Hybrid and Multi-cloud


Introduction

A hybrid cloud is a type a of cloud computing architecture that combines public cloud resources with private cloud resources. Cloud computing basically means running applications and storing applications’ data in remote servers in various global data centers. 

Public cloud defines a cloud computing architecture that multiple customers can access over the internet, while not interacting with each other, for example, Google Cloud. Private cloud defines a computing architecture that is only used by one customer, for example, on-premise data centers. Optionally, customers can pay vendors to host a private cloud for them. When customers want to leverage the benefits of a public cloud and still use their on-premise private implementation, they employ the hybrid cloud computing architecture.

Multi-cloud is a type of cloud computing that combines resources from multiple public cloud providers. For example, you may leverage one cloud provider for data storage and processing (i.e. data as service architecture), and another cloud provider for serverless computing (i.e. function as a service architecture). 

The terms hybrid cloud and multi-cloud are sometimes used interchangeably, despite meaning different things. A business could have a hybrid cloud computing architecture, while still incorporating multiple public clouds – this can be considered multi-cloud computing. 

The ever-growing range of technological patterns, evolving business needs, and increased digitalization that demands more computing power exerts pressure on traditional infrastructure. IT departments need to adapt their infrastructure rapidly to changing needs while still staying within their organization’s budget. Enterprises with existing on-premise data centers prefer to avoid the loss of overhauling their infrastructure and additional costs of switching to a cloud provider with more capacity. In other circumstances, enterprises with sensitive data in their data centers may not want to change to a cloud provider even though they are under-resourced. 

Thanks to Hybrid cloud and multi-cloud computing architectures, you can extend the capacity of your data centers while keeping the costs at a low. At the basics, IT departments can leverage the power of the public cloud while still running on their on-premise data centers hence preserving their existing investments. This hybrid strategy allows you to modernize your applications and processes gradually as requirements change.

How Google Cloud Realizes Hybrid and Multi-cloud

Containerization and Google Kubernetes Engine

Containerization ensures software portability – i.e. packaging your software to run reliably when you move it between different environments. Kubernetes is an open-source platform that handles the organization, deployment, scaling, and management of a containerized application. Kubernetes can run on a variety of computing environments, both private and public clouds, and serve your application reliably. Having said that, Google Cloud provides a managed Kubernetes platform called Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) that will help you achieve hybrid and multi-cloud computing while avoiding the hassle of installing and operating Kubernetes yourself. Furthermore, GKE integrates with Google’s Identity and Access Management to ensure that users have access to only the resources and data they have authorization for, hence security from the scratch.

Google Cloud’s Anthos

Google’s Anthos provides a consistent development and operations experience for cloud and on-premise environments. Anthos extends GKE for use on Google Cloud, on third party clouds, or your premise data centers. Right from the Anthos dashboard, you can manage applications running on Google Cloud, on third-party cloud providers, like AWS and Azure, and your premises, allowing you the freedom to use a cloud vendor of your choice.

Google’s Enterprise network and partnership with Cisco’s SD-WAN

Google partners with Cisco to enhance collaboration in hybrid, multi-cloud, and security in cloud computing. The integration of Cisco’s SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network) with Google Cloud’s global network and Anthos, provides customers with a unique robust solution that automates, secures, and optimizes end-to-end connectivity based on application demands. This simplifies hybrid and multi-cloud deployments for businesses and organizations. With such an implementation, applications can dynamically request the required network resources ensuring a 99.99% availability. This video from the Google Cloud team explains the architecture figuratively giving an understanding of how you can power your on-premise architecture on Google’s enterprise network.

GCP Marketplace

The Google Cloud Marketplace contains a curated list of open source applications that can be deployed on Anthos to run across various cloud environments. The installation process is simplified so that you can have an application running with one-click installers.

Google Cloud Migration Services

Migrate for Compute Engine is a cloud migration technology that gets enterprise applications running in Google Cloud within minutes as data continues migrating transparently in the background. It allows organizations to migrate applications into Google Cloud without rewriting them or changing management processes. Migrate for Anthos can convert existing VMs into Kubernetes Pods which can be deployed on any cloud provider.

Benefits of Hybrid and Multi-cloud

If you are wondering whether your organization should take advantage of the Hybrid and Multi-cloud computing architecture, here are some key aspects to consider:

  • Reliability – having applications running on multiple cloud providers will ensure they remain available even during periods of high demand using a strategy called cloud bursting. When one cloud is overwhelmed, another cloud can share the workload. 
  • Cost savings – multi-cloud allows a business to choose the most affordable service that can help meet the business goals from any cloud provider, without having to stick to the services offered by just one provider. 
  • Minimizes vendor-lock in – Once you have moved to a cloud provider and have become reliant on the cloud provider’s services, it may become difficult to move away from them. Luckily with multi-cloud, resources are spread across vendors and if you decide to move, you can easily do so, thanks to the availability of cloud migration tools. 
  • Support for businesses with high regulatory standards – some businesses want to keep their data and business logic private, while still enjoying the scalability features of the public cloud. Hybrid cloud supports such an implementation.