Hybrid Cloud Scenarios: Control the Application

Pragnesh Panchal

In this, the last of our hybrid cloud scenarios series, we ask the inevitable question: “Do you really want to run mission- or business-critical applications in the public cloud?” For many organizations the answer might still be, “Probably not because the performance, security and control of my application ‘crown jewels’ are too important.”

But with the right application control, you can get excellent application performance and security in a hybrid cloud environment. This last blog in the series will outline the three scenarios below that will help you achieve these goals:

  • Development/test in public cloud, production in private cloud
  • Only business/mission-critical apps in private, remainder in public
  • Application tiers distributed in public/private clouds



Run development/test beds in the cloud, production applications in-house: Development workloads are often highly elastic, with parallel development tracks that can make it difficult to predict infrastructure needs from day-to-day and global development teams can inadvertently use location-specific private clouds inefficiently. Development test beds are a perfect way to get your feet wet with the public cloud in development/test scenarios by fulfilling all the development requirements of quick setup and takedown, easy scalability and pay-as-you-go in the regionally-located cloud node within geo-political boundaries.

During my discussions with various C-level executives, it has become obvious that the least leverageable resource is the time and focus of the skilled labor. For many organizations, developers are those strategic resources who can easily take advantage of self-service and other tools offered by today’s IaaS and PaaS platforms, letting IT devote its precious time to more strategic/business concerns.

Once it’s time to go to production, performance and security concerns take over, so it makes sense to run production servers in the private cloud. For applications with unpredictable demand bursts, check out our first hybrid cloud scenario, Own the Base, Rent the Spike. It is important to abstract the applications from the underlying public/private IaaS using container technologies like Docker, otherwise it would necessitate significant lift and shift effort to migrate from one type of cloud to another.

Interestingly, we’ve also worked with startups that have done just the opposite, running their test beds in-house and production servers in the public cloud of choice for the lowest possible capital costs and maximum flexibility of deploying their workloads in a new market. However, in that market as the steady state crosses the tipping point of what is affordable, a private cloud / hybrid/multi-cloud strategy looks appealing.

Run mission- and business-critical applications in the private cloud: This scenario applies purely in production and is the obvious way to ensure you have complete control over application performance and security. If your business revenue, compliance, survival and/or reputation depend on a high-performing, secure application and its data, run it privately. You can consider running any other applications, such as email or document management, in the public cloud, whether in a SaaS, PaaS or IaaS environment.

Distribute application tiers to match the characteristics of the private/public cloud: Most of today’s composite applications run on multiple components, or tiers, or follow microservices architecture, so where they run doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing decision. Many organizations run web server components in the public cloud to take advantage of the scalability and global presence of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and many other well-known public cloud providers. However, for performance or security reasons, they need to retain control of their legacy systems/database servers and associated middleware tiers, so they run them privately. In this scenario ̶ as any component could be placed and moved around in a private cloud or any public cloud ̶ fast, reliable, secure and on-demand inter-connections among components are essential. Remember your application is as fast as your slowest component.

As you can see, the above-mentioned hybrid cloud combinations can address many of your performance, scalability, compliance and security concerns. The innate flexibility of the hybrid cloud architecture lets you configure the absolute best solution to match your business needs.

Contact our GSA Team to learn more.

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Pragnesh Panchal
Pragnesh Panchal Principal Solutions Architect - Strategic Alliances