Addressing Public Cloud Concerns with an AWS Hybrid Cloud

By Andy Knosp | December 12, 2013

Many organizations are investing in the public cloud with the intent of saving money and boosting competitiveness. However, a recent survey conducted at the Amazon Web Services re:Invent conference found that IT managers and application developers still regard cost, performance, reliability, and security as the top concerns with using purely public infrastructure.

While public cloud usage is set for huge growth, many adopters are seeking more customizable and cost-effective ways to set up their testing and development environments. With an AWS hybrid cloud, DevOps and data center IT departments can integrate private functionality into AWS infrastructure and achieve better agility, ultimately producing public cloud benefits at a lower overall cost.

RiverBed survey takes pulse of AWS community

The survey of 122 re:Invent attendees, conducted by RiverBed, discovered that the AWS community has several key concerns about the public cloud:

  • Cost - 84 percent identified the variable, on-demand costs of public cloud as a focus area going forward
  • Performance - cited by 88 percent of respondents, performance could be better in helping organizations leverage cloud infrastructure to optimize business and production applications
  • Reliability - more than 90 percent identified this as a top concern, underscoring the ongoing importance of having enough bandwidth to consistently run mission-critical applications
  • Security - public cloud adoption has gradually overcome some of the security fears that initially inhibited uptake, but many companies are still seeking better control over software and equipment. Eighty-six percent of respondents stated that security was a chief concern

Overall, these responses paint a picture of organizations trying to figure out how to optimize AWS resources for their particular IT environments. The cloud is maturing, becoming an essential part of critical everyday operations rather than a novelty, and companies are beginning to scrutinize their setups in search of ways to reduce costs while maintaining control.

"The stakes are much higher for business-critical apps when it comes to performance and reliability," wrote Riverbed's Dormain Drewitz, according to eWeek. "This is natural as cloud usage shifts to more business-critical and other production applications."

More than eight in ten respondents were using the public cloud for testing and development, while many others relied on it to support websites and archiving. Going forward, many wanted to improve the scalability of their Infrastructure as a Service projects, decrease deployment time, and reduce expenditures.

Cloud requirements can be met by integrating hybrid solutions

To meet these requirements, organizations can combine the best aspects of the public cloud, such as its scalability, with private cloud components that enable better agility, control, and cost-effectiveness. Such a solution allows companies to utilize existing data center infrastructure in conjunction with AWS-esque services for superior scaling and faster application deployment.

The momentum of public cloud is strong, especially now that many organizations are closing the skills gap that had previously prevented them from investing in cloud infrastructure, with less than one-third of Riverbed's respondents citing lack of expertise as a limiting factor. As the cloud becomes more integrated into business operations, managers will want to optimize its return on investment, and the AWS-compatible hybrid cloud helps them do so by increasing capacity, providing support for automated testing and dynamic scaling and enabling better control over policies, software and equipment.

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