Why all the hype for hybrid Cloud?

Why all the hype for hybrid Cloud?

Industry experts provide insight into the interest building around the hybrid Cloud

Stand by, Cloud bursting is here. And that's just one reason there is so much focus on the hybrid Cloud, according to VMware Cloud infrastructure and management product marketing manager, Aaron Steppat.

“What Cloud bursting means is the ability for a company using the hybrid Cloud to use infrastructure that isn’t on their premises, such as from a public Cloud, but in a secured, measured and controlled state to get extra capacity for their infrastructure requirements,” Steppat said.

He added a “key enabler of that ability” is workload portability or mobility.

Thomas Duryea Cloud services general manager, Adam Beavis, refers to the hybrid Cloud as a “good stepping stone” for people who want to move forward and make use of the technology.

“People are looking for the agility that Cloud offers, but also want to maintain that control of the on-premise solution, whether it is for security reasons or compliance,” he said.

As the elasticity or cost model of the Cloud is already appealing to businesses, Beavis said the hybrid Cloud setup “softens the blow from the big bang approach,” namely where a business takes everything and puts it into the Cloud.

The hybrid Cloud has become a “prudent approach” for Cloud adoption at many different organisations, according to Industrie IT web technologies practice lead senior associate, Rudi Simic.

The organisations that are now establishing new “green fields” platforms are often the ones that that would not consider a hybrid approach.

“Any organisation, especially a new one, that does not directly own computing infrastructure, will most possibly never want to own any,” Simic said.

“They will automatically reach towards one great milestone of Cloud computing.”

Hitachi Data Systems A/NZ chief technology officer, Adrian De Luca, points out that the level of conservativeness among Australian CIOs is still quite high, at least compared to thouse around the world.

This can be traced to a reluctance to shift mission critical applications to a Cloud model, with De Luca adding this is especially true for those that are running a bespoke application, or one that is home grown or highly customised, because they see it as a risk.

“It is not surprising that in Australia that we are seeing the first leap being made into the hybrid Cloud, as it allows the CIOs to test the water without a big commitment,” he said.

“Not only does it allow them to evaluate the technology but also the service provider and their level of service.”

Hybrid is here

With the growing interest in the hybrid Cloud, some industry pundits are expecting the technology to gain wider acceptance this year, even going as far as to claim 2013 the “year of the hybrid Cloud.”

NetApp A/NZ Cloud service providers business development manager, Mathew Zele, foresees a considerable increase in hybrid Cloud adoption by CIOs this year, both in enterprise and government departments.

The maturation of Cloud service provider capabilities is seen as the main enabler for this.

“Over the past 12 to 18 months, Cloud service provider offerings have expanded, enabling them to deliver services that integrate and complement existing private cloud deployments,” Zele said.

The successful expansion of partners’ and resellers’ public Cloud service strategies is also expected to come into play.

“Partners and resellers are now developing advisory, integration and migration services to support customers as they adopt a hybrid Cloud infrastructure,” Zele said.

“This will lead to an increase in the deployment of hybrid Clouds.”

Concur Asia-Pacific director of business development, Murray Warner, expects local customisation to drive hybrid Cloud adoption this year.

“Large Cloud computing vendors in markets like Australia will push customisations specific to our local customers by partnering, and working with local application vendors can provide features that they need much faster then we can ever build them individually ourselves,” he said.

In the process, large complex software packages will become “fluid” and provide “in-market local capabilities that are consistent with market demands.”

With Platform-as-a-Service having undergone a shift to become a top priority for Cloud providers, application features, which would have taken custom code and a large effort to integrate with partners in the past, can be ready with re-usable code examples in days.

“It's rare for instance for a Cloud provider to offer a new service that is not consumable via API that is based off Open Standards,” Warner said.

He adds that this shift has made the cost of marketing these new hybrid solutions "a fraction" of what it used to be with the old model.

Not only is the hybrid Cloud making its presence felt in 2013, Netgear A/NZ sales engineer, Shane Lord, also expects it to mature rapidly in the coming months.

“Until now, siloed Cloud services have been the norm, with businesses commonly operating one Cloud service for storage, one for email and so on,” he said.

For that reason, hybrid Cloud models in 2013 are expected to offer a “single sign-on” approach so that employees can efficiently manage their workloads on the go.

The widespread adoption of devices and the introduction of smarter handsets have also created new demand for the secure and scalable Cloud environments, one that the hybrid models of 2013 can make possible.

“Added to this, networks and connection speeds are now fast enough to handle second tier needs, allowing employees to be as active in the field as they are in the office,” Lord said.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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