Hybrid CloudIaaS

Snopes for IT: The Myth of Hybrid Cloud

ByAugust 18, 2016
unicornI have been in this crazy cloud space for ages. Too long to ‘fess up to. And for as long as there has been cloud, the dream of hybrid cloud has existed.

It’s a glitter-covered world in which a flexible, self-service, charge back-driven cloud lives in your own data center with a shiny new bi-directional pipe to one or more public clouds, where flexible on-demand resources also exist.  It smells of cotton candy and hope.

I don’t think it exists. It’s a purple unicorn. It’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It’s .. a myth.

Why? Well, for a start, a glitter-covered data center would be a nightmare. But, more practically, private clouds are exceedingly rare –  mostly because they are generally unnecessary.

I said it. They are unnecessary.

Well-run virtual environments are fantastic and extremely common. Straight-forward provisioning can often be baked in. But, a proper private cloud with a seamless provisioning and charge back and decomissioning process is just overkill for most companies. Most companies don’t spin up and down 100 VMs in a week. Those that do don’t need rigorous process or charge back – that whole cluster is owned by the dev team.

So, private clouds are just rare.

Once you have one, of course, you could theoretically link it to one or more public clouds, assuming VM images transfer and management software is integrated (which, as notes Eric Knorr, editor in chief of InfoWorld, is deeply unlikely).

And then – this whole model assumes that public cloud use is this erratic, freewheeling thing. It isn’t. 90% of our customers have long-term applications in the cloud, with long-term reservations that just aren’t flying back and forth between their data centers and ours. Some of the workloads do grow and shrink, come and go – but that’s hardly the norm. Usually, that’s reserved for dev/test systems which come and go – but don’t travel a lot.

So, the combination means that hybrid clouds are exceedingly rare and largely unnecessary. Building one can take ages and cost a fortune. So, don’t burn too much energy chasing this leprechaun. It’s more likely to take your gold than deliver treasure.
Lilac Schoenbeck

Lilac Schoenbeck

Lilac has more than 15 years of experience with product marketing, strategy, business development, and software engineering in the grid, virtualization, and cloud domains. Prior to this role, she led cloud and automation marketing for BMC Software, and has worked for IBM, Fortisphere, Innosight, and the Globus Alliance. Lilac holds an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management and a Computer Science degree from Pacific Lutheran University.