How Two Different Approaches to Common Management of Clouds are Delivering Hybrid Cloud


floating_on_a_cloud.jpgThis is part 5, the last in a series of blogs that I have been doing on systems management and hybrid cloud. For those new to this series, I have been writing about the need to better define hybrid cloud and I have laid out three types of hybrid cloud:

  • Common Platform – Where the base infrastructure/virtualization platform are the same, allowing the common use of existing management tools and processes.
  • Common Applications/APIs – Where the end applications or application APIs are the same, allowing common applications to be developed across different platforms.
  • Common Management – Where the management tools have the capability to manage all the different environments, with a common interface and process.

In this part, I’m going to cover what many people define as hybrid cloud, which is using a common management layer to manage across disparate cloud environments. This management architecture, which I call common management hybrid cloud, is the one that most vendors are pushing and the one companies are either familiar with or are already implementing. What is interesting about this type of hybrid cloud is how the management software vendors are approaching the same basic concept of cross or multi-cloud management.

 As the cloud systems management space has matured in the past couple years, there has been a clear segmentation to the approaches to cloud management. The first approach is from the infrastructure up, usually sold by traditional management vendors such as BMC, Cisco, VMware, and Microsoft, where the core of the products are on-premises infrastructure management solutions that have been extended into managing cloud resources. These solutions are also likely to be large suites of products that cover a very extensive feature set.

The other approach has been taken on by new, cloud born vendors, who offer a cloud down approach, focusing on services and applications, and extending down into on-premises infrastructure. This approach is led by vendors such as ServiceNow, Scalr, Right Scale, and others. These solutions are mostly focused point solutions, as opposed to large suites of applications.

Now, this doesn’t mean vendors can only offer one approach. VMware has taken its vRealize suite and acquired or developed a number of cloud born solutions to offer both approaches. Red Hat is also working on marrying its CloudForms solution with its traditional management products. Finally, Microsoft is offering solutions from both approaches, with its traditional System Center offering and its new, cloud-based Operations Management Suite.

What is going to be interesting in 2017 is seeing which of the two approaches will gain the most traction. The open question is not just about the vertical approach to hybrid, whether to go from infrastructure up or cloud down, but even more importantly, whether companies should be looking at getting all their cloud management from one vendor, one solution/suite, or whether they're better off adopting multiple, focused, cloud born solutions to get the best of breed.

It is these type of questions, from cloud management approaches to defining and categorizing hybrid cloud solutions into the three types of hybrid cloud I defined earlier, that I will be conducting my research on in the coming year. I am already preparing the first research study about these and other topics and I look forward to presenting some of the insights of this research. I will also be talking with many of you to get your feedback on hybrid cloud.

I hope this blog series has been both informative and enlightening and I look forward to working with everyone to drive better understanding of systems management and hybrid cloud going forward.


This is Part 5 of a blog series about hybrid cloud. Check out the other parts in the series: 

Part 1: Systems Management at ESG: Introduction to Hybrid Cloud

Part 2: Answering the Question: What Exactly is Hybrid Cloud?

Part 3: VMware and AWS are Enabling Hybrid Cloud with a Common Platform

Part 4: Hybrid Cloud Through Common Applications with Microsoft and HPE

Topics: Cloud Services & Orchestration