Guidelines for implementing a hybrid cloud

With many enterprises going to hybrid cloud computing, it's time to define the architectural patterns

I'm doing a talk at Cloud Expo this week on hybrid cloud computing, which has been a popular topic lately. The idea is that you can hedge your bets and bring the best of both private and public clouds into a productive architecture.

So what are the emerging architectural patterns around hybrid cloud computing? More important, how is the technology evolving?

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I put the emerging patterns of hybrid cloud computing into a few core categories:

  • Static placement
  • Assisted replication
  • Automigration
  • Dynamic migration

Static placement refers to architectures where the location of applications, services, and data is tightly bound to the private or public clouds. This means it's difficult or impossible to port from private to public, or the other way around. There is little use of standards, and typically this is aimed at older platforms where the requirements allow deep platform-binding. If hybrid clouds exist today, they can be expected to use this architecture.

Assisted replication refers to architectures where some applications, services, and data may be replicated from private to public clouds, or the other way around. These types of architectures typically provide code and/or interface compatibility to support simple replication of architectural components, but not much else. There is some use of standards, often at the API level (usually as Web services) and with new platforms that are code- and service-compatible with emerging cloud platforms.

Auto migration refers to the code or entire virtual machines moving between private and public clouds instances, usually through human intervention, but sometimes through an automated process. This includes the automatic movement of code and/or virtual machines