Monday, May 1, 2017

Hybrid Cloud - Yes,You can!

I recently posted this blog on the Cryptzone website. You can find the original posting here.

I was recently with 7,500 of my closest Amazon AWS friends at the AWS Summit in San Francisco. Generally, when you go to an AWS conference, the talk is ONLY about AWS: the latest features, implementation and design, or optimization of the AWS configuration. And certainly – those conversations were happening. But from my vantage point in the Cryptzone booth, there was another conversation, one that I touched on a bit in my previous recap blog. People at an AWS conference are finally talking about the hybrid cloud.

The concept of a hybrid cloud is not new – in fact, it has been around long before the term was even coined. But the fact that customers / potential customers are searching for ways to integrate their AWS or public cloud infrastructure with their on premises resources is exciting to me for a number of reasons:

1. Reality Check: For years, I have been preaching the benefits of a hybrid cloud solution. It never seemed realistic to me that an established company would dump 100% of all of their business workloads on a public cloud. Sure, your company could have been “born in the cloud” and optimized from the start to use only cloud-based resources. Some of those companies exist (and are THRIVING, BTW). But most companies that I have chatted with have adopted the cloud over time, meaning that they are in the process of migrating existing on premises workloads to a cloud infrastructure. I think that is great! Testing the waters in a measured and calculated fashion is often the best and most cost productive way of taking advantage of cloud resources.  Of course, those in the public cloud space would like you to move a little faster, but conducting thorough evaluation of cloud solutions while maintaining your on premises environment just makes sense.

2. Manageability: One of the many things that has been a barrier to public cloud adoption is the ability to manage users and resources in the public cloud with the same tools used on premises. Who wants to manage multiple IAM solutions? Also, users that attach to the cloud need to be able to do so without going through a dozen authentication steps. Simply put, IT administrators are hesitant to expose their users to any additional processes or environments that will exponentially increase the IT admin’s workload. Can you blame them? On this front, the great news is that the management solutions for hybrid cloud infrastructures are becoming more mature EVERY DAY! Because of this, those IT admins are not as skeptical about adding another layer of infrastructure to their environments, especially if they can all be managed without any significant changes to how the user would consume that infrastructure.

3. Scalability: Moving workloads to a public cloud environment has always been about the ability to scale up a workload with very little effort – it is as simple as setting up an AWS account, starting up an instance, and deploying the workload. Easy peasy. Developers have realized this for a while now – creating testing environments for QA, demo and proof of concept for years. It also created a stealth IT problem (something that we will address in a different blog at some point). Traditional IT (and their risk managers, executives, and line of business decision makers) have become more and more comfortable with moving workloads to the cloud, and the ability to expand the technology footprint into this space is very appealing, not only from a time-to-market rationale, but from the enormous cost savings. And the inherent barrier of hybrid cloud integration and management preventing rapid growth has pretty much disappeared.

As an IT professional, business leader or decision maker, once you cross that hump and gain comfort with having a hybrid cloud architecture for your company, you start to realize the benefits of having that kind of environment (again, the subject of a future blog). AppGate, from Cryptzone, is the perfect tool to bridge your on premises workloads with your AWS or other cloud provider environment(s).

I challenge you to explore the tools and capabilities that are constantly be invented and revised to help your company embrace the benefits of a hybrid cloud architecture!


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