For many organizations, hybrid cloud provides the ideal middle ground: having a private cloud allows them to retain control over operations and security, and having a public cloud provides rapid access to additional resources and enables agility.

Private + Public = Hybrid and Hard

When building a hybrid cloud, the big challenge is integrating the private cloud with the public cloud. There are several reasons for this:

Choosing the right public cloud services is complex. Private cloud typically offers Infrastructure as a Service, plus perhaps a few other basic services. Public cloud offers a vast array of technology choices. You need to choose a cloud vendor, and then you need to choose from that vendor’s many cloud offerings. That can be another Infrastructure as a Service environment, or a Platform as a Service environment, or using one of many specialized services available in the cloud.

Public and private cloud platforms are different. While you can use Azure Stack to simplify creating a hybrid cloud with Microsoft Azure, in most cases, the public and private cloud are built using different tools. This means there isn’t a simple mapping between the services you use in the private cloud and the services you need in the public cloud. This leads to disconnects between how even basic processes are implemented on the two platforms.

There may not be a familiar API. The most common method of communicating across public and private clouds is via an API. Since hybrid cloud is likely new to your team, first your team needs to learn the capabilities of the available API. In some cases, you may need to pay additional fees to your vendor to access an API. In other cases, there is no available API and your team may need to implement a workaround. Because that workaround isn’t supported by the vendor, it may be fragile.

User access should be transparent. End users don’t care about how their systems are implemented, and they definitely don’t care whether their application is running in public or private cloud. User access needs to work without the users needing to know where the application is running. This is particularly true for any systems which may shift between cloud sites. Identity management is therefore a critical element for success with hybrid cloud, both to ensure users have access and that security privileges are consistent across all environments.

Data transfer must happen in real time. Hybrid cloud requires data to transfer in both directions between both clouds in real time. There must be a big enough network link to ensure good performance, and there must be strong encryption to protect the data in transit. Because data stores may be different on the two platforms, a complex extract, transform, and load process may be required.

VAST IT Services helps our clients overcome these hybrid cloud integration challenges. We can help you decide which workloads belong in public or private cloud, integrate them effectively with legacy applications, ensure appropriate security controls are implemented, and provide management and monitoring platforms that provide a view of your entire infrastructure. Contact VAST IT Services for help solving your hybrid cloud challenges.