In this blog, we’ll explore the Public-Private cloud, rapidly emerging as one of the most vital architecture paradigms in enterprise technology. In a nutshell, this hybrid approach combines traditional benefits of the public cloud (agility, scalability, and the ability to transform IT into a utility service) with the advantages of the private cloud (efficiency and ability to support high performance applications). Effectively, these models can be selected on an app-by-app basis to suit the needs of your enterprise.
Running a private cloud enables greater flexibility and more controlled development practices, but still constitutes an expensive management challenge and potential security risk compared to public cloud options. By utilizing a hybrid approach, a company can consume some services as utility while keeping more unique functionality in house. This need to integrate public- and private- cloud functionality for optimal value and performance also is essential to efficiently provision emerging edge computing use cases.
Rationalizing Cloud Selection
True private clouds should be treated as the substantial investments they are and reserved for specific apps for which the public cloud can’t be used, and those centering on mission-critical investments with deep supporting skillsets warranting a sustained investment.
The public cloud, meanwhile, is perfect for apps and services with relatively standard requirements, stable usage needs, and no discernible disadvantage to the cost margin and IT-automation possibilities enabled by the public cloud. The public cloud is also superior in certain operational scenarios: horizontal scaling, rapid provisioning situations, and small businesses requiring highly resilient and secure applications. The public cloud becomes the effective organization default, with the private cloud ready for more exacting needs.
As the capabilities and flexibility of the public cloud continue to expand (not to mention the growing move toward cloud-native development and distribution for the most innovative applications), we’re seeing more and more workloads migrate to the public cloud, more than ever before. We’d expect most enterprise workloads to be running from off-premises cloud by the end of the decade. For this reason, a longer-term public migration plan for private services makes sense in most cases.
The Edge Imperative
We need to highlight one more development driving the rapid move toward hybrid cloud solutions: the edge computing revolution. Edge computing, broadly, refers to the placement of close-proximity tech infrastructure capable of supporting demanding real-time, on-premise services. This practice facilitates connected objects and sensors, more ubiquitous machine-human touchpoints, and a broader integration of data with operations. This arrangement limits bandwidth concerns, add resiliency to these newly essential services, and substantially minimizes latency concerns.
The growing importance of edge computing means more and more data and services will center on infrastructure processed outside both the central data-center and the cloud. The end arrangement for ambitious edge computing operations is a huge array of “mini” data centers at on-premise locations.
Supporting this model will require novel enterprise technology infrastructure, particularly to maintain security and cost management at many disparate locations. Edge computing scenarios increasingly need to be at the center of any organization’s long-term planning for the cloud.
A true hybrid-cloud model cuts through this dense knot of management problems by enabling the customization of the private cloud, the savings of the public cloud, and a governance model necessary or efficiently extending some combination of both to edge locations. Only a hybrid model can make it cost effective to source serious storage/compute power on premise at sufficient scale to enable the most transformative edge computing use cases.