By: Jay Marshall

VMware has a rich history of taking technology buzzwords and making them commonplace. It was five years ago that we started using the term “private cloud.”   Fast-forward to today and most networking conversations include the term “software-defined.”  As we approach one full year since the announcement of vCloud Hybrid Service, it looks like we are doing it again with “hybrid cloud.”

Best of Interop

At Interop this year, it became apparent that our message had penetrated the masses when we won the award for Best Cloud. The win at Interop means that true hybrid cloud is resonating, and particularly so in the enterprise.

When we launched vCloud Hybrid Service last fall, some people thought that VMware was becoming just another cloud provider. But as our customers have adopted the platform and actually begun to reap the benefits of a hybrid cloud model, the values around seamlessly extending your data center, managing your entire cloud footprint with the same tools and skillsets, and having advanced networking topologies (which were previously only available inside your own four walls) have suddenly made cloud computing for the enterprise real. As the Interop judges put it, VMware has done the hard work of making vCloud [Hybrid Service] not just another cloud service, but one that mirrors and interoperates with the enterprise’s virtualized data center.” This is hybrid.  And this is what makes vCloud Hybrid Service different.

Beware of False Hybridity

Our Hybrid Cloud Field CTO, Simone Brunozzi, wrote a blog post a couple of weeks ago about “What Hybrid Cloud Really Means” based on his speaking session at Interop. And the key takeaway is that “hybrid” is not simply bolting a VPN connection between your private data center and a public cloud provider and sharing resources across a wire. Nor is it simply the fact that you are using public cloud and private cloud resources at the same time. If that were the case, you could make the argument that many organizations have been doing “hybrid cloud” for the last 7 or more years by virtue of their use of Amazon, Salesforce, etc.

On a panel with some of my industry peers at Interop, I asked the audience,  “How many of you would define your cloud initiative as a truly hybrid cloud initiative,” and every single hand went down. At that point became crystal clear:

Enterprises have been considering cloud as a completely separate initiative from their current internal IT. 

This is the risk that organizations need to start really focusing on when considering their long-term cloud strategy. More silos of IT. More specialized skillsets. More disparate technologies. More unmanageable costs. But how many times do we have to make these same mistakes in the name of new technology?

The vCloud Hybrid Service Difference

In my session at Interop, when I described the ability to move applications back-and-forth seamlessly between an on-premises environment and vCloud Hybrid Service, the audience instantly reacted. You could almost see the gears turning as the audience envisioned what this could do for their operations. The ability to do test/dev and sandboxing projects on throwaway cloud resources is well understood. But the ability to add cloud to your existing software development lifecycle that you currently deploy on premises is unique. And viewing both your on-premises and cloud resources through one set of consolidated tools, with a single set of eyes, is a game changer.

With vCloud Hybrid Service, enterprises finally have all of the reliability, consistency, and necessary control over the application infrastructure they need, while still getting all of the agility and “on demand” resources that the cloud promises. These are the things that people realize is possible only in a hybrid model and the reason that “hybrid cloud” is here to stay.

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Jay Marshall is a Senior Technical Marketing Architect for VMware’s vCloud Hybrid Service specializing in next generation application architecture.  He has spent almost twenty years working in enterprise application development, a large portion of that time in enterprise Java and most recently mobile web.  His passion for technology has helped launch multiple startups, legacy modernization projects, and bleeding edge application development and delivery initiatives.  

Jay enjoys working with motivated people who are truly looking at future business solutions delivered in the new paradigm of cloud computing; along with all of the application development challenges that go with it (tools, frameworks, continuous integration, elastic scale, DevOps, etc.).  Jay has worked with some of VMware’s largest customers to help shape their vision and start them down this path.