid cloud trend?
First off, a definition: A hybrid cloud is a topology in which more than one cloud infrastructure is utilized to solve a particular problem. Some examples:
As you can see, there are many real-world examples that justify deployment of a hybrid cloud. But be aware of the challenges you will face in deploying and managing a hybrid cloud. In order to successfully execute a single use case (e.g., generate a single report), you need to successfully provision resources on two different cloud infrastructures, run processes on both clouds to success, combine the results, and then decommission all the resources on both clouds. If there is a failure at any stage on any of the clouds, you need to understand the impact of that failure on related processes running on other clouds that are part of the same use case.
The real challenge of hybrid clouds is management: How do you manage the resources of distinct cloud infrastructures as if they were a single fabric? Solving this problem requires a new generation of cloud management tools that goes beyond the management tools provided by any individual cloud vendor.
Another important observation: all the examples given above are relevant to large enterprises rather than to SMBs. That's the real market for hybrid cloud technology - large enterprises that are accustomed to dealing with large software vendors rather than start-ups.
The companies that are best equipped to answer this challenge are large software vendors that have years of experience providing complex management systems to large enterprises, which are the main customers for hybrid clouds. Not surprisingly, the leading vendors of hybrid cloud management tools are familiar names like Microsoft, SAP and IBM - "The Empire," to borrow an image from Star Wars. Many of these companies came later to the game, after "first mover" advantage went to upstarts like Amazon and Rackspace. But the rise of hybrid clouds, and the accompanying management challenges, have given The Empire an opportunity to strike back at the upstarts and carve out their own niche in the cloud ecosystem - management of complex hybrid cloud topologies. This niche, along with cloud launches by giants such as IBM and Microsoft, mean that the battle for dominance in the Cloud between the Empire and the rebels is far from over.
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