From the Lab

Bring on the Hybrid Cloud

The term “cloud” has always been a little fuzzy, but from an enterprise perspective, businesses are finally figuring out how to adapt the notion to fit the practical reality of everyday operations. At a high level (pun intended), the cloud is simply a space for digital information and applications. The same environment, however, doesn’t work for every type of data, or every kind of software. This is why hybrid cloud deployments are fast becoming the most effective solution.

For many companies, a significant portion of enterprise data and applications is considered too strategic to the business to trust with a public cloud service provider. Sometimes the issue is security. Sometimes it’s control. Regardless, companies often want to retain management either in their own on-site data center infrastructure, or in a third-party multi-tenant data center (MTDC) like Keystone NAP.

However, other data and applications can be operated much more efficiently in an external cloud; whether it’s a CRM system run by Salesforce, or a pilot project using Amazon’s on-demand compute services. For that reason, companies are increasingly trying to architect solutions that depend on private cloud deployments while also taking advantage of public cloud resources.

Hybrid clouds have been on the rise for some time, but connectivity between cloud environments has typically remained a weakness – one that many companies can no longer afford. Companies may want data and applications housed in different places, but that doesn’t mean they want the access routes between those locations to be a barrier to doing business. As a result, demand for new network connectivity is growing. And specifically, there’s been a major increase in Ethernet connections between and among companies, their data centers, and the data centers of public cloud service providers.

Not all MTDCs are anxious to connect to public cloud data centers. These connections potentially take data away from the MTDC. However, one of our priorities at Keystone NAP is to help customers get connected with the public cloud. We are actively working to strengthen our connections with providers like Amazon and Microsoft so that companies can deploy hybrid cloud solutions effectively.

Hybrid cloud deployments aren’t going away. In fact, given the benefits of a hybrid cloud, we’re only going to see more of them in 2015 and beyond. At Keystone NAP, we support that trend. If it makes sense for our customers, it makes sense for us. And, as an Advanced Data Center, our goal is not only to be a robust facility and service provider in our own right, but also to be one that connects to the other facilities and services that companies need.

Choosing a data center or software service shouldn’t be an either/or proposition. Bring on the hybrid cloud.