The debate about whether businesses need hybrid clouds is over. Technology executives see value in public clouds because they offer speed, economics, and scale that are very hard to achieve in a private cloud environment. On the other hand, private clouds offer control, data sovereignty, and security. Businesses need both, which means they need hybrid clouds. The question is; how can they successfully build them?

What makes a true hybrid cloud?

Hybrid clouds are like the Internet. When users connect a device, whether it’s a handheld or a laptop, or another machine, they don’t think twice about how these things are going to talk to each other. Similar to that, hybrid clouds are an “Intercloud” of clouds. That means that regardless of whether it’s a combination of a private cloud, a public cloud, or an extended set of clouds, the environments all work seamlessly together. They have consistent security and networking, and applications and workloads can be moved freely from cloud to cloud.

The trouble is that hybrid clouds are not easy to build. The first concern is that security models are inconsistent across different clouds, so managing compliance and security in a hybrid cloud environment is difficult. The second issue is that clouds have inconsistent architectures, making management and operations complex and  expensive. The third problem is application dependency on the infrastructure. Oftentimes, when an application is moved from a private cloud environment to a public cloud, the application breaks because it is dependent on the underlying infrastructure.

In a true hybrid cloud, none of these issues exist.

Creating a hybrid cloud

IT leaders need to consider several variables when establishing a hybrid cloud. Start with flexibility. Build the cloud with a number of providers to maximize choice. Also ensure consistency across outsourced providers as well as within the private cloud environment. Then think about controlling workloads running in private, public, or hybrid environments with a unified operational model. Be sure to determine how compliance works in the hybrid cloud and double-check that security and network policies carry over as workloads and applications move among environments.

Cisco is delivering a holistic hybrid cloud solution to our customers. We are providing the technologies necessary to build a hybrid cloud infrastructure with consistent security, networking, and application and workload mobility. Also, we are building a whole ecosystem of partners:  regional partners, large providers, and small providers—all with different value propositions. Customers get the choice they want, while Cisco delivers the consistency, flexibility, security, and control required to succeed with hybrid clouds.

Watch our “Hybrid Cloud Simplified” webinar to learn more.




Rahul Tripathi

Senior Director of Product Management and Marketing

Cloud & Virtualization Group