Traditional hybrid cloud architecture
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:
Modern hybrid cloud architecture
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.
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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 provides you with the most comprehensive and consistent approach to development, security and operations across hybrid environments. Our hybrid cloud approach offer up to 2.5x more value than a public cloud-only approach.
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Deploy and manage containerized applications consistently across on-premises, edge computing and public cloud environments from any vendor.
IBM Hybrid Cloud Mesh offers simple, secure and predictable application-centric connectivity.
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.