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Hybrid Cloud Is the Future

The Public Cloud Is Only the First Step to a Bigger Payoff

Amazon and Google have done a remarkable job promoting public cloud, as VMware, Cisco and OpenStack have done similarly with private cloud.  Yet late last year at the December Gartner Data Center Conference 2012 the dominant theme was neither public cloud nor private cloud, but rather hybrid cloud.  The hybrid cloud is form of cloud computing whereby applications and services can run across multiple clouds, colocation and data centers seamlessly, as a single hybrid cloud.

Before you dismiss hybrid cloud as another marketing twist on cloudwashing, consider its roots and evolution from the physical data center into an elastic, software-defined data center (as VMware calls it).  We started talking about a new, elastic architecture back in 2010 from the context of the necessary evolution of networks to support elastic and dynamic virtual infrastructures, including clouds.

Although it has been discussed for years (see this article from InformationWeek in 2010 on the now defunct infrastructure 2.0 working group), the technical and business barriers have kept it, until recently, confined to slides and drawings and tactical tools. See my recent high velocity cloud blog for more background.  Hybrid cloud is not about running apps in a region of a cloud or a data center; it is about running apps seamlessly across clouds or zones and data centers. Think boundless data centers.

This theme is very relevant to virtually all of today's technology companies, including Cisco, HP, Oracle and others, because it represents a revolution in how apps and services are delivered.  Hybrid cloud represents the ultimate decoupling of an application, OS and service from a specific piece of hardware or even location.  Hybrid cloud will do to the tether between apps and services and clouds what VMware did to the once powerful bond between apps, operating systems and individual servers.

From devtest clouds to cloud migration and cloning, a new generation of solutions from new startups and leading tech players will drive hybrid cloud adoption. Stay tuned.

Hybrid cloud will change the cloud game and shift fortunes from the big to the bold.

More Stories By Greg Ness

Greg Ness is a Silicon Valley marketing veteran with background in networking, security, virtualization and cloud computing. He is VP Marketing at CloudVelocity. Formerly at Vantage Data Centers, Infoblox, Blue Lane Technologies, Juniper Networks, Redline Networks, McAfee, IntruVerofficer at Networks and ShoreTel. He is one of the world's top cloud bloggers.