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VIDEO – Hybrid Cloud Explained

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Hybrid Cloud Explained

What is hybrid cloud? At a high level, hybrid cloud is simply the combination of public and private cloud environments working together to run your applications or workloads. With the growth of microservices, container-based applications, and orchestration tools like Kubernetes, we’re seeing companies across all industries pressured to take advantage of public clouds. However, it’s nearly never an option to make that transition in one fell swoop—a gradual transformation must be made.

Diving deeper into hybrid cloud, the resulting architectures prove to be unwieldy, and without the right tools, it can become an expensive development and operations effort. In this video, I’ll overview the basics of a hybrid cloud environment by tackling a common use-case: migrating a legacy application to the cloud. We’ll then highlight and elaborate on key tenets of all hybrid clouds: interoperability, scalability, portability, and security.

Learn more about hybrid cloud

If you’re interested in learning more about hybrid cloud, its capabilities, and how it fits in with public cloud and private cloud, please check out the resources below.

More lightboarding explainer videos

Video Transcript

Hybrid cloud is a mixture of public and private cloud environments

Hi everyone, my name is Sai Vennam, and I’m a Developer Advocate with IBM. Today, I want to talk about hybrid cloud. If you’re watching this video, then you’re probably tasked with a very important role of figuring out how hybrid cloud fits in with your company’s architecture. Or, maybe, you’re just a little bit curious about this cloud computing approach.

Either way, essentially, hybrid cloud boils down into a mixture of a private as well as a public environment. And, essentially, the two are working in tandem to run your workloads and applications.

Hybrid cloud is a mixture of private and public environments

Example: Moving a legacy application to the cloud

To better explain hybrid cloud, I want to start with an example. Let’s say we’ve got a fictional company—Acme Freight— who was essentially tasked with running shipments. Acme Freight has an existing on-premise application—an ERP application, which many people might be familiar with as an enterprise resource planning app. Which enables them to manage their shipments and make sure that they make it there on time.

Let’s say that this ERP application is made up of three major sections. We’ve got the BFF. In the middle here, we’ve got the chunk of the ERP application the kind of runs things like inventory, truck drivers, deliveries, shipments, that kind of thing. And, at the bottom here, a user registry—human resources, that kind of thing.


Acme Freight's legacy private cloud application

So, the BFF is gonna basically handle any time front-end requests are made to make sure that web dashboard looks great. But, Acme Freight has just created a new mobile application that needs a new BFF application to actually serve those endpoints. To do that, the team decided to create a new BFF layer on the public side.

Hybrid cloud tenet #1: Interoperability

So, they’ve started with a new public cloud, and they’ve decided to deploy the backend for this mobile application on this cloud. So, we’ve got the mobile BFF application here.


Mobile application in the public cloud

So, the main thing to keep in mind here is that only the mobile BFF application is running in the public cloud, so they still need a way for this to interact with the existing ERP app. To do so, they’ll simply open up the tunnel that allows that mobile BFF application to work with those private endpoints that the ERP application serves.

Hybrid cloud provides interoperability between public cloud and private cloud

That’s one of the key tenants of a hybrid cloud environment—the fact that they must be interoperable. Essentially meaning that the public components and the private components are working in tandem.

Hybrid cloud tenet #2: Scalability

So far, the truck delivery drivers are loving this new infrastructure they’re able to use our mobile apps to kind of submit whenever deliveries made, but what they’ve noticed is, during the holiday season or peak hours, this whole system is bogging down and it’s leading to deliveries that are late and shipments that are being missed.

To tackle this, Acme Freight decides—know what? it’s about time; we need to start breaking his mom like monolith down. So they decide to move the ERP portion, the big chunk, and break it apart into microservices and move it to a public cloud.

To do so, they take advantage of Linux container technologies, things like Docker, as well as container orchestration management tools, like Kubernetes. And successfully, they move that ERP layer to the public cloud. Not an easy task.

So we can imagine that there’s a number of microservices that represent that ERP application that are running in the public cloud. And they’re working with Docker technology and Kubernetes technology keeping everything orchestrated and scaled out.

Hybrid cloud provides enhanced scalability

That’s one of the great things about taking advantage of a public cloud—that there’s a seemingly endless public resources to scale out your application. So, although they get to keep their existing on-premise ERP architecture, they start moving to the public cloud and take advantage of the scalability and the capabilities that are offered there.

Hybrid cloud tenet #3: Portability

Another advantage of working with the public cloud? You’re no longer locked into a specific vendor. Traditionally, with monolithic applications, maybe you’re working with a Java EE stack, you’re you’re kind of forced to use the capabilities that the stack allows you to use. But with public cloud, you can kind of go window shopping. There are lots of open source projects out there, programming languages that you can use, and with microservices speaking on public interfaces, all of those services can talk to one another regardless of the technology that they’re written in.

So, by taking advantage of the public cloud, they get to use cool, third-party services! So Acme Freight decides, you know, we can do better with delivery re-routing whenever there’s a snowstorm or inclement weather. And to do that, they hook up this ERP application to Watson and take advantage of some of the cognitive capabilities to power delivery re-routing. So, effectively, they are taking advantage of the portability features offered by taking on a hybrid cloud architecture.

Hybrid cloud provides enhanced portability

Hybrid cloud tenet #4: Security

The last thing I want to touch on is security. Although Acme Freight moved over the mobile BFF piece as well as the ERP application into microservices, and, you know, in a perfect world, maybe they’ve even phased out these two portions—they continue to keep the user registry on-prem because that’s something that they want to keep firewalled. They want to keep it completely secure and always on their own infrastructure and hardware.

Hybrid cloud allows you to maintain the security of private cloud

That’s one of the great advantages of hybrid cloud, is that they can continue to keep certain resources firewalled and on-prem while taking advantage of the public cloud to continue to run their applications and workloads.

Hybrid cloud gives you the best of both worlds

So together, with hybrid clouds, you get the features of interoperability, scalability, portability, as well as security. All of these come together to enable developers and companies to take advantage of the best of both worlds when running their applications.

Developer Advocate

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