|By Lori MacVittie||
|March 8, 2013 09:00 AM EST||
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means...
Sure, it implies some level of integration, but how much integration is required to be considered a hybrid cloud?
The way I see it, there has to be some level of integration that supports the ability to automate something - either resources or a process - in order for an architecture to be considered a hybrid cloud.
A "hybrid" anything, after all, is based on the premise of joining two things together to form something new. Simply using Salesforce.com and Ceridian for specific business functions doesn't seem to quality. They aren't necessarily integrated (joined) in any way to the corporate systems or even to processes that execute within the corporate environs.
Thus, it seems to me that in order to truly be a "hybrid" cloud, there must be some level of integration. Perhaps that's simply at the process level, as is the case with SaaS providers when identity is federated as a means to reassert control over access as well as potentially provide single sign-on services.
Similarly, merely launching a development or test application in a public IaaS environment doesn't really "join" anything, does it? To be classified as "hybrid" one would expect there be network or resource integration, via such emerging technologies as cloud bridges and gateways.
The same is true internally with SDN and existing network technologies. Integration must be more than "able to run in the environment". There must be some level of orchestration and collaboration between the networking models in order to consider it "hybrid".
From that perspective, the future of hybrid cloud seems to rely upon the existence of a number of different technological solutions:
- Cloud bridges
- Cloud gateways
- Cloud brokers
- SDN (both application layer and network layer)
- APIs (to promote the integration of networks and resources)
- Standards (such as SAML to enable the orchestration and collaboration at the application layer)
Putting these technologies all together and you get what seems to be the "future" of a hybrid cloud: SaaS, IaaS, SDN and traditional technology integrated at some layer that enables both the business and operations to choose the right environment for the task at hand at the time they need it.
In other words, our "network" diagrams of the future will necessarily need to extend beyond the traditional data center perimeter and encompass both SaaS and IaaS environments. That means as we move forward IT and operations needs to consider how such environments will fit into and with existing solutions, as well as how emerging solutions will enable this type of hybrid architecture to come to fruition.
Yes, you did notice I left out PaaS. Isn't that interesting?
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