Comparison of major hybrid cloud products

All major public cloud providers have well-known hybrid cloud solutions on the market. This article compares different approaches to Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.

Hybrid Cloud is an enterprise IT strategy that involves running certain workloads in different infrastructure environments—whether it’s a large public cloud provider, a private cloud, or an on-premises deployment, which is usually developed at the top level. Arrange the layer. Cloudiness is also a similar idea, but often does not involve private clouds and local infrastructure.

This approach is especially important for applications where some applications need to be kept locally, such as low-latency applications on the factory floor and applications with data hosting issues.

According to RightScale’s “2019 Cloud Status Report,” Hybrid Cloud is the main corporate strategy, with 58% of respondents saying this is their preferred method, 17% of respondents will choose multiple public clouds, and only 10% Respondents were limited to one public cloud provider.

The benefits of hybrid cloud include multiple payment methods, diverse capabilities, build flexibility, and the ability to select features and capabilities based on the vendor’s strengths, without worrying about being locked out by a single vendor.

It is in the best interest of public cloud providers to run everything in the public cloud, but they are increasingly aware that customers don’t necessarily want to work this way, so start offering more flexible options to accommodate this fact.

As DataStax CEO Billy Bosworth said in an interview with British Computer World: “In the past 12 to 18 months, I think the market has reached a decisive turning point. Cloudiness is not an option, but a kind of reality.”

This article describes the products that major vendors offer to run Hybrid Cloud.

Microsoft’s Azure Stack

For a long time, Microsoft has been the first choice for hybrid deployment among the three giants with its mature Azure Stack. As early as January 2016, users can use the service in the technology preview.

It enables customers to use a wide variety of Azure cloud services in their own data centers, which in theory facilitates the transition from a tightly regulated or very cautious enterprise to the cloud. You can build applications for Azure Cloud and deploy applications on the Microsoft cloud infrastructure or within your own data center without having to rewrite any code.

Azure Stack provides a core set of services for customers’ own data centers, such as virtual machines, storage, networking, VPN gateways, and load balancing, as well as platform services such as functions, containers, databases, and identity services such as Active Directory.

Azure Stack can run on hardware from a variety of partner vendors, such as HPE, Dell EMC, Cisco, Huawei, and Lenovo. Pricing is as flexible as Azure’s public cloud, so you can pay for it based on usage, starting at $0.008 per virtual CPU per hour, but you have to sign a software support contract with Microsoft to sign hardware support with the vendor of your choice. contract.

AWS Outposts

AWS released Outposts at the re:Invent conference in 2018, marking the first formal entry into the hybrid deployment space, a fully managed service that provides pre-configured hardware and software to customers’ local data centers. The way to run the application without having to operate outside of the AWS data center.

AWS CEO Andy Jassy said at the time: “Customers can order racks that we use in all regions. These racks have the same hardware, and their software comes with AWS services, just like computing and storage, and works in two ways. “The two ways are: run VMware Cloud on AWS, or run compute and storage locally using the same native AWS API used in the AWS cloud.

Currently, customers can configure various EC2 instances and EBS volumes for storage for their Outpost, and the vendor plans to offer more services in the near future, such as database RDS, containerized application ECS and EKS, and machine learning. SageMaker for the application scenario.

Kurt Marko, an independent technical analyst, said in an interview with Computer World in the UK: “The launch of Outposts actually shows that AWS believes that most companies want or need to distribute workloads and data between local systems and public cloud services.”

AWS Outposts is not yet officially available, and pricing information has not yet been announced.

Google Cloud Anthos

When Google announced the official offering of Anthos in April 2018, its Google cloud caused a stir: the new platform was able to run applications on local and Google Cloud, and most importantly, support Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS). And other major public cloud providers.

Essentially, Anthos combines Google’s Kubernetes Engine (GKE), GKE On-Prem, and Anthos configuration management consoles to enable unified management, policy, and security across a mixed Kubernetes deployment environment. It is hardware-independent and runs on customers’ existing servers, as well as VMware, Dell EMC, HPE, Intel and Lenovo racks.

