Bernard Golden, vice president of enterprise solutions at Enstratius, delivered a session at the Interop show this week on popular hybrid cloud myths and the real-world facts that disprove them.
1. The hybrid cloud is an extension of virtualization and converged infrastructure.
The main problem with that assumption, Golden said, is that it doesn't include automation, which should be a major component of any cloud deployment. "We don't do infrastructure management. We do cloud management."
Reducing the management burden and creating a runbook of processes and images is the key to reaping the most benefit from cloud environments, he said, and then he fielded questions from the audience about "letting the application guys loose" on cloud resources in a free-for-all. He responded with an overview of capacity planning and policy enforcement tools, but I think the sentiment behind the question is very valid. Automated and on-demand provisioning is great on paper, but in the hands of overeager developers, it could turn into a resource suck.
2. You can create a hybrid cloud using one, homogeneous standard.
Golden asserted that there is no uniform environment. Hybrid environments will comprise some combination of VMware, Azure, OpenStack, and AWS resources in uneasy coexistence. Each brings different image formats, management tools, support contracts, and bandwidth requirements. It seems like a bleak picture, but that's why multicloud management suites are becoming critical.
3. Hybrid clouds are for enterprises.
In fact, hybrid environments should be seen as flexible tools, not complex infrastructure schemes, Golden said. They can be SLA-indifferent, depending on what's being hosted, and they should be driven primarily by business units looking for agility. Static, long-term commitments should be relegated to the mists of history. "You don't know how an app will behave or what it will need, so don't worry about it. When you rent a car, you don't worry which brand of oil Hertz uses."
4. Hybrid clouds won't affect application design and operations.
Golden used this talking point to drill down into cloud use cases. He said private clouds are best for stable, static, and simple workloads that drive production, while public cloud resources are best for transient, agile, erratic, and complex architectures or for greenfield operations. Melding the two enables companies to apply the best resources to each workload as needed, but IT administrators have to tweak their processes to leverage the flexibility.
5. It's going to be easy.
Referring back to myth No. 2, Golden explained that the mishmash of hypervisors, images, management tools, billing models, and even functionality will require a lot of work to get right. Knowledge capture across the organization, new policies, and new skills are critical, and these will bring plenty of angst.
To help mitigate the stress, Golden provided several tips:
- Know that it will be messy.
- Make peace with Amazon Web Services LLC .
- Develop requirements for agility and governance.
- Take extra care in planning for billing systems.
- Integrate identity and access management (IAM) across all environments.
He also cautioned that the market is still quite young. When asked by customers, "What inning is it?" in the cloud game, he replies, "The players are still in the clubhouse, getting dressed."
Members, what are your hybrid adoption plans? What tips would you add to these?