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Falling Short: The Promise of A Hybrid Cloud

As marketers and enterprise leaders continue to battle over the superiority of public and private cloud computing, perhaps it is time to recognise that both fall short of the ultimate cloud promise – the hybrid cloud.

The hybrid cloud could make a data centre essentially boundless, allowing IT teams to optimise apps at unprecedented levels of scale, efficiency and security. The public cloud combines with the data centre and the private cloud to form a single dynamic pool of resources, which is utilised as needed – where needed – without lock in.

I’ve discussed this in What Every CIO Should Know about Cloud Computing and Zen wrote a great blog in response at Tek-TipsHowever, the reality remains that – regardless of which side of the fence you currently stand – one thing is certain: we’re not there yet.

At Zen’s blog he took us through the barriers to hybrid clouds:

“This sounds good (“own the base, rent the spike”) but here’s a problem. When people talk about a hybrid cloud, they talk as if virtual machines (VM) running on a private cloud can be easily and seamlessly moved to a public cloud. But as far as I know, it is not that simple. VMware solutions are dominant in the enterprise market, and Amazon’s AWS solutions control the public cloud segment.

“There are a few variants of cloud file formats, and those used by VMware and Amazon AWS are not compatible. Unless the file formats are translated, moving VMs between public and private is mere theoretical talk. That is why one of the panelists mentioned the need for cloud standardisation.”

The Cloud: A High-Pressure Front

Data centres are undoubtedly feeling the pressure of cloud computing, despite today’s shortcomings. They’re swelling in size and becoming more energy efficient; they’re even embracing new levels of electrical and mechanical redundancy. An exponential number are being built where power costs and taxes are lower, moving away from the yesteryear of being intimately tucked-up with corporate headquarters.

IT teams are espousing new operating models, including cloud and colocation. The growth rates for third party services like cloud and colocation rival the early days of many IT eras: from the mainframe to the PC, to the legacy and new data centre eras – we could easily be about the enter the arena of the ‘boundless data centre’.

There’s no denying that the cloud is the new kid on the block, teasing an age of boundless computing enabled by boundless data centres. As we become more accustomed to this realm, I want to share with you some of my thoughts on the roads we’ll have to travel to get there.

I joined a stealth cloud automation startup in early October. As a result, I’ve had the opportunity to blend my perspectives with some of the top engineering minds at the core of this new, boundless age. I will be sharing some of our thoughts as we prepare for our launch.

In the meantime I will be at AWS re: Invent at a humble kiosk, in case you’re attending. I’ll be happy to give you a stealth briefing on what we’re up to and why my team may be at the core of the revolution. I’m reaching out to a handful of you whom I regard as among the top tier in cloud experts and thought leaders. I’m looking forward to getting your take on how our team can help the enterprise to significantly reduce the barriers to boundless computing. Stay tuned.

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