The best of both worlds: That’s the value proposition of hybrid cloud, in a nutshell.
What Is a Hybrid Cloud?
Supported by the right technologies, a hybrid cloud connects virtualized and bare-metal resources across public and private cloud environments. It essentially combines the immense resource scalability of a general-purpose public cloud, which delivers on-demand and reserved capacity across a wide variety of service offerings, with the tighter control and more extensive customization of a company-specific private cloud. Moreover, the best hybrid clouds are open, with compatibility spanning multiple types of hardware and software, which helps avoid lock-in and preserve operational flexibility.
What Are the Advantages of Hybrid Cloud?
A hybrid cloud with standardized and well-coordinated controls across all of its infrastructure types can deliver:
High workload portability and development agility
Organizations often rely on multiple clouds and need to move workloads between them for purposes of performance and cost optimization. The unified pane of management within a hybrid cloud helps simplify this process. For example, a workload running in a private cloud can be shifted into a public cloud if and when it sees increased demand, a practice known as “cloud bursting.” It can then resume running privately once demand declines again. This portability is also good for keeping up with evolving business requirements that may necessitate relocating an existing application to better serve customers, or developing a new one that can run in multiple environments.
Granular cost management
Hybrid clouds enable firmer control over cloud spending than possible in a public cloud alone. That’s because resource usage can be scaled up or down as needed, as in the example above, without as much risk of overcommitting to cloud instances. This is an important benefit in light of how frequently companies overspend in public and multi cloud environments. According to an Opsani survey, 69% of companies overshoot their cloud budgets by 25% or more. Likewise, visibility into complex public and multicloud setups is often limited, with many IT decision-makers reporting less insight than they had in on-premises environments in a Keysight report. Hybrid cloud provides much-needed control of both cloud technologies and related expenses in this context.
More control of the technology stack
When building a hybrid cloud, an organization can pick and choose which components it uses to connect its environments and orchestrate its workloads. This level of flexibility is beyond what’s usually achievable when working exclusively within a public cloud service provider’s proprietary ecosystem. Moreover, there is the option to incorporate open source technologies such as Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Enterprise Linux to build the hybrid cloud, for savings as well as simplification compared to traditional software licenses. A solid open source foundation supports a hybrid cloud that is cost-effective and stable as well as capable of being quickly modified to address new technical and business-related objectives.
How Should a Hybrid Cloud Be Built?
A hybrid cloud may also improve cybersecurity and mitigate risk more broadly, by reducing a company’s reliance on technologies that they don’t fully control. But to really make the most of a hybrid cloud, you need the right tools for building and managing it, as not all such options are created equal.
Red Hat’s comprehensive range of open source technologies have been used for building successful hybrid clouds atop a wide range of hardware and software. The open source approach lets enterprises choose the best infrastructure for their specific needs and in turn harness the power of services such as Kubernetes for container orchestration in their hybrid clouds. Red Hat OpenShift in particular has been pivotal to these projects.
What Is Red Hat OpenShift and How Does It Work?
Red Hat OpenShift is a platform for the automated installation, maintenance and lifecycle management of software containers, which are the building blocks of secure and portable hybrid cloud workloads. A container implements operating system-level virtualization so that the containerized workloads can run consistently across multiple environments.
OpenShift provides Kubernetes orchestration — i.e., configuration, management and coordination — of Docker containers, along with many other features that likewise support sustainable and versatile hybrid clouds, including but not limited to:
- Quarkus, a Java stack that enables rapid transformation of applications using the Java runtime into Kuberentes-native apps.
- OpenShift Serverless, a platform that ensures containers only consume the resources they require at a given point in time, with no risk of over- or underconsumption.
- Edge computing features that work within Red Hat Enterprise Linux, such as fast operating system image creation, low-data over-the-air updates and intelligent rollbacks of images in response to confirmed issues.
- Support and optimization across common enterprise hardware, including multiple IBM solutions plus x86, along with availability as a managed or self-managed service on all major clouds (IBM Cloud, AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud).
Organizations like Lufthansa Technik have used OpenShift in tandem with other Red Hat Solutions to create highly efficient hybrid clouds. Lufthansa Technik sought to create a scalable hybrid cloud environment with a uniform data repository capable of supporting multiple applications. Looking to avoid proprietary technologies, it chose a collection of Red Hat solutions including OpenShift. The end result was much faster application development and delivery, thanks to tighter integration between the company’s internal systems and external third-party counterparts. It also saw reduced costs for maintenance, repair and operations.
Interested in exploring a Red Hat-based hybrid cloud of your own? InfoSystems can help. We are a Red Hat Advanced Business Partner in North America, offering Red Hat’s open source technologies for building hybrid clouds and other innovations as part of your digital transformation journey toward higher efficiency and productivity. To learn more about how our experienced team can help you implement the Red Hat solutions that best fit your particular business requirements, connect with us today.