Hybrid Cloud Is Getting Increasingly Hybrid

July 24, 2020 - Kendall Lovett

Perhaps you remember that aha! moment when the concept of hybrid cloud really clicked for you. After all, why tie yourself to one environment, if the point of cloud, after all, was to gain freedom from running specific hardware?

Hybrid cloud statistics

While the basic hybrid concept still makes perfect sense, it’s also clear that the way enterprises think about hybrid cloud is changing. Rather than thinking primarily about connecting workloads that are running in different public clouds, or connecting a cloud application to legacy premise applications, the driving architectural concept in cloud today is focused on abstracting the workload to the application itself, such that the application is inherently portable across multiple environments.

This comes about in part as organizations focus increasingly on cloud-native apps (that is, applications that comprise a combination of separate microservices, with each service typically housed with its own code and data in a container and the deployment of services controlled dynamically by a container orchestrator).

With this sort of approach, it becomes natural to think about just how independently various microservices can be deployed.  The end game becomes taking hardware abstraction to the next level.

What about Multi-Cloud?

Another term that gets used in this context is “multi-cloud architecture, and it’s worth mentioning here, if only to point out that some draw a distinction between multi-cloud and hybrid cloud, while others use the terms interchangeably. If you’re going to draw a distinction, it’s that hybrid cloud uses on-prem resources mixed in with cloud resources, but not necessarily more than one public cloud. Multi-cloud, on the other hand, focuses on using more than public cloud offering. 

At the end of the day, the goal is to enable on-the-fly flexibility using all the compute resources that are a good fit for your organization’s IT needs. You want to build infrastructure that reliably negotiates allocation of workloads across your entire menu of cloud and premise options. What you decide to call it is less of an issue. 

Hybrid Cloud Statistics

Even without cloud-native architectures, enterprises see the value of flexibility in application deployment. According to the Flexera 2020 State of the Cloud Report, 93 percent of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy and 87 percent say they specifically have a hybrid cloud strategy. Whether hybrid or just more than one cloud, respondents to the Flexera survey reported using an average of 2.2 public clouds.

You can see this playing out in terms of heavy adoption of container orchestration tools as well: Slightly more than half of 950 respondents to Red Hat’s 2020 State of Enterprise Open Source report said they expected their use of containers to increase in the next year.

Orchestration alone won’t do it, though. The hybrid cloud approach means committing to infrastructure automation. After all, with so many variables in play, mistakes will send the system crashing to its knees. Luckily, we know of a very good tool for keeping on top of this…