In recent years, hybrid multicloud has become the prefered IT operating model for most global enerprises. This approach brings business benefits, ranging from improved cost control and security to scalability and flexibility. It has also brought new challenges, requiring new strategies and ways of doing things..
Over 90% of IT decision makers use more than one public cloud service and 82% reported using hybrid cloud environments in their organizations, according to Cisco’s 2022 Global Hybrid Cloud Trends Report.
Global investment in hybrid multicloud technologies are rising with the adoption rate, surpassed a total value of $85 billion in Q4 of 2021 and on pace to $262 billion by 2027, according to Markets and Research. Much of this is driven by rapid digital transformation during and after the pandemic, along with a adoption of new cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms.
Having the in-house IT know-how to evolve hybrid multicloud operations is essential for supporting the enormous growth in applications and data that a business must continuously manage. Complexity is proliferating, stretching IT teams who manage sprawling resources and services. By 2023, 94% of organizations said they would benefit from having a single, unified place to manage applications and data across clouds, according to global IT decision makers surveyed in the Enterprise Cloud Index report by Nutanix.
What Is a Hybrid Multicloud Model?
In IT, the term hybrid multicloud refers to a cloud computing environment that orchestrates the combined resources of on-premises private cloud systems, hosted and/or multiple public cloud services. Generally, hybrid multicloud operations connect on-premises data centers to various hosted and public cloud services. These connections commonly involve other private assets such as edge devices and third-party services.
In hybrid multicloud environments, enterprises deploy workloads across public and private clouds, shifting between them to match varying computational needs and changing costs. The ability to move workloads between public and private resources gives organizations greater flexibility and expanded deployment options.
Components of a Hybrid Multicloud Model
Hybrid cloud deployments consist of three principal components:
- A Public Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Platform: The most commonly used IaaS providers are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform
- Private Cloud Computing Resources: These come from an on-premises data center in most cases
- A High-Performance Network Connection: Wide area or dedicated network services, which need to be monitor the network performance and uptime against guarantees of service-level agreements (SLAs).
Hybrid Cloud Platforming and Integration
Hybrid clouds admit a near-infinite number of deployment configurations. However, cloud architects must settle on two fundamental design considerations in any deployment.
Platforming – Hybrid multicloud operations require a layer of virtualization – commonly referred to as a hypervisor – to support and abstract virtual machines, containerized workloads, and hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) to make resources available across the environment. The hypervisor works with a private cloud software layer like OpenStack. These open standard cloud computing platforms provide many crucial cloud capabilities, such as:
- Automation and Orchestration Tools
- Self-Service Access to Databases
- Tools for Billing and Purchasing
Alternatively, cloud architects can now opt for specialized public cloud service platforms that extend public clouds into private data centers. This arrangement locates the entire system on the same software stack. Typically, such services incorporate container orchestration technologies such as Kubernetes. Popular choices include AWS Outposts, Google Anthos, and Azure Stack.
Integration – Organizations that employ public cloud services lose direct control over architecture and monitoring. Making this arrangement work in hybrid environments requires advanced adjustments to private cloud systems to achieve compatibility with cloud service providers' application programming interfaces (APIs) and service structures. In effect, hybrid cloud models need hardware interoperability to function effectively. Hardware considerations include storage and server devices, networking equipment, and load balancers.
Beyond hardware configurations, choose to host the front-end application in the cloud or pool private data centers and cloud resources in unified elastic pools. Selecting the appropriate approach in any particular instance depends on questions of overall environment requirements, how use cases match the integration style, and what available technologies address organization-specific needs.
Use-Cases – Understanding the rising adoption rate of the hybrid multicloud model helps to know what specific use cases precipitated its appeal.
Data Processing – Prior to high-speed internet and cloud services, organizations needed to estimate their computational and storage needs, buy the hardware, and maintain it. Most businesses either over-invested in unused resources or frequently suffered bottlenecks when processing needs surged.
Disaster Recovery – Hybrid multiclouds operations can persist private data in multiple public cloud instances, mitigating the risk of catastrophic data loss.
Testing and Development – Organizations can run application testing and development in the public cloud without the expense and inconvenience of setting up necessary on-premises hardware.
Editor’s note: Learn how to build a hybrid multicloud IT operation using Nutanix Cloud Infrastucture and Nutanix Cloud Clusters (NC2).
Michael Brenner is a keynote speaker, author and CEO of Marketing Insider Group. Michael has written hundreds of articles on sites such as Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and The Guardian, and he speaks at dozens of leadership conferences each year covering topics such as marketing, leadership, technology and business strategy. Follow him @BrennerMichael.
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