Open doors with an open cloud approach

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Most enterprises know that a single approach to cloud adoption, whether public or private, will not optimize business results. Adopting hybrid cloud, connecting one or more clouds to traditional systems or one or more clouds to other clouds, is a realistic and achievable strategy.  While a hybrid cloud strategy sounds complicated at first, it offers the possibility of utilizing existing data and applications, expanding in an evolutionary, stepwise manner and achieving foundational success that can be built upon, in manageable increments.

Enterprise hybrid clouds have three fundamental elements

Cloud Business Applications: Hybrid cloud enables business applications to run efficiently and effectively, leveraging existing and new data that could exist on or off premises. In addition, a hybrid cloud enables access to a broad set of software-as-a-service offerings that can bolster existing applications or leverage enterprise data to deliver new value.

Digital Innovation Platform: Many organizations view the cloud as an opportunity to develop and deliver new business-changing applications.  A hybrid environment speeds development and integration by utilizing open technology-based cloud platform for building, running, and managing cloud and mobile apps.

World Class Cloud Infrastructure: End users, whether customers, partners or employees have come to expect near immediate response and interaction with their organizations.  A hybrid cloud delivers a robust and secure experience that helps extend existing IT to cloud and connect to enterprise grade cloud infrastructure worldwide.

 Hybrid clouds need open technology

 Now more than ever, business applications must integrate with multitudes of services and vendors to provide innovative features and the flexibility to scale or move as demand changes.  Developing custom built applications and custom integrations creates nightmares for both developers and operations personnel charged with maintaining these multi-environment applications.  Some cloud vendors lure customers with cheap, simple, basic services and then keep them locked to their platform through proprietary APIs or processes.  Even if a single vendor did try to create the broad array of integrations with compute, storage, networking platform services and SaaS, they will be outpaced.  It is simply too big of a task for any single vendor to do well.

Enter Open Technologies such as OpenStack, Cloud Foundry, and Docker.  Each offers unique and highly useful services that can enable a robust and flexible hybrid cloud. These open source projects are successful, in large part, due to the massive community that agrees on design, capabilities and fixes bugs rapidly .And, because large vendors like IBM, Cisco, Dell, HP and VMware participate, there are concerted efforts to ensure that the open source software is of high quality and meets enterprise requirements for security, internationalization, and interoperability.

Get involved!

Becoming a member of these open communities is easy and free.  Members learn more about the content of the open source software, attend local events, participate in forums, and of course, try the software for themselves.

From May to July, the cloud nerd’s fancy turns to open technology and the tech conference season.  Attending one of these conferences is a great way to learn more about open technology and participate directly with designers and developers and learn how vendors are using the technology in their products.  Here are a few of the open technology conferences:

Cloud Foundry Summit , May 11-12 in Santa Clara, CA

OpenStack Summit , Vancouver, BC, May 18-22

Dockercon , San Francisco, CA, June 22-23

OSCON , Portland, OR July 20-24.

Even if you can’t get there in person, some of the sessions will be broadcast live (search on and even more will be posted after the conferences on Youtube.

In conclusion, nobody really knows how this whole cloud movement is going to work out.  But, one thing is certain, as you go forth on your journey to hybrid cloud, it’s important to keep your options OPEN.

Connect with me on Twitter: @moeabdula

Moe Abdula is Vice President of Cloud Foundation Services Product Management for IBM.

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