A Contributed Article by Giridhar L V, Head – VMUnify, MindTree Ltd.
I was at a panel discussion at the Nasscom Cloud and Mobility
summit in Bangalore early this week. The discussion was around "The Myths of
the Hybrid Cloud". There were three of us in the panel and each of us took
turns to talk about specific myths associated with the Hybrid Cloud. The myth
that I addressed was "Hybrid Clouds is for every enterprise" and this was my
Before we go onto address if Hybrid Clouds are for every
enterprise, I think we should first look at what makes up the Hybrid Clouds. Hybrid
Clouds are created when a Private and Public Cloud act as one, with the same
kind of policies, the same network, etc.
If we pay a lot of attention to the vendors whose solutions
are used to create a Private Cloud or analysts covering this technology area,
we will not be wrong in thinking that Private Cloud is the next step after Server
Virtualization. I was also of the same opinion about 18 months ago and we
actually developed VMUnify to exactly address this very need. When we were
ready with a beta version of the product, we approached multiple enterprises
(banks, government, manufacturing, defence, etc.) for doing PoCs. Our prospects
had heard about the Private Cloud and with VMUnify, we gave them a first look
at a Private Cloud solution. These enterprises were already into Server
Virtualization, so virtualization was well understood and that made explaining
the Cloud concept easy. The PoCs went on well, but a month or so later, when we
went back to them and asked about the next steps which were either LoI or PO,
most of these prospects responded by saying - "We don't know what we can do
with a Private Cloud". A piece of information is that we were primarily
targeting the Indian market.
So, it was back to the drawing board for us. We had already
spent close to a year on developing this solution and had just discovered that
our prime market was not yet ready for this solution. We did discover another market
for VMUnify (the Cloud Service Providers) and are going after this with full
force at this point.
Anyway, coming back to the discussion topic,. With our
experience in the field, this is what we concluded:- The workloads in an
enterprise can be broadly classified as Fixed and Variable. The fixed workloads
can be described as application servers for which, the numbers of current and
future users / consumers are understood clearly. For these workloads, Server
Virtualization is the answer. If the workloads are variable, and this typically
happens with an application that is outward facing such as Online Tax Filing
application, a gaming application, etc., where the number can be anywhere
between one and something really large, a Cloud is the answer. Whether this has
to be Private or Public Cloud needs to be decided on other factors such as
cost, type of the application, capabilities of the infrastructure, etc.
Every enterprise has examples of fixed or predictable
workloads but not every enterprise has variable workloads. Also, not every
enterprise may want to host a variable workload in house.
In summary, a small set of enterprises which have variable
workloads and also want to deploy it on their own infrastructure, Private Cloud
is the way to go. If some of the enterprises decide that, along with the Private
Cloud they would also want to take advantage of Public Cloud resources, Hybrid
Cloud would be applicable in these cases, and this percentage is likely to
remain low for a long time. What's your take on it?
About the Author
Giridhar Lakkavalli has worked
in the IT industry for more than 18 years. He is currently the head of VMUnify -
a solution that helps organizations build Trusted Virtual Datacenters and
Unified Clouds. His areas of interest include Virtualisation, File Systems, Data
Protection, Operating Systems and Entrepreneurship. He is also an author of two
patent pending applications.