The Rise of Hybrid Cloud: Are You Ready?

Posted by Limor Wainstein on May 9, 2018 4:21:33 PM

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Hybrid Cloud is a computing network that utilizes on-premises private cloud as well as third party public cloud services. With seamless movement between the two cloud services, hybrid cloud ensures businesses have the freedom of flexibility and additional data deployment choices.

The fundamentals of running a rewarding hybrid cloud is the selection of compatible hypervisor and software layers. This ensures the proper data exchange with the public cloud APIs. In this post, we are going to talk about hybrid cloud, and Amazon’s infrastructure for setting up hybrid cloud. We will also cover hybrid cloud pricing, and how to prepare for that using tools like this AWS calculator. Let’s get started!

Hybrid Cloud Blog

Hybrid Cloud - Benefits and Challenges

Hybrid cloud allows for the setting up of on-location private cloud that hosts critical and sensitive data and processes, while making use of public cloud services to host limited sensitive operations.

Hybrid cloud is especially useful in workflows with a history of demand spikes. For example, an order system can witness a spike during the holiday/shopping season. This workflow can operate on private cloud for most of the year, but make use of a third party hybrid cloud to access extra computing resources during the annual spikes. This can be done via a deployment model called cloud bursting.

Though it has its well documented benefits, using hybrid cloud can present its fair share of technical, operational and management complications. One of the first challenges are to to ensure that the private cloud workflows can interact adequately with the public cloud services. This requires API affinity and network connectivity.

Given that the hybrid cloud requires seamless connectivity between the private and public cloud, connectivity issues can lead to downtime, missed SLAs and similar disruptions in service. Though this can be circumvented by constructing hybrid cloud processes that can communicate effectively with different public cloud providers, it leads to an over complication of workflow design and architecture.

Perhaps the most basic challenge is for businesses to construct and manage its private cloud while implementing additional software to interact with the public cloud APIs. This requires inhouse knowledge along with systems and related tools, etc. The responsibility for the maintenance of its private cloud as well ensuring its continued compatibility despite advancements and changes to public cloud APIs lies solely with the business.

Hybrid Cloud Management Tools

A number of cloud management tools exist to assist businesses manage operations using the hybrid cloud. These include Egenera PAN Cloud Director, Cisco CloudCenter, Scalr Enterprise Cloud Management Platform and RightScale Cloud Management. These handle tasks like billing, workflow conception, etc.

Additional tools include, IBM Cloud Orchestrator, Red Hat CloudForms, BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management, VMware vCloud Suite, etc.

Amazon’s Hybrid Architecture

Working with businesses and large corporations, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has developed some of the most extensive hybrid architecture capabilities. These cover data storage, application deployment, networking, data security, and hybrid cloud management tools.

AWS has also entered into partnerships with on-premises cloud providers like VMware, Intel, SAP and Microsoft, among others. This ensures seamless cross-connection between public and private cloud platforms.

AWS presents a broad collection of services that addresses most areas of migration from instance options to transport. Some of the main services provided include:

  • AWS Direct Connect - A committed physical connection with the absence of any data transfer over the public domain
  • AWS Import and Export Snowball - Batch data transfer services with AWS Snowball allowing for secure and quicker data transfer between AWS cloud and other storage devices using access keys for IAM users.
  • AWS S3 Transfer Acceleration - Encryption of data while at rest or transit as well as swift and secure data transfer over long distances.
  • AWS Kinesis Firehose - Security of data while in transit. Access can be controlled using IAM.

Integrating Amazon with On-premises data structure

AWS offers a wide spectrum of database and storage services which are in-sync with the businesses’ on-premises applications.  This allows for reliable and secure data storage with an equal or higher level of control. This is complemented by a matched reliability and data accessibility and a higher level of security.

Amazon RDS

Amazon’s Relational Database makes setting up, operating, and scaling a cloud hosted relational database relatively easy. It is both cost-efficient and has flexible capacity while at the same time managing repetitive database admin tasks. You can choose from six database engines - Amazon Aurora, MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, Maria DB and MS SQL Server.

Amazon S3

Amazon Simple Storage Service provides developers with secure cloud storage at scale. Amazon S3 accommodates multiple uses including S3 Standard for regularly accessed data, S3 Standard - Infrequent Access for long term, but seldomly accessed data as well as Amazon Glacier for data archiving needs.

Amazon VPC

Amazon Virtual Private Cloud allows for provisioning of AWS Cloud that can be used to activate AWS resources within a virtual network. Users have total control over their VPC including IP address range, subnets and gateways and composition of route tables. Users can also generate a Hardware VPN connection between their data center and VPC. AWS Cloud then acts as an expansion of their corporate data center.

Amazon EC2 Run Command

The Amazon EC2 Run Command allows users to manage servers and virtual machines in a remote, secure environment. It empowers users with an easy way to automate and execute administrative tasks like running Shell scripts on Linux or Windows, installing software, etc.

To know more about integrating Amazon with on-premise data structure, visit Amazon’s hybrid cloud page.

Preparing for Amazon Hybrid Pricing

AWS has three basic chargeable areas - Compute, Storage and Data Transfer Out. These three fundamental areas impact your billing the most. This, despite the fact that each may differ slightly depending on the AWS product your business signs up for.

While AWS charges you for outbound data transfer, all inbound transfer of data is not charged. This includes data transfer that occurs intra-region. Outbound data transfer is usually grouped together between AWS like EC2, S3, SimpleDB, RDS, SQS, SNS and Amazon VPC. These are charged at the current transfer rate.

AWS provides tools that can help you keep your costs under control and make sure you are using AWS to its full potential. These include -

  • AWS Trusted Advisor - Analysis of the complete set of resources under use and a configuration comparison check against established best practices. This helps running large amounts of workflows efficiently with a minimal risk of downtime.
  • AWS Simple Monthly Calculator - Empowers businesses to list parameters for AWS services under use or that might come under use in future and calculates an approximate monthly cost likely to be incurred.
  • AWS Price List API - The Price List API offers programmatic access to designers and architects to query the AWS price list instead of searching manually through the web.

There are also some third party tools that help in management of cloud costs and monitor optimum usage of cloud resources such as Cloudability, CloudCheckr, and Cloudyn.

Summary

The increasing demand of cloud computing is showcased by the sheer number of enterprises transitioning to web services. That said, moving to the cloud comes with certain hurdles that can make some businesses think twice. In cases like this, businesses can find it helpful to go with the hybrid cloud option.

Cost is the major driving force behind most of these transitions which is where Hybrid Cloud steps in. It helps reduce costs by allowing businesses to spend less on technology needs while giving businesses more flexibility, accessibility and data security.

Topics: Amazon Web Services, Amazon Simple Storage Services, hybrid cloud, private cloud

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