As cloud-first strategies gradually transform into cloud-only initiatives, many IT teams feel pressured to move all, or at least a majority, of their workloads to the cloud as legacy on-premises infrastructure slowly becomes harder to use for modern applications. Seeking to avoid vendor lock-in, keep sensitive data protected, and increase organizational agility, more and more businesses are adopting hybrid and multi-cloud strategies. In fact, hybrid IT is increasingly seen as a long-term strategic project for many companies. Consider the following:
- According to the 2018 IDG Cloud Computing study, 42% of organizations currently rely on multi-cloud environments.
- A recent Forrester presentation revealed that 74% of enterprises describe their cloud strategies as either “hybrid” or “multi-cloud” today.
- Gartner confirms these numbers, projecting that 75% of mid-size and large organizations will have adopted hybrid and multi-cloud IT strategies by 2021.
Hybrid cloud strategies are undoubtedly powerful, but there are various types of hybrid and multi-cloud deployment scenarios organizations should consider based on their application needs and how they want to set up their IT infrastructure.
Hybrid Cloud Deployment Scenarios
Hybrid cloud environments incorporate infrastructure from several platforms and data centers. In most cases, this entails running infrastructure on-premises while also using resources hosted by a cloud service provider, like Google Cloud Platform.
Here are three of the most common hybrid cloud deployment scenarios:
1. Lifecycle partitioning
Lifecycle partitioning is the process of moving parts of the application development lifecycle to the cloud while the rest remain on premises. The most popular example of this hybrid cloud deployment scenario occurs when applications are developed and tested in the cloud but then moved on-premises for production deployment.
2. Application partitioning
Application partitioning occurs when parts of a production application run in the cloud while other parts run on-premises. For example, Sony PlayStation runs databases for individual games in the cloud but takes care of user authentication on-premises. Graphic with diagrams of the three types of hybrid cloud deployment scenarios.
3. Application spanning
Application spanning happens when the same application runs on-premises and in the cloud. A common use case for this hybrid cloud deployment scenario is when it’s much quicker and easier to provision new infrastructure from a cloud provider to meet spikes in demand than scale on-premises resources. A good example of application spanning is Best Buy running its entire online store application actively across multiple cloud regions and multiple on-premises data centers to allow it to quickly adjust to demand spikes, such as during the holiday period.
Multi-Cloud Deployment Scenarios
Multi-cloud infrastructure involves a combination of on-premises, hosted, and cloud services that are spread over internal data centers and multiple private and public clouds. Simply put, multi-cloud environments enable you to pick the right cloud for each specific job because you’re using more than one cloud offering at the same time.
DataStax customers often think about multi-cloud strategies as future-proofing exercises. For the most part, companies want to make architectural decisions today that will allow them to either move to or leverage other public clouds in the future, taking their data with them wherever they end up going.
Multi-cloud strategies are gaining more momentum as organizations try to unlock best-in-breed capabilities from different cloud providers.
There are two common multi-cloud deployment scenarios:
- Multi-cloud: When a service or product runs on more than one cloud service provider infrastructure and potentially also on-premises.
- Intercloud: When data is integrated or exchanged between cloud service providers as part of a logical application deployment.
Graphic with diagrams of the two types of multi-cloud deployment scenarios. Multi-cloud implementation involves taking either of the above deployment scenarios and implementing them across several clouds—not just one. Sometimes, this is done to avoid vendor lock-in. But for the most part, this happens to get access to cloud-specific functionality, moving each workload to the most beneficial environment.
Is Your Enterprise Ready to Move to a Hybrid or Multi-Cloud Environment?
There’s a reason why hybrid cloud and multi-cloud adoption is surging: These environments give organizations the cost savings, agility, scalability, and availability that modern applications demand.
While it’s easy to move apps to the cloud, managing all of the associated data can be complicated without the right approach. After all, there are several issues to consider when it comes to hybrid cloud journey success, including data silos, seamless scalability, and availability.
To this end, organizations need to have a well-thought-out strategy before migrating to hybrid or multi-cloud environments. By doing your due diligence and keeping these critical design principles in mind as you start architecting, you can overcome these challenges and unlock the true promise of the cloud—delighting your customers and bolstering your bottom line along the way.