A major reason why organizations opt for a hybrid cloud computing environment is because it offers the advantages of both public and private clouds.
This presents a tough challenge to enterprises that have to choose workloads and manage a smooth transition to hybrid cloud models. For this purpose, let’s take a closer look at the different hybrid cloud deployment models according to the integration styles at three different levels: infrastructure, application and data.
The appropriate deployment of hybrid workloads depends on the extent of integration across the private and public cloud. This presents a tough challenge to enterprises that have to choose workloads and manage a smooth transition to hybrid cloud models
Hybrid Infrastructure Model
On the infrastructure level, the hybrid cloud deployment model is dependent on the virtual machine (movements and extensions) as an integration medium. This level involves virtual machine (VM) management where the VM is either shared or extended by public and private clouds.
It is crucial to minimize or negate conversion completely during the transfer processes, across both clouds. To handle this integration effectively, single pane views along with virtual machine management tools need to be utilized on-premise, for both the private and public cloud services.
To handle the movement of VM images (easy portability), this hybrid model requires additional infrastructure support through the set-up of a Virtual Private Network (VPN). There may be a potential data synchronization requirement for the required data to be moved, or synchronized in the form of VM servers.
It is clear that this infrastructure-based, hybrid model is most effective when an organization needs to extend beyond the on-premise, private cloud due to spikes in traffic and usage. This happens mostly for non-critical apps, or data in the test or development environment.
Thus, such a deployment model would require proper setup of network connectivity and security along with firewall rules for the VPN.
Hybrid Application Model
At the application level, the integration services layer enables interaction across public and private cloud apps. Therefore, this deployment model is also termed as ‘Hybrid Applications and Services,’ which is dependent on the middleware-based integration services layer as the integration medium.
In simple words, the on-premise applications data or services are exposed to access from public cloud applications. Appropriate examples of this middle layer in a public cloud would be the Internet Service Bus or Enterprise Service Bus. For appropriate security, authorization and authentication.
Over the service bus, service accounts can be mapped to application services. The middle layer offers service abstraction, along with message and event based calls accessed through an API or REST services directly from on-premise applications.
Such https-based secured communication for public cloud services helps prevent any security concerns for on-premise applications or services being called by external apps. It is obvious that the hybrid applications and services model is suitable for on-demand scalability and integration required by applications.
Suitable integration examples would be on-premise apps such as data aggregation dashboards and publish-subscribe models being made accessible to APIs or mobile apps on a public cloud.
Another example of the scalability requirement would be monthly report calculations for any business.
Hybrid Data Model
On the data level, the deployment model depends on the size of the data on-premise. It involves the appropriate movement of rarely used data from the premise to the public cloud and accessing that data on-demand from on-premise apps.
This is necessary, as the increased size of on-premise data can become too costly for companies to manage.
To reduce the cost of on-premise data management, the public cloud serves as an extended storage space for the on-location company data. Examples of such rarely used data would be backups, data archives and logs.
The data can be easily uploaded to handle tasks like data aggregation for business analytics, reports, dashboards, etc. An integration medium for the transition of data to public cloud consists of related tools that have to identify which data is less frequently used, and accordingly, upload it to the public cloud environment.
Hybrid Cloud Deployment Models & Security
It is important to ensure data security, as these tools are located on-premise and still communicate with the public cloud. This is taken care of through authenticated and secured HTTP/FTP channels used for communication of the tools.
Since data is moved to the public cloud from within the enterprise premises, compliance could be a concern.
It is, therefore, vital to ensure that the data to be uploaded is compliant with the particular public cloud location. Once the data is stored in a public cloud, its security can be maintained through proper encryption.
As seen above, hybrid cloud deployment models can be achieved in different ways based on their requirements. Before you decide to make the switch to a hybrid cloud, do ensure that you have a clear understanding of various types of hybrid models available.
Allowing a business to adopt the correct hybrid deployment model upfront and keep options open for a change (or extension) after the initial period of 1 year or so.
When do you plan to embrace the hybrid cloud or have you taken the leap already? What model did your organization opt for?
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