Hybrid cloud used to be thought of as too complex for most businesses to handle. That’s why cloud-bursting never took off. Yet more and more companies are choosing to adopt hybrid cloud. According to the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Index, more than 85 percent of companies say hybrid cloud is having a positive impact on their business.
Reasons for Choosing Hybrid Cloud
Nutanix’s report lists many reasons businesses are choosing hybrid cloud. Although cloud bursting remains on the list, it’s not in the top three. The main reasons are interoperability between cloud types, the ability to move applications back and forth, and being able to consolidate and unify cloud management and operations.
Other reasons include the ability to choose the right cloud for each app, choosing the best cost model, choosing the best security and compliance model, and preventing vendor lock-in.
The Right Balance of Control and Accessibility
One factor underlies all those reasons for choosing hybrid cloud: a balance of control and accessibility. Public cloud makes data and applications highly accessible, but it also introduces the risk of accidentally exposing data through an attack on the cloud provider or even a simple misconfiguration.
Hybrid cloud allows sensitive data to remain on premises, where the business has full control over how the data is stored, protected, and accessed. At the same time, hybrid cloud provides the agility and responsiveness of public cloud, making it easy to create virtual machines as they’re needed.
Hybrid cloud also allows more control over operations. Although part of the point of public cloud is to give up that control, companies still need to be aware of how their systems are being accessed. Although public cloud provides logs, they may not be complete, as the underlying resources are shared with other enterprises. It’s also easier to implement security checks on infrastructure you own.
Along with control over operations comes control over spending. One of the drivers towards public cloud is to have a dynamic, flexible environment. However, the costs of that environment can easily get out of control. Even if you’re just paying for the resources you use, it’s easy to set up resources that aren’t used but still cost money. Hybrid cloud lets you provide the same flexibility with on-premises resources that can be tracked more closely and don’t add additional cost.
Taken together, combining the public cloud and a private cloud in a hybrid cloud allows businesses to increase the efficiency of their operations and optimize the environment for each workload.
Hybrid Cloud Challenges
Of course, there are some challenges companies need to overcome to successfully use a hybrid cloud. First, by definition a hybrid cloud requires multiple cloud providers. Even if one of those cloud providers is your own internal data center, that can make it harder to keep track of where applications are running and to communicate with all the teams needed to support them. And communication between applications can be even more challenging; you need to ensure connectivity is in place and there are APIs to support secure messaging. As applications move between environments, keeping the channels between them operational can become difficult.
That ability to move between environments is often the goal of hybrid cloud, but it’s frequently hard to enable. Clouds aren’t standardized, and application architectures may need to be tweaked and optimized for each environment. That means you can’t simply drop a container into different provider’s cloud and expect the application to run at peak performance.
Tools to Support Hybrid Cloud
Because so many businesses now see the hybrid cloud as optimal, vendors are working to develop tools to make it easier to support hybrid environments. Nutanix provides a variety of tools, such as Calm, Beam, and Epoch, that allow businesses to manage, monitor, and optimize their clouds. VAST provides full Nutanix support, helping you leverage their hyperconverged infrastructure and hybrid cloud support. Contact us to learn more about how you can use hybrid cloud to match each application to its ideal environment.