Can the hybrid cloud keep all the cloud’s promises?

Posted on 04/12/2019

Sylvain Cazard, VP SDDC EMEA, VMware

I see it on a daily basis when dealing with customers: More and more people are using the cloud. Far beyond the marketing pleas we saw in the early days of the cloud, businesses are now seeing real benefits. However, there is no single trajectory. Businesses have matured and are now defining their own strategies for migrating to the cloud according to their environment, growth and situation.

There are as many cloud strategies as there are companies. Almost all European clients I meet use the cloud, but they have very different approaches to it. Some companies were quick and eager to retire their data centres and rely purely on the public cloud. However, the vast majority of companies have opted for a hybrid cloud solution for a number of reasons — the simplest, without a doubt, being that migration to the public cloud is an ambitious and often long-term task. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to migrating your apps to the cloud and some apps will never be suitable for migration to the cloud, whether for economic, strategic or regulatory reasons.

The hybrid cloud is here to stay. Public cloud providers have reflected this in their offerings. We are therefore faced with a complex environment comprising traditional IT infrastructures, private clouds and public clouds. We can rightly question the likelihood of the cloud keeping its promises when we have to manage environments with a mix of equipment and administrative tools. The magic of the cloud is that it masks the complexity of IT infrastructures, which must continue even in a hybrid-cloud context. As cloud developers, it’s up to us to provide consistency so that apps can be moved around easily. This is what VMware has always strived for, through technological developments, acquisitions and partnerships with like-minded businesses who share our vision of making cloud usage as simple as possible.

The cloud must consider the nature of modern apps. Monolithic applications and three-tier architectures are starting to disappear. Modern applications are structured in microservices that communicate between themselves and require greater flexibility in terms of IT infrastructures and, above all, in terms of networking. They need to be able to automatically provide all of the infrastructure that the application will need during its lifecycle. Many application components are now being built in containers, whether on premises or in the cloud. It’s equally as important to support virtual machines and containers when modernising infrastructures to create environments for hybrid clouds. Given that Kubernetes is being widely implemented to manage container environments, VMware has taken the lead in integrating support for containers and Kubernetes into its Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) and hybrid cloud solutions.

VMware Cloud Foundation: the cornerstone of the hybrid cloud. It’s impossible for each company and cloud provider to implement exactly the same equipment. Are we destined to manage each environment independently, recreating silos like the ones that used to handicap data centres? Thankfully not. We need a generalised approach — software designed for all infrastructure components (server, storage and network) that we can extend to all private and public clouds, as well as a common cloud management platform (CMP). This is what VMware offers by bringing these functions together in VMware Cloud Foundation. Over 4000 public cloud providers have signed partnership agreements with VMware to build their public cloud based on the same principles and products as VMware Cloud Foundation, which is used by customers to build their private clouds. This way, customers are guaranteed compatibility between the public cloud and their own private clouds.

After 10 years at VMware (read my post: Ten years @ VMware), I can only applaud the consistency of VMware’s vision throughout this time. When VMware moved into networking with NSX in 2013, this may have seemed strange to some. Yet, in retrospect, we can see that it was an essential step to achieving a complete SDDC, ensuring that workloads in the hybrid cloud were mobile and improving security.


Category: Cloud, VMware

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