Hybrid cloud refers to a combination of at least 2 computing environments that share information with one another and run a uniform series of applications for a business or enterprise. Those environments may include:
- At least 1 private cloud and at least 1 public cloud
- 2 or more private clouds
- 2 or more public clouds
- One bare-metal (physical hardware) or virtual environment connected to at least 1 cloud
The term "cloud" describes a network of on-demand computing resources accessed over the internet. This ecosystem facilitates the delivery and exchange of computing services such as data storage, software applications, analytics, and intelligence tools.
The rise of hybrid cloud as a concept reflects the increasingly fuzzy lines between traditional types of clouds. Early public and private clouds were distinguished by location and ownership, with public clouds being run off premise by third-party providers and private clouds being run locally by the party utilizing the services. Today’s cloud types are far more complex, because location and ownership are abstract considerations.
For example, public clouds used to only run off-premise, but public cloud providers are now running cloud services on their clients’ on-premise data centers. Private clouds used to only run on-premises, but organizations are now building private clouds on rented, vendor-owned data centers located off-premises. Regardless of the physical location, when clouds are combined, we use 1 of 2 terms to describe that environment: multicloud or hybrid cloud.
A multicloud strategy works by treating different clouds as totally separate platforms, each with their own set of applications and management.
A hybrid cloud strategy promotes workload portability–which means that applications work consistently across different environments, allowing for a single computing platform to span across and communicate with multiple clouds. All hybrid cloud environments should:
- Connect multiple computers through a network.
- Consolidate IT resources into a single pool.
- Scale out and quickly supply new resources.
- Be able to move workloads between environments.
- Incorporate a single, unified management tool.
- Orchestrate processes with the help of automation.
The way you organize your cloud resources and build a hybrid cloud will be as unique as your fingerprint. Different companies offer different solutions, and there's no one-size-fits-all model for cloud architecture.
Modern IT teams build hybrid clouds by focusing on developing and deploying apps as collections of small, independent, and loosely coupled services. Without a consistent approach, a lack of harmony between differing services and platforms can create redundancy, inefficiency, excessive spending, and above all, confusion.
Application and data integration are critical modern business tools. In order to stay competitive, the applications and devices at the core of your business strategy must be accessible to each other.
You can achieve a consistent computing environment by managing your interconnected cloud resources using a unified orchestration platform. This means that teams can worry less about maintaining systems, and focus more on building useful products.
It’s hard to get the benefits of a unified environment when proprietary code stands in the way. Our open hybrid cloud strategy, supported by our open source technologies, allows for consistent interaction with any app in nearly any environment without retraining people, splitting management, or sacrificing security.
Public clouds aren’t right for every workload, and building a private cloud by yourself can get complicated—and expensive. When you build a cloud (any cloud) with Red Hat, you can rely on our experienced teams to help you develop a roadmap that takes you from where you are to where you want to be.
Open hybrid cloud is an approach to cloud computing that allows our customers to take advantage of their existing hybrid IT, while setting themselves up for future advances in technology. By using Red Hat technology and working with our partners, customers can:
- Run any application or workload consistently across any footprint.
- Help developers quickly build, deploy, and manage applications.
- Simplify, automate, and secure processes.
If you’re worried about moving existing applications or aren’t sure exactly which approach to take, you’ll get direct support from our engineering, support, and product management teams–a cross-functional approach to make sure people, processes, and technologies are aligned and working as productively as possible.
A hybrid cloud uses some of the same fundamental technologies as standalone public clouds or private clouds:
- Networking and/or application programming interfaces (APIs) connect multiple computers together.
- Virtualization, containers, or software-defined storage abstract resources, which can be pooled.
- Management software allocates those resources into environments where applications can run, which are then provisioned on-demand.
Separate clouds become hybrid when those environments are connected as seamlessly as possible. That interconnectivity is the way hybrid clouds work—and it’s why hybrid clouds are the foundation of edge computing. That interconnectivity is how workloads are moved, management is unified, and processes are orchestrated. How well-developed those connections are has a direct impact on how well your hybrid cloud works.