As an IBM Cloud Architect for the past 6 years I have focused on the development, delivery and the maturity of cloud computing implementation with clients, partners and service providers. Recently the focus of “Hybrid” cloud services and implementations has seen a sharp rise as a strategic initiative for many clients.
By the industry definition, hybrid cloud provides services extending your data center to off premise private and public cloud. Hybrid cloud should leverage your investment in a common infrastructure model, operational management, user experience and skills. Hybrid cloud allows you to deploy and run your applications onsite, offsite, or in both combination. Likewise, hybrid cloud model that you adopt should ensure your cloud users have no need to rewrite applications or change APIs and have consistent user experience across deployment environments on-premise and off-premise.
Taking a closer look at off-premise cloud models, many enterprises concerned with control points, security and isolation consider using a dedicated private cloud tied into their on-premise data center. This environment provides single-tenant, isolated compute resources, and administration control. This can be combined with additional managed services provided through a cloud service provider or self-managed directly by the enterprise tenant. A dedicated private cloud can be ideal for DevOps and production workloads. Another common model is a virtual private cloud, which is based on multi-tenant model with logical isolation. This model addresses lower cost of entry, smaller scalable footprints and targets variable workloads, mobile and web apps. The infrastructure is often managed by a cloud provider and on ramping is very turnkey. By looking at your business workload objectives you can choose the right model or combination that works best for your needs.
IBM is a key player in the dynamic hybrid cloud space with our technologies and service offering for on-premise and off-premise clouds. IBM’s Software Defined Environment (SDE) framework and technologies provide a core set of infrastructure services for the enablement of an application driven hybrid cloud. SDE provides the mechanism for automation and orchestration for hybrid cloud infrastructure services, interconnecting the enterprise data center with cloud services across on-premise and off-premise boundaries.
The software defined hybrid cloud utilizes cloud IaaS and SDE capabilities to deliver programmatic and responsive infrastructure services. The SDE hybrid cloud helps businesses focus on capex and opex reduction while growing their business through on premise and off premise cloud interactions leveraging their IT investment and accessing new cloud cost models.
A common hybrid cloud usage scenario that many enterprises are embracing is around the delivery of system of record enterprise applications services connected to cloud-based apps, services and infrastructure. A SDE hybrid cloud enables the combination of “born on cloud“ applications and services and edge of network services securely integrated with back-end data, customer information and in-store inventory.
OpenStack, an open source cloud computing platform for public and private clouds provides an IaaS platform mechanism for cloud providers and enterprises to tie into hybrid services and implementations for on premise data center and off premise OpenStack based clouds.
An implementation of hybrid cloud using OpenStack provides a consistent infrastructure model with variety of choices for hypervisors, compute servers, storage types and network devices. OpenStack based cloud implementations provide an IaaS control plane and an infrastructure resource orchestration engine to deliver a workload policy driven hybrid environment. OpenStack also provides infrastructure automation and policy driven orchestration using OpenStacks HEAT engine combined with use of Heat templates for infrastructure pattern based deployments to simplify the developing and deploying in the hybrid cloud. IBM implementation and delivery of OpenStack provides additional enterprise capability including advanced resource scheduling and enterprise platform connectivity for Power Systems and zVM.
The SDE enabled hybrid cloud provides set of foundational services with a set of common APIs that simplify and abstract the back end implementation, allowing enterprises and cloud service providers to provide core cloud services for compute, storage, and networking.
Key IaaS services for hybrid clouds include:
Auto Scaling - ability to scale cloud workload deployments based on policies and SLAs
Load Balancing - ability to balance workload deployments consistently across cloud zones
Monitoring - event and workload based monitoring, tied into other services including auto scaling
Availability zones and multi regions - definition of cloud infrastructure resource groups and cloud data center topologies for isolation, scale, disaster recovery scenarios
Storage as a services for different storage types (Block, File and Object) - provides storage data plane across multi storage types, supports compute and direct access to storage services for File and Object based applications
SDE enabled hybrid cloud focuses on the needs of IT admin and DevOps users by providing consistent APIs for core services, IaaS automation and orchestration.
Coming up next…..In my ongoing hybrid cloud blog series, we will take a closer look at hybrid IaaS services and case study examples that will help you develop your hybrid cloud strategy. Stay tuned and join the conversation with me @riz_amanuddin or @IBMSDE on Twitter.
Riz S Amanuddin
Senior Technical Staff Member: IT Architect
IBM Software Defined Environment CTO Office