Companies interested in a hybrid cloud model have more and more options.

In January, Google and VMware announced a partnership to offer hybrid cloud computing.

In February, IBM announced plans to move at least half of its cloud development team into its hybrid cloud computing business.

Last year, EMC developed its own storage cloud play. In addition, Accenture and Microsoft extended their partnership with the introduction of Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft Azure.

With the plethora of platforms, services and products, however, companies still hit more than a few bumps in the road as they move to adopt this tech strategy.

Why Hybrid Cloud

It doesn’t have to be that way.

In fact, said Infrascale CEO Ken Shaw, the biggest misconception companies have about migrating to hybrid infrastructure is that it has to be a pain.

"Hybrid solutions, like disk-to-disk-to-cloud backup, are great. The good ones combine the best of both worlds: on-premises infrastructure and the cloud," he told CMSWire.

They are also proving to be invaluable for data protection initiatives, becoming the de-facto standard. He explained, "For years, the primary pattern businesses used to protect large amounts of data -- more than 1 TB -- has been disk-to-disk-to-tape. But in the last two or three years, disk-to-disk-to-cloud, or hybrid cloud, has become the standard."

There is also the total cost argument to consider, Shaw also said.

Public cloud computing has reached a critical mass and prices for hard product components have lowered. Yet, it becomes more expensive than a hybrid cloud offering when a total cost of ownership analysis is done.

Hybrid cloud, Shaw said, "combines the best of both worlds: the speed and perceived control of on-premise backup and recovery, with the infinite and elastic scalability of the cloud."

These synergies deliver greater efficiencies that translate into a lower total cost of ownership.

The Concept of Cloud Continuity

Still, for some companies, a move to the hybrid cloud could very well "be a pain," to use Shaw's words. One reason is that companies fail to realize the benefits they were expecting from the move, such as the aforementioned cost reduction, security and disaster recovery use cases, said Gil Levonai, vice president of Marketing and Products at Zerto.

Why? Well there are a lot of theories, but Levonai believes it is because these companies didn't focus on a concept that Zerto calls "cloud continuity." He explained:

Application mobility in hybrid clouds needs to be seamless and easy to manage to ensure consistency of the applications across the entire datacenter. Enterprises should consider leveraging an underlying infrastructure layer that allows for seamless flexibility and manageability of data and applications across hypervisors, networks and hardware," – aka 'cloud continuity.'

Cloud continuity introduces a new infrastructure layer between cloud providers and hypervisors. This enables movement of virtual machines (VMs) and data between on-premises datacenters and public and private clouds, without requiring application reconfiguration or retooling.

With this underlying layer, business needs dictate which infrastructure should be used based on cost, Service Level Agreement (SLA) and performance, Levonai said.

Today’s businesses demand agile, flexible IT environments with the ability to have any application leverage any cloud with any hypervisor. By embracing a cloud continuity-based IT infrastructure, enterprises can increase efficiency, pool infrastructure resources and simplify management of resources."

Stay tuned for more tips in part 2 of this article.

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License Title image by Nicholas_T.