In the past two months several of our partners and customers confronted me with the topic “hybrid cloud”. Seems that due to my experience from the last 2 years in a sensitive public sector organization as an enterprise architect people think about me as a hybrid cloud expert. Well, I am starting to be one because I am really spending a whole lot of my time thinking about this topic. First thing I want to publish is a mind map with some thoughts that I typically tend to take into consideration when it comes to hybrid cloud.
Many people indeed tend to think about either cloud or on-premises but not both. Hybrid solutions are all about combining on-premises with cloud-based services. That way a hybrid solution keeps parts of the solution on-premises, moves other parts into public clouds and integrates those. Integration typically happens through mechanisms offered by either the public cloud, your on-premises platform or both. That way you can leverage benefits of public clouds whenever applicable such as the following:
Of course typical perceived reasons used as arguments for keeping assets on-premises are the obvious suspects: legal compliance, data protection and security are often mentioned as arguments for keeping (parts of) solutions on-premises. In addition, very often existing investments done and depreciation of existing assets are typical reasons for keeping parts of solutions on-premises. Whatever reasons and arguments are used, there will always be good opportunities to leverage the benefits of public clouds in some way. Typical examples are:
Windows Azure indeed provides technologies and mechanisms for integrating services and applications operated on-premises with other services and applications operated in the cloud. I’ve summarized the most important options on Windows Azure in the mind map published as part of this posting (see image above and link at the end of the posting). The mind map summarizes a few core-questions you should ask yourselves to decide, which technique and technology to use for integrating on-premises services and applications with those operated in public clouds:
As you can see there are many options available that enable hybrid solutions with Windows Azure and therefore enable YOU to leverage the cloud whenever useful and beneficial for your solution while at the same time keeping solution assets on-premises that cannot be moved to a public cloud…
Finally, here’s the full mind-map integrated from XMind:
(thanks to Peter Koen for his help to fine-tune the article and re-publish a more concise version)