Choice with consistency: The key to an effective hybrid cloud

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Hybrid cloud doesn’t have to be complicated. Complex? Sometimes. Complicated? No way. As the traditional, layered cloud model of IaaS, PaaS and SaaS moves toward irrelevance, the era of the single cloud stack is fast approaching.

A modern cloud stack is one that supports a spectrum of IaaS and PaaS services that work together with multiple entry points. And since we are living in a world with public, dedicated and local cloud options, understanding which environment is right for each of your workloads is critical.

For all of it to work—and work well—clients today are craving what we at IBM are calling “choice with consistency.” What do we mean by this?

“Choice with consistency” is a way of saying that hybrid is a not transitional state; it’s a destination. Clients will, for the foreseeable future, have some applications that make sense to run on premises and some that make sense to run off premises in a public cloud. That’s become a given for us. What clients need in this environment is the freedom to change where a given application runs over time. You might launch it in the public cloud and realize as you scale that a dedicated public cloud is a more economical solution, or vice versa.

This is where choice comes into play. One of the most common questions we get from our clients is, “How do I choose where to run this application?” Every unique situation may require a unique solution.

Regulated industries such as Insurance often require businesses to store data in local servers. For companies to be approved and regulated to do business, compliance officers holding clipboards literally have to see the servers in person and check them off. This is true even in cases in which a public cloud option might be more secure. In these cases, clients often want to move to a public cloud option but are unable to make the switch until regulations evolve. This is where choice and flexibility over time becomes paramount.

Next comes the need for consistency. Clients must have a consistent set of capabilities exposed through an open, common API. We understand that some of our clients may need to work with other vendors in certain situations. In those cases, they require open, common APIs that work wherever the client needs to run their application.

With IBM Cloud, clients can confidently move to a hybrid cloud environment because they know they’ll have consistency that no matter where they choose to host their data.

Jason McGee is an IBM Fellow, VP and CTO of the IBM Cloud Platform. Follow him on Twitter @JRMcGee.

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