Hybrid cloud adoption in APAC: Strong momentum
By Carol Ko 13-Jun-2012
In February, Equinix and RightScale announced their first global partnership to jointly deliver an offering for automatic cloud computing workload management for all cloud infrastructures -- public, private and hybrid clouds.
The automatic cloud workload management service enables users to configure, automate, launch and manage clouds, users, accounts, deployments and assets by using a single dashboard.
This Equinix-RightScale offering enables IT organizations to manage workloads among private clouds and various public cloud providers, by connecting their private cloud infrastructure directly to joint Equinix and RightScale public cloud partners such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Rackspace, Logicworks, SoftLayer and Datapipe.
This offering does not limited itself to the above public cloud service providers, but "is opened for all public cloud services." According to Eric Hui (pictured, right), director, cloud, IT, content and digital media, Equinix Asia Pacific, "We will continue to selectively engage best-of-breed partners to deliver solutions that have broad market appeal in our targeted verticals."
Speaking of the possibilities of expanding the current Equinix-RightScale partnership ecosystem, Dean Dierickx (pictured, left), director of strategic alliances and channels of RightScale said, "What the future of the partnership holds for Equinix customers is the ability to leverage RightScale to extend a customer's global footprint by federating any or all of Equinix's public cloud providers into a single resource pool of compute power."
In an interview with Asia Cloud Forum, both Equinix's Eric Hui and RightScale's Dean Dierickx give further insights on the concept of automated cloud workload management, and give their thoughts on the latest state of hybrid cloud development in Asia Pacific.
Asia Cloud Forum: What is automated cloud management? Is it the same as hybrid cloud management?
Dean Dierickx: Hybrid cloud management refers to managing resources across public and private clouds. Automated cloud management describes the type of automation and orchestration that is possible from a cloud management solution. At a basic level this means taking monitoring and alerting information and acting upon it -- from notifications to auto-scaling, to re-launching servers, to more complex orchestration. Automated cloud management is about managing large environments efficiently and being able to maintain high availability.
Give examples of some business needs that require high-speed connection of workloads between corporate private clouds and public clouds?
Dierickx: High-speed connections are desired for a number of workloads. Real-time information workloads such as pricing optimization and user activity analysis often require low latency. Workloads utilizing large data sets, such as business analytics and big data will become expensive and lengthy transfer without a low-latency, high-speed connection.
Hybrid environments where databases reside in a private cloud and application servers reside in a public cloud also benefit greatly from a high-speed connection. To get these high-speed connections, the best way is often to build a private cloud at a hosting co-location provider with a dedicated connection to a chosen public cloud -- for example AWS Direct Connect functionality offered by Equinix.
Why would organizations need to shift workloads between private and public clouds? Doesn't the level of data security required for a workload dictate the cloud type it belongs to?
Eric Hui: Organizations looking into burst computing requirements, disaster recovery, outsourcing non-mission critical applications or selective IT environments shift workloads between private and public clouds. Those organizations interested in hybrid environments are definitely looking into high performance, secure and reliable data center facilitates which also have a rich ecosystem. Cloud operating models are evolving and a rich ecosystem will benefit organizations with choices and flexibility when facilitating their business expansion.
What are the data security issues involved in automatic workload management?
Dierickx: Automated workload management is meant to make data more resilient and available in the event of network, hardware, or cloud failure. RightScale allows cloud users to choose how much they would like to automate the data tier, from basic automated backups to advanced automated failover across clouds.
RightScale also provides users the tools to clone production environments so they can test for failures and anticipate issues that may occur in a real emergency. The key to making advanced automation work is through thorough planning and testing, just as in traditional disaster recovery scenarios.
Hybrid cloud development
Describe the major trends of hybrid cloud computing in Asia today.
Hui: We see mid to large-sized organizations will take an evolution to cloud that starts with private cloud and hybrid cloud. Deploying private cloud functionality on existing compute resources while connecting those resources to public cloud for burst compute is the adoption path we see enterprises taking. "Own the base and rent the spike".
However, we also have seen cases of some non-mission critical applications moved to public cloud as production workloads and require a low latency link to private infrastructures.