Hybrid clouds are all the rage in cloud computing today, with Gartner naming them "a major focus for 2012", even as hybrid clouds constitute fully 20 per cent of enterprise clouds today. But are they really anything more than a new face on private clouds? Marten Mickos, chief executive of private cloud company, Eucalyptus …
It's only the "cloud" if it's run and owned by someone else and off site and you don't know or care how many physical servers it is.
"Run and owned by someone else"
is why my company won't touch public cloud computing with a 90 foot pole. We already have a remotely-accessible server onsite and two offsite backups where the sales and other field staff can get to their data while on the road / at home / wherever.
If we follow the sheep and start using public cloud facilities, how long would it be before the cloud provider or some other agency a) lost, deleted or tampered with the data; b) sold it to competitors; c) failed to implement security measures to prevent hacking or industrial espionage?
This endless push, push, push, to get our data out under control of other companies is really getting very tiresome. There are NO benefits a public cloud provides that can't be met by a private cloud setup, and a whole lot of things that can go wrong.
I thought the whole point was that you didn't care about the implementation or provisioning or anything else, just that you get to run your stuff as needed. Then the cloud provider measures the required capacity, loads etc, with the cloud software automatically using the available hardware across a lot of different customers, so everyone benefits from the economies of scale such a flexible setup allows.
A 'private cloud' has to be a misnomer. At that point it's just a rack with VMotion...
Buying a Hybrid Cloud?
No one can buy a hybrid cloud -- what they can buy is enabling hardware and software that allows multiple clouds -- public or private -- to connect for the purpose of sharing compute power, storage, or data. And even in these very early days for this technology, properly done the CIO can have as much control over what he shares and when as he might like.
Yes there are some who believe that private clouds aren't clouds -- usually they rely on their lesser elasticity in this discussion. But public clouds don't have infinite capacity either and private clouds can be as big (or as interconnected) as their owners choose.
The hybrid technology allows architects, developers, and CIO's another way of managing their IT needs. Most companies who are using or planning to use this technology find it a natural development in the emerging important of clouds.
For those who believe that private clouds are a myth, you can find some publicly cited refererences here: http://www.ibm.com/search/csass/search?sn=mh&q=case%20studies%20private%20cloud&lang=en&cc=us&en=utf. My understanding is that IBM has helped to implement thousands of private clouds, including a number of community clouds (a private cloud whose owner chooses to share it with a group of invited users).
Will private clouds be important in the long run? It looks that way, but only time will tell. Perhaps public clouds in some future, near or far, will appear to be sufficiently secure and full of compelling features that CIO's will choose to favor them. I expect that, as always in computing, the ending will be much more heterogeneous than that.
I keep wondering
how "cloud" is different to conventional shared hosting anyway, when we see well-publicised and wide-ranging outages from providers as large as Amazon and Microsoft.
isn't a private cloud
Just another name for servers.