Hybrid cloud adoption is exploding. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020, 90% of organizations will have adopted a hybrid infrastructure.
Hybrid cloud architectures integrate private clouds and third-party public clouds, with each one handling different workloads and processes. This gives organizations the ability to move workloads between private and public clouds as needed, providing greater flexibility and agility.
Private clouds are usually built and managed by in-house staff or external consultants. Public clouds are accessed through third-party vendors such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and other niche vendors. Typically, organizations will use private clouds to host sensitive or critical workloads, while employing public clouds to host less-critical resources, such as test and development workloads.
With a hybrid cloud architecture, organizations can strategically allocate compute and storage resources in the most efficient and cost-effective way. For example, if you have valuable, private information that you’re hesitant to entrust to a third party, those workloads can be run on your private cloud. Your less sensitive tasks—especially ones that are very resource-intensive—can be run on your public cloud.
The flexibility afforded by a hybrid cloud solution can save organizations a lot of money. It can be quite expensive to pay for year-round access to the bandwidth and compute and storage resources required to handle exceptionally resource-intensive workloads. Scaling public cloud resources as needed helps control these costs. For example, a transactional order entry system might experience high demand spikes during the holiday season. With a hybrid cloud architecture, the application could run in a private cloud, but it could access additional computing resources from a third-party public cloud when the demand rises past a certain threshold.
Hybrid cloud connectivity challenges
While hybrid cloud provides many benefits, there are some notable challenges inherent in running hybrid cloud architectures—particularly with regard to connectivity and latency.
For hybrid cloud to ensure a return on investment, organizations need to have robust connectivity between their private and public cloud configurations. In this way, workloads can be seamlessly distributed to whichever cloud is most appropriate and advantageous at the time. While this may sound relatively simple, this kind of orchestration ends up being one of the most challenging aspects of hybrid cloud architectures.
Latency can also become a critical problem when trying to support data traffic between private and public clouds. According to Gartner analyst Joe Skorupa, too many companies neglect their network after moving to the cloud. They are so focused on development, security, and costs that network connectivity isn’t adequately addressed. The end result is that companies discover that their network connections are inadequate for handling the demands of their new cloud workloads. This results in latency that slows response times, breaches service level agreements (SLAs) and disrupts service.
Colocation to the rescue
Because hybrid cloud computing depends on 24/7 connectivity between an organization’s public and private cloud environments, directly connecting in a colocation data center can be the key to robust, successful hybrid cloud deployment. Not only can companies store and connect to their own private servers in a colocation data center, but they can directly connect to an ecosystem of network and cloud providers, bypassing the public internet.
Whether an interconnected data center acts as a direct on-ramp to your cloud services, provides immediate access to various types of connectivity or serves as a strategic storage, compute and delivery location, the power of interconnected colocation lies in the provisioning of direct, high-bandwidth connections with ultra-low latency. These direct connections ensure the agility you need to seamlessly run different workloads on multiple clouds in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.
Netrality’s interconnected colocation data centers offer the highest quality and most direct network access. Located in Philadelphia, Houston, Kansas City, St. Louis, and Chicago, Netrality’s properties are the hub in their markets for those who need direct connectivity and bandwidth flexibility across multiple networks and clouds and those who provide those services.