For a very typical Google style, the key difference here is its interoperability and open source credentials. The vendor said in a blog post at the time, “Anthos also enables you to manage workloads running on third-party clouds such as AWS and Azure, giving you the freedom to deploy, run, and manage applications on your chosen cloud. And managers and developers don’t have to learn different environments and APIs.”

Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian added: “At the moment, if you talk to Azure, they will say that you can run Azure Stack locally and in the cloud, while Amazon says you can run Outposts locally and in the AWS cloud. They are very Good business, but they didn’t solve the cloudy problem.”

Nick McQuire, vice president of corporate research at CCS Insight, said: “With the release of Anthos, especially its support for open source, especially Kubernetes, Google is currently adopting a more realistic approach to meeting customers’ needs in the cloud computing arena. And hope to make it a standard for mixed and cloudy services in the future cloud market.”

Anthos charges a monthly subscription and is subscribed for at least one year. It is then priced in units of 100 vCPU increment blocks, starting at $10,000 per block – no matter where the workload is running.

Oracle’s Customer Cloud (Cloud at Customer)

Oracle’s infrastructure-as-a-service business may not be developing very well, but has long provided customers with a hybrid product called “Customer Cloud.”

Launched in 2016, the service brings together cloud infrastructure and platform services in the customer’s own data center, such as databases, big data and application development, and software as a service (SaaS) applications, including customer relationship management (CRM). , Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Human Capital Management (HCM).

Oracle combines Oracle hardware, software-defined storage and management services to run applications for customers. Enterprises only need to propose data center layout, network and power requirements, then they can implement all deployments locally, manage cloud services, and upgrade regularly.

The only difference is that Oracle requires customers to sign a long-term agreement (at least three to four years) to cover the costs associated with shipping and installing dedicated hardware.

In-depth reading: Oracle extends customer cloud services to SaaS applications.

Nirav Mehta, Oracle’s vice president of product management, described the service as “Oracle Cloud extends from our data center to the customer, so there is the same stack, but all the data is at the customer.”

He added: “We will evaluate, build, ship, deploy and manage the software, and we are actually an all-inclusive deployment.”

According to Oracle, the service has been well received by public sector clients, including the UK government and financial services. Bank of America and AT&T are two customers who are willing to disclose their names.

IBM

Since acquiring Red Hat, an open source Linux company, for $33 billion in 2018, IBM has strategically changed to a hybrid cloud provider.

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said in the acquisition: “IBM will become the world’s largest hybrid cloud provider, providing enterprises with the only open cloud solution that allows enterprises to take full advantage of the full value of the cloud.”

The vendor pointed out in a press release that although it is still in its early stages, IBM clearly hopes to help companies seamlessly migrate, integrate and manage applications and workloads by providing a set of tools and services, and by leveraging any public cloud. And security solutions for private clouds and local IT environments, positioning themselves as independent partners looking for customers running mixed-gray environments.

More specifically, this includes the new IBM cloud integration platform to help run cloud services across cloud and local environments under a secure operational model and toolset. The “container-based” platform ensures easy migration of data and applications across infrastructure and aligns API management, events, and enterprise messaging.

The vendor said, “In terms of services, IBM is adjusting most of its sales and consulting departments to advise customers on how to plan the right overall cloud strategy, including design, migration, integration, roadmap and architecture services, to guide them. Complete the journey to the cloud.”

Santander Bank, an early reference customer in this area, announced that it will invest $700 million over five years, positioning IBM as one of Santander’s key transformation partners to help Santander Implement its hybrid cloud strategy.”

According to news reports, IBM has supported the bank through its own methods and processes to help it accelerate its transformation journey. In addition, the bank is using a range of technologies including IBM DevOps solutions and IBM API Connect to develop, iterate and release new or upgraded applications and digital services faster.

other products

Of course, in addition to large cloud providers, you can choose other cloud providers to help customers run hybrid clouds, such as Cisco’s CloudCenter or VMware vCloud Suite.

OpenStack is another option that is exciting. It uses other open source solutions to enable customers to fill in the shortcomings between multiple cloud software and hardware vendors, but to do this, companies should have certain core skills and expertise.

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