At its core, an AWS hybrid cloud is about enabling flexible, reliable and cost-effective IT infrastructure. Many organizations are now evaluating how they can mesh private and public resources into a setup that offers superior agility for development and testing, without raising (even lowering) total cost of ownership.
Overall, application workloads are becoming more complex and central to business operations, creating the need for solutions that can handle common use cases such as capacity bursting and disaster recovery. Hybrid infrastructure is increasingly being taken up to meet these requirements.
With hybrid clouds, organizations trim costs while improving agility
A recent Gartner report estimated that more than half of large enterprises would have a hybrid cloud in place by the end of 2017. Gartner researcher Thomas Bittmann observed that along the way, IT managers would have to get up to speed on administering new functionalities such as automated provisioning, self-service environments, usage metrics and applications optimized for the cloud, all while keeping an eye on costs
Commenting on the report, Data Center Dynamics' Yevgeniy Sverdlik noted that the hybrid cloud can address many use cases and verticals, including:
- Healthcare - by combining public cloud scalability with private cloud control and customization, organizations can meet compliance requirements while staying within budget
- Retail - merchants can synthesize social media sentiment about their products with in-house data to make better decisions
- Business intelligence - public cloud resources provide the capacity to support big data projects, which can then be enhanced with privately stored information
With a hybrid cloud, businesses in these sectors and others can achieve a level of control, cost management and application environment flexibility that wouldn't be possible with a strictly public solution. More specifically, AWS can be leveraged alongside pre-existing infrastructure to provide different teams with the resources that they need for efficient development, testing and management of applications.
"A hybrid infrastructure offers the best of both worlds: the security of on-premise data storage and the flexibility of public cloud," wrote Sverdlik. "This attractiveness is not lost on the IT vendors, all of whom are building platforms that are easier to set up as elements of hybrid infrastructure."
AppDynamics demonstrates financial and operational benefits of hybrid cloud
How are organizations saving money and improving business with the hybrid cloud? AppDynamics, a provider of application performance management for applications in the cloud and in the data center, needed a reliable way to simulate application workloads as it tested software-as-a-service solutions.
The company sought to layer cloud infrastructure over custom hardware, creating a highly scalable, on-demand self-service environment. AppDynamics had already invested in the AWS ecosystem, and private and hybrid cloud solutions from Eucalyptus gave it the flexibility to go on using AWS tools for monitoring, image management and and cloud services while improving test environment scalability and utilization of hardware resources.
"We already made significant investment in development and QA tooling based on the AWS API, and Eucalyptus allowed us to utilize that without re-engineering," stated Thomas Morse, director of IT and SaaS operations at AppDynamics. "Eucalyptus workloads can easily be moved between the on-premise infrastructure to AWS, ensuring fidelity between their respective APIs."
Morse clarified by stating that the AppDynamics load-test harness often handled up to 6,000 concurrent connections accessing 20 different applications. Eucalyptus enabled developers to quickly provision instances and meet changing requirements.
Hybrid cloud gains traction with businesses
The appeal of hybrid infrastructure is growing, with many businesses realizing that it open up new options while streamlining costs. According to Telsyte analyst Rodney Gedda, hybrid clouds are poised for more widespread adoption in 2014 since they give IT groups more options in managing infrastructure. Rather than keep everything in-house, departments can move some workloads to the public cloud and benefit from a greater degree of scalability.
"The hybrid model will still play for a lot of enterprises," stated Gedda. "Most enterprises are still deploying infrastructure on premise and have existing investment on premise. So being able to augment that a bit better is what we will see in 2014."
Cost, security and resource optimization have been some of the top drivers of hybrid cloud adoption to date. Find out more on how you can get started to build an AWS hybrid cloud.