Hybrid cloud combines and unifies public cloud, private cloud and on-premises infrastructure to create a single, flexible, cost-optimal IT infrastructure.
Hybrid cloud integrates public cloud services, private cloud services and on-premises infrastructure and provides orchestration, management and application portability across all three. The result is a single, unified and flexible distributed computing environment where an organization can run and scale its traditional or cloud-native workloads on the most appropriate computing model.
Hybrid multicloud is hybrid cloud that includes public cloud services from more than one cloud service provider.
By enabling a company to
hybrid cloud - and particularly hybrid multicloud - helps a company achieve its technical and business objectives more effectively and cost-efficiently than public cloud or private cloud alone. In fact, according to one recent study, companies derive up to 2.5x the value from hybrid cloud than from a single-cloud, single-vendor approach.
Initially, hybrid cloud architecture focused on the mechanics of transforming portions of a company's on-premises data center into private cloud infrastructure, and then connecting that infrastructure to public cloud environments hosted off-premises by a public cloud provider (e.g. AWS, Google Cloud Services, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure). This was accomplished using a prepackaged hybrid cloud solution such as Red Hat OpenStack (link resides outside ibm.com) or by using sophisticated enterprise middleware to integrate cloud resources across the environments, and unified management tools for monitoring, allocating and managing those resources from a central console or 'single pane of glass.'
The result was unified IT infrastructure well-suited to several use cases:
Today, hybrid cloud architecture is focused less on physical connectivity, and more on supporting the portability of workloads across all cloud environments, and on automating the deployment of those workloads to the best cloud environment for a given business purpose.
Several trends are driving this shift.
As part of the next critical step in their digital transformations, organizations are building new applications and modernizing legacy applications to leverage cloud native technologies - technologies that enable consistent and reliable development, deployment, management and performance across cloud environments and across cloud vendors.
Specifically, they're building or transforming applications to use microservices architecture, which breaks applications into smaller, loosely coupled, reusable components focused on specific business functions. And they're deploying these applications in containers - lightweight executable units that contain only the application code and the virtualized operating system dependencies required to run it.
At a higher level, public and private cloud are no longer physical 'locations' to connect. For example, many cloud vendors now offer public cloud services that run in their customers on-premises data centers; private clouds, once run exclusively on-premises, are now often hosted in off-premises data centers, on virtual private networks (VPNs) or virtual private clouds (VPCs), or on dedicated infrastructure rented from third party providers (who are sometimes public cloud providers).
What’s more, infrastructure virtualization – also called infrastructure as code - lets developers create these environments on demand using any compute resources or cloud resources located behind or beyond the firewall. This takes on added importance with the advent of edge computing, which offers opportunities to improve global application performance by moving workloads and data closer to where the actual computing gets done.
As a result of these and other factors, modern hybrid cloud infrastructure is starting to coalesce around a unified hybrid multicloud platform that includes:
Cloud-native development lets developers transform monolithic applications into units of business-focused functionality that can be run anywhere and reused within a variety of applications. A standard operating system lets developers build any hardware dependency into any container. And Kubernetes orchestration and automation gives developers granular, set-it-and-forget-it control over container configuration and deployment - including security, load balancing, scalability and more - across multiple cloud environments.
Download the Forrester study
A unified hybrid cloud strategy is still in its 'early adopter' phase; in a recent survey 13 percent of organizations reported they were actively using a multicloud management platform. But these organizations are already realizing significant benefits including:
IBM Cloud Satellite
Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud
IBM Cloud hybrid cloud solutions deliver flexibility and portability for both applications and data. Linux, Kubernetes and containers support the hybrid cloud stack and combine with Red Hat OpenShift to create a common platform connecting on-premises and cloud resources.
Learn more about hybrid cloud solutions built with IBM Cloud.
To start building your own hybrid cloud solutions, sign up for an IBMid and create your IBM Cloud account.
IBM Hybrid Cloud Solutions
On-premises infrastructure for hybrid cloud
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