Arthur Cole paints a clear picture of the challenges of balancing cloud computing, data centers, outsourced applications and storage in this IT Business Edge post. Should CIO strategy assume a heterogeneous environment with flexibility is an underlying goal?
The popular consensus is that 2011 will be the year of the cloud. Well, not quite. More likely, it will be the year of the hybrid cloud.
Despite what appears to be a mad rush to push infrastructure concerns to someone else, the fact is that most enterprises will be content to test the cloud waters over the next few years. The best way to do that is to integrate local resources with those available on the cloud. In that way, you retain control over data and applications while scaling resources up when the need arises.
But if that sounds simple, it's not. The fact is, there are a number of pain points when it comes to integrating internal and external infrastructure, not the least of which is selecting among the various types of hybrid environments that are taking shape. Cisco's Brian Gracely laid out several options in his "Clouds of Change" blog recently. Among them are an "in-sourced/out-sourced" applications model in which clear lines are drawn between what is to remain in-house and what can be put on the cloud, and the gateway model in which on-site hardware is used to support a growing roster of cloud services. More complex models incorporate techniques like application mobility and portability and multiple cloud/IaaS/PaaS configurations. Selecting a particular model will depend very much on your comfort level with cloud technology and your specific data needs.
More of the IT Business Edge post from Arthur Cole