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Hybrid cloud management is the monitoring and control of an enterprise's hybrid cloud deployments. Learn what it entails, why it matters, and more.


Hybrid Cloud Management: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How to Get It Right

Posted by Angela Davis on May 28, 2024

Hybrid cloud is a hot topic in cloud computing right now, with one report suggesting that the market will enjoy a 20.97% compound annual growth rate leading up to 2028. 

It’s easy to see why, as the hybrid model offers distinct advantages for businesses that require a flexible approach to managing their apps, data, and workloads.

The seeds of this trend were no doubt laid by the development of hybrid cloud management platforms in the 2010s. But where these platforms fall short is that they fail to connect legacy IT infrastructure to their modern digital equivalents—a gap that’s filled by hybrid integration platforms like OpenLegacy.

In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about hybrid cloud management, what it is, why it matters, and how you can get started.

Multi-cloud adoption statistics from a 2023 Flexera report, showing that 72% of organizations have embraced a hybrid cloud model.

Image source


A recap: What is hybrid cloud?

Hybrid cloud is an approach to computing that blends the best of private and public cloud models.

Unlike a purely private cloud, which is exclusively managed by your organization, or a public cloud, which is available to multiple tenants, a hybrid cloud provides the overarching structure to link these environments.

It all comes down to flexibility. A hybrid model provides you with access to public cloud resources for emerging business requirements while maintaining the operation of legacy and essential workloads within private cloud data centers.

Transitioning to a hybrid model means you won’t be constrained by rigid monolithic architectures, but nor does it mean you need to rip out your existing infrastructure and rebuild a digital work environment from scratch. 

Rather, it’s a case of integration, and creating a centralized place for deploying and managing workloads no matter where they’re hosted.

When done correctly, a hybrid system offers both the tight security of a private cloud and the vast, scalable resources of a public cloud. However, creating a workable environment that goes beyond two systems running side-by-side does have its complexities, as we’ll get into in the next section.

What sort of businesses should use hybrid cloud?

A hybrid cloud system may be especially tempting if you tick these boxes:

  • Rapidly scaling startups. If your business is experiencing rapid growth, you'll find hybrid cloud's scalability invaluable. You can leverage public cloud resources to quickly expand your capabilities without the need to overhaul your existing infrastructure.
  • Businesses with agile development needs. For businesses practicing agile development, a hybrid cloud offers the perfect environment. It allows your development teams to quickly deploy and test new applications in a public cloud setting while maintaining core applications securely in a private cloud.
  • Organizations with regulatory compliance requirements. If your business operates under strict data privacy and regulatory guidelines, a hybrid cloud can be the ideal solution. You can keep storing all your sensitive data in a private cloud while still taking advantage of external computational power when it comes to operating internal workloads.

So, what is hybrid cloud management?

Hybrid cloud management (HCM) is how we coordinate the administration of both private and public cloud infrastructures. It's not just about having multiple cloud environments running alongside each other but efficiently managing the interplay between them.

Your task is to balance your clouds’ security and functionality with the need for constant uptime. This requires overseeing and integrating everything that traverses these clouds, including your business’s data, services, and core applications. 

To understand how this can be achieved, we should first take a history lesson on the development of hybrid cloud management. Initially, businesses used hybrid clouds as a stepping stone in their digital transformation journeys. 

HCM was somewhat rudimentary, often requiring manual coordination between on-premises systems and cloud services. The consequence of this was that data became corrupted and system functionalities went offline, which resulted in productivity loss at best and regulatory breaches at worst.

Thankfully, this changed with the advent of more sophisticated cloud management tools and platforms. These brought automated synchronization into the mix, to ensure data flowed seamlessly and consistently, whether it was in a private cloud tucked away in a company's data center or the vast expanses of a public cloud.

They also introduced unified management interfaces, which act like a dashboard for viewing and controlling both private and public clouds. This integration is akin to having a single, intuitive command center for all cloud operations, streamlining tasks and maintaining stringent security codes uniformly across the board regardless of where data is housed.

The Third Age of Modernization in hybrid cloud management is in essence a culmination of these kinds of integrations. 

We now live in a time where businesses are no longer juggling isolated systems but instead operating a coherent, integrated IT infrastructure. Hybrid cloud environments are no longer seen as a mere “transitional stage” but as enduring solutions in themselves.

What tools do you need for a hybrid transition?

These days, hybrid cloud management tools can be classified into three broad categories.

Native hybrid cloud management tools

Native tools are typically built into cloud platforms themselves. For example, in the case of Amazon’s AWS Outposts, you can use AWS’s standard management tools, like CloudWatch and CloudTrail, to monitor and manage your hybrid environment. 

These tools provide the infrastructure for a unified experience, but they’re often limited to their respective cloud ecosystem. So, if you’re looking to build complex work systems across multiple clouds, you need to go further.

Third-party hybrid cloud management platforms

To fill the gaps left by native tools, third-party management platforms can orchestrate the workings of several clouds at once. For example:

  • OpenStack. This open-source cloud computing platform can manage large groups of virtual private servers, as well as be deployed for use in public clouds. OpenStack offers a suite of robust features like compute orchestration, network as a service, security, and auditing capabilities.
  • Cloudify. This cloud management platform takes a “model-driven” approach. Cloudify also automates configuration across multiple clouds, enabling you to define Service Level Agreement (SLA) policies and ensure compliance with them.

Hybrid integration platforms

Hybrid integration platforms like OpenLegacy Hub serve a slightly different purpose. They focus on uplifting your legacy systems to connect with modern cloud infrastructure. 

Where traditional cloud management platforms leave gaps—like poor connectivity with older systems and data synchronization errors—they step in to address these integration challenges.

For example, our hybrid integration platform connects directly to your legacy systems, enabling the automatic generation of digital services without the need to alter your existing legacy setup. 

This means you can create a cloud environment that’s adaptable to your business's unique needs—which is critical if you’re dependent on a diverse set of legacy IT infrastructure. 

For industries like financial services or healthcare, where wiping the slate clean isn’t an option, you need a versatile integration tool like OpenLegacy Hub. 

Why it matters: The benefits of hybrid cloud management

Hybrid cloud management is pivotal for modern organizations looking to blend innovative capabilities with their existing systems. 

Managing a hybrid cloud environment effectively involves balancing app and data workloads across cloud infrastructures, as well as balancing your IT budget (which is often heavily consumed by maintaining existing applications).

A robust HCM solution aims to streamline this process and achieve a state of smooth, uninterrupted operations. Let’s round up some of the key benefits of what effective hybrid cloud management can do for you. 

Effectively manage your virtual infrastructure

As a multi-cloud manager, overseeing your virtual infrastructure is crucial. Thankfully, HCM tools empower you to achieve this. For instance, you can accelerate problem diagnosis by using AIOps tools to correlate data, ensure secure management, and establish policies at a microservices level.

Plus, features like automated provisioning provide constant real-time environment awareness, which makes system error diagnosis and maintenance a much easier task. 

This capability extends to diverse elements like app hosts, middleware, and Kubernetes containers, thus providing you with comprehensive insights across the entirety of your hybrid or multi-cloud environment. 

Optimize your resource allocation

The reporting capabilities of HCM can significantly lighten the workload for your IT staff, too. 

You can easily focus on performance assurance using AI-generated reports, which provide both your application and infrastructure teams with instant full-stack visibility.

Achieve modernization at scale

HCM also aids in accelerating your enterprise's digital transformation by enabling rapid deployment and application availability across complex cloud clusters. 

You can automate central management tasks right the way through from development to production with features like self-service provisioning, which frees up valuable time for your IT department. 

Key elements of hybrid cloud management

So, what should you look for in a hybrid cloud management solution? This section will explain the essential features of an HCM tool.

Security and governance

Firstly, you need a solution that ensures robust security and governance across your hybrid cloud environment. 

Your unified management interface must have strict access controls and business-grade security protocols. This way, you can maintain a consistent policy across both your legacy systems and modern cloud applications, ensuring no room for error when it comes to handling high-value data. 

Enterprise-wide visibility and monitoring

Another crucial element is having a tool that provides comprehensive visibility and monitoring capabilities. 

You need a set of tools that will enable you to track and manage your resources across both legacy and cloud environments effectively. This should include a real-time analytics board and reporting capabilities—how else will you be able to strategize and make key decisions at a moment’s notice?

Resource optimization

Optimizing resources in a hybrid cloud environment is also crucial. Your HCM platform should be capable of intelligently allocating and managing resources based on workload demands. This is vital to ensure the efficient use of both your traditional and cloud-based systems. 

You may need to tinker with the algorithms to balance performance and cost and, of course, respect regulatory compliance regarding the use and storage of data.

Hybrid cloud management platforms: What they are, and what they need to do for you

Mainstream cloud infrastructure providers all offer support for creating and integrating their hybrid cloud products. Let’s take a quick look at the so-called “Big Three” and their native hybrid cloud management solutions:

  • Microsoft. Azure Stack extends Azure’s public cloud capabilities to on-premises environments, allowing businesses to run Azure services from their data centers. This massively simplifies operations by providing a consistent set of tools and services regardless of where your resources are located.
  • Amazon. AWS Outposts is akin to bringing a slice of Amazon's cloud into your backyard. You get the familiarity and power of AWS services right inside your on-premises setup. For instance, you can stick with the same tools and interfaces you're accustomed to in the AWS cloud— APIs, control plane, toolsets, etc—but operating alongside your in-house servers.
  • Google. Google’s Cloud Anthos takes a slightly different approach by zeroing in on containerized applications. It allows businesses to manage Kubernetes clusters across on-premises, Google Cloud, and other providers, offering a consistent experience when it comes to container app deployment and management.

However, where a hybrid cloud management tool can often fall short is that they fail to bridge the gap between traditional legacy systems and modern cloud architecture. This is where a hybrid integration platform like OpenLegacy Hub becomes indispensable. 

Here’s what a hybrid integration platform offer you:

  • Seamless integration with legacy systems. You should be able to smoothly integrate your existing legacy systems without extensive reconfiguration or redevelopment.
  • Generation of cloud-native services. You should also have the capability to generate cloud-native services directly from your legacy systems, ensuring they’re compatible and can interoperate with modern cloud environments.
  • API management and creation. You'll want robust API management capabilities to efficiently create, deploy, and manage APIs, facilitating the connection between your legacy systems and cloud applications.
  • Data synchronization and transformation. You need an efficient way to synchronize data between on-premises and cloud environments, including necessary transformations for data compatibility.
  • Security and compliance assurance. Your integration platform must adhere to stringent security standards and compliance requirements—a crucial aspect, especially if you operate in a regulated industry.
  • Flexible deployment options. You should be able to deploy in various environments based on your specific business needs and technical requirements.

Visual representation of possible OpenLegacy deployments.

Image source

Relieve some of the burden of hybrid cloud management by choosing OpenLegacy as your hybrid integration platform

Hybrid cloud management can require an extensive understanding of both new and traditional IT environments. It's about juggling diverse workloads using tools that bring together the best of both worlds—the reliability of your legacy systems and the innovation of the cloud.

However, it’s a tricky task to get right, and you’ll need a hybrid cloud management platform that can manage your data, workloads, and apps across multiple platforms. And, if you’re already relying on legacy architecture, you won’t want to compromise on efficiency.

This is where OpenLegacy comes in. With our hybrid integration platform, you can streamline integration of your legacy systems with modern cloud architectures—without the headache of extensive overhauls. This is a smart move toward a future-proof, agile business environment, where your legacy investments continue to provide value alongside cutting-edge cloud technology.

Request a demo today, and see how OpenLegacy can empower your business to adopt a hybrid approach moving forward.

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