Organizations adopt cloud technologies to leverage both cost savings and technical expertise to focus on its core business. Hybrid cloud solution offers the features of both public cloud and private cloud to its customers. As the obstructions of public cloud are the same for hybrid cloud as well, vendors are confronted with the challenges of security and delivery of a solution that acts as a bridge across various cloud delivery models and traditional IT.
Public cloud services have revolutionized the IT industry and have encouraged organizations of all sizes to implement advanced technologies in computing at lesser cost. However, organizations are skeptical about cloud security.Cloud providers are continuously focusing on developing different levels of security at each process level. Still how many of us believe in adopting the Public cloud environment for the businesses? The numbers might not be significantly high as the enterprise feels the risk of losing their sensitive data on the public platform and this has become a debatable topic in the world over. Cloud must have been the most viable choice for enterprises but the migration would involve lot of thought and evaluation of Cloud service provider along with formulating various transition strategies for adopting hybrid cloud.
Dharmesh Godha, President and CTO, Advaiya Solutions feels, “After the adoption of private cloud (virtualization in own data center), Hybrid cloud is next in the path for the Indian companies. With many concerns like existing investments, sensitive data and availability of solutions, there is a resistance in adopting public cloud entirely, so the Hybrid cloud is the best alternative giving benefits of both the world.”
But where there are cynical thoughts among the enterprises going on public cloud completely the adoption of Hybrid cloud in India will too going to take some more time to pick up. As the trend observed worldwide big enterprise do keep their sensitive data in private cloud and other data in public cloud. It’s the security perception that driving such concept. The same trend can be predicted for India too in the years to come.
Challenges of Hybrid Cloud
This might have been an affordable option but the cloud migration involves lot of evaluation related to the challenges of adoption. Anupam Saha, Director, Realto Express believes that Data Migration, data security and a reliable transition will remain a challenge. So choosing a reputed cloud vendor will be the first major decision one should take.
Hybrid cloud adoption is a slow transition by definition and if managed properly. While this transformation is being planned and implemented, a proper process for the implementation needs to be defined. In addition a management system should also be in place. Regular audits and proper control needs to be maintained to reap the benefits of the cloud and mitigating the risks.
Data residency is one of the biggest challenges for cloud users. In public cloud you are not aware of the data where it is residing but in private cloud you have the surety of your data residing and stored in a safe location. Networking and database challenges are other issues that needs to be addressed. Because each enterprise splits up their data between public and private clouds in a unique way, data security methods must solve multiple challenges:
How to secure on-premise data center resources
How to secure applications when they migrate to the public cloud
How to secure data stored with multiple cloud service providers
How to protect virtualized underpinnings of public and private clouds
How to secure mobile devices which connect to the cloud infrastructure
The key to addressing these issues is taking a holistic approach to cloud security.
An essentially a synthesis of virtual and physical infrastructure, connected to the cloud, it provides enterprises the option of using private and public cloud judiciously depending. One can use the critical data on private cloud and non critical data on public cloud thus making it easier for the enterprises to operate in cloud environment.
These benefits also create a risk for business i.e. ignoring the sensitivity and security. In a hybrid cloud environment proper IT policies and checks need to be placed to ensure that the fundamental aspects of keeping certain apps or data private are taken care of. “If cost is a factor, regular audits must be made on the usage of available private infrastructure & its maintenance, and the cost of keeping the public cloud. So a proper and updated policy for using the cloud infrastructure needs to be there to ensure a successful implementation,” adds Godha.
Organizations can have the control on security, compliance and governance similar to the private cloud for certain critical operation in the organization. The technology is most suitable for verticals that have lots of client interaction and relatively big back end operations. FMCG, Automobiles, manufacturing, retail, hospitality, government, education and public sector can benefit a lot while the industries like banking/financial and to some extent healthcare industries have to take extra care about the risks involved.
Adoption of Hybrid cloud
IT decision-makers report greatest interest in using IaaS in a hybrid cloud approach to complement on-premises capacity, rather than replace it, and are planning for the impact that will have on network operations and spending. According to Forrester Research the hybrid model of implementing IaaS is particularly enticing for US and European enterprises. Twenty-eight percent of hardware decision-makers report using a hybrid cloud strategy for server resources today, and nearly half predict that they will have workloads in both traditional/on-premises and hosted/service provider cloud environments by 2016.
Gartner predicted that Hybrid cloud today is where the private cloud market was three years ago. According to Gartner, by 2017 half of the enterprises will have a hybrid cloud which it defines as a policy based service provisioning platform that spans internal and external cloud resources.
Godha believes, “Adopting the Hybrid cloud requires a lot of IT capabilities to be brought together. Hybrid cloud needs a private cloud implementation, access to public cloud resources and a management platform that can manage the services across the cloud boundaries. There are some new technologies available such as Microsoft’s windows server, Windows Azure Pack & System Center, and VMware’s vSphere&vcloud suite that provide efficient ways to manage infrastructure providing capabilities such as self service, reporting etc.
Organizations in India still need time to pick up the concept of Hybrid cloud. Anupam believes, “Apart of big organizations in India, majority of organizations has just started to explore the benefits of public cloud services. A sudden change in the business environment may change the situation where a hybrid cloud can offer a superior solution for majority of Indian organization but will take time.”
On the contrary, Godha is of the view that Organizations in India are ready to move to hybrid cloud. The technology has capabilities to deliver what the organizations need. You just need to convince them and demonstrate them the value of the cloud infrastructure.
Organizations need to take a gradual approach towards this. The private cloud implementation should be in place and proper controls and management tools should be in place. Services should be identified and studied for the public cloud implementation and gradually workloads by workloads should be introduced to the public services. During the identification process scalability and performance requirements should be determined and various public cloud services should be accessed against those requirements.
For mission critical processes this type of cloud infrastructure is much more effective because of enhanced control and management by the enterprise. They enable seamless connectivity between private and public clouds in times of greater needs of computing. The value of Hybrid cloud environment continues to grow for enterprises as services are becoming more and more refined with each passing quarter. The top vendors who are offering varied options includes Amazon, VMware, Microsoft, Rackspace for infrastructure services while Google, Microsoft, Netsuite and Fujitsu are some of the top application services vendors.