Virtualization Technology News and Information
Coradiant: The Rise of Hybrid Clouds

What do Virtualization and Cloud executives think about 2011?  Find out in this series exclusive.

Contributed Article By Jonathan Ginter, Sr. Director of Engineering, Coradiant

The Rise of Hybrid Clouds

The cloud is here to stay.  However, there are wide disparities in the level of adoption of cloud technology and cloud-based services that tend to reflect individual corporate cultures. Organizations that are better prepared to accept risk have moved quickly, while risk-averse organizations have moved more slowly. 

So what's holding up the move? While the awareness of cloud computing has grown, so has the concern that cloud service providers may be unable to deliver the quality of service and SLA control needed for Web applications to succeed. Organizations still have apprehension about the service-level viability of cloud computing.  Some view the move as too risky to manage, but that view is changing with the advent of user-focused performance monitoring solutions that look across applications to determine the service level delivered to actual end-users.

To underscore that point, I've noticed a significant acceleration in the move to cloud technologies over the past year and believe we've finally reached the tipping point where risk-averse organizations clearly feel more at ease with the move. Gartner's Public Cloud Services Worldwide forecast report stated that the market for cloud services was worth $58.6 billion in 2009 and will grow to be worth $148.8 billion by 2014. 

This acceleration in adoption has arrived just in time; the next wave of cloud capability is already coming down the pipe in 2011, in the form of hybrid clouds.  "Hybrid clouds" have some parts of an application hosted internally and other parts hosted externally - i.e., a mixture of public cloud with private cloud and / or with standard server-based internal deployments.  These public and private environments might interact with each other or they might be completely independent. 

Regardless of the split nature of the deployment, business managers and operations teams still need to monitor and manage these systems as though they were unified on a single platform, and they have a pressing need to know the end-user experience.  After all, the users see the application as a single experience and have little knowledge that the application may be made up of many parts, delivered from a hybrid environment.

Clearly, hybrid clouds represent a unique problem.  The goal for any Web-enabled business, and the IT operations staff that support them, should be to quantify the service-level delivery of complex Web applications from the end-users' perspective in order to make the most effective deployment decisions. End-user performance visibility is critical to the success of organizations migrating to hybrid clouds.

To manage a hybrid cloud effectively, businesses must:

  • Monitor applications from the end-user perspective, no matter if the application is delivered from the public cloud, from the private cloud or from traditional data centers
  • Pull data from different delivery platforms together into a coherent model
  • Follow transactions and users as they move back and forth between private and public clouds
  • Hold cloud providers accountable for their service, which means being able to assign blame for performance and availability problems clearly and concisely

The hybrid wave is not fully here, but it's coming fast and will have a significant impact for the Cloud market in 2011.  As the industry continues to pick up speed down the road of cloud technology, businesses need to prepare for management of the next generation of cloud deployments.  And that means intuitive analysis of service-level thresholds and performance details, instant visualization of the value of services, and the ability to quickly pinpoint where applications need a performance boost.  As with all trends, what was once exotic will become everyday rather quickly.

About the Author

Jonathan Ginter is Coradiant’s senior director of engineering. Jonathan has 20 years of rich experience as both a systems architect and as a developer for web-based applications, embedded systems and command-and-control systems.

Published Wednesday, December 01, 2010 5:10 AM by David Marshall
fredvdbosch - (Author's Link) - December 21, 2010 1:03 PM

Jonathan, I agree that hybrid clouds will start to happen, be it not as fast you suggest, since it's not only the application monitoring tools that need to be able to work in a hybrid infrastructure, but a large number of systems management tools that need to be able to do the same. There are many start-ups focused on management in public clouds and more established companies focused on private cloud management, but still relatively few on hybrid clouds.

Fred van den Bosch

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