Thinking of hybrid cloud as two separate clouds is the wrong approach. You need to think of hybrid cloud as a single integrated solution, because integration is the key to making hybrid cloud work.
While storage and data movement is often seen as the critical hybrid cloud integration issue, you also need to integrate networks, processing, security, and all the other elements of a comprehensive information technology solution.
Fortunately, with services available from Amazon Web Services (AWS) and third party products, you can build a hybrid environment that’s fully implemented and supports true hybrid cloud.
One of the biggest challenges for hybrid cloud is that data is needed in both public and private clouds, but there can be only one true master copy. This means that very often applications need to use data from the “other” cloud. Even static data can be challenging to keep in sync, and data that changes often is even harder to keep consistent.
As an alternative to replication, Storage as a Service (SaaS) allows primary data to reside in the cloud while making it accessible for on premises processing. Typical SaaS implementations use caching and optimized transfers to keep data sync’d up and available without latency on premises.
Another approach is to use NetApp Private Storage, which provides storage locations with high speed direct connections to nearby cloud providers. This allows data on private storage to be accessed by cloud applications. Another solution from NetApp is its data fabric, which allows data to seamlessly move between platforms.
AWS Storage Gateway provides another option, with an appliance that connects to both local storage devices and to AWS.
The network design is vital to the success of hybrid cloud, as network bandwidth and security directly impact the speed and security as data moves between public and private clouds. Using virtual private cloud lets you treat your Amazon network as an extension of your corporate network. AWS Direct Connect provides private network connections between your data center and the cloud.
Applications may be affected by hybrid cloud in two ways.
First, applications may need to be redesigned to support cloud bursting. Applications that run in one site and expect to have all the data need to be adapted for the scenario where that’s no longer the case. They also need the capability to cleanly and easily transfer processing between the two clouds.
Second, applications may need to be redesigned to take better advantage of the cloud’s capabilities. It may be more effective to migrate parts of an application’s functionality, such as its web front end, to the public cloud, while retaining the database on the private side.
Maintaining a hybrid cloud as a single solution requires ensuring access and identity is the same, whichever cloud the user needs to access. While the public cloud provides its own controls, integrating with on premises policies and identity management tools is the best way to ensure consistency across all platforms.
To effectively manage your resources, hybrid cloud needs a single tool to manage across the cloud. AWS offers the OpsWorks configuration management service, based on Chef, to support both on premises and cloud deployment management.
Having hybrid cloud shouldn’t mean having two support channels. dcVAST provides managed services for AWS as well as on premises solutions. Contact us to learn how to turn two separate clouds into an integrated hybrid cloud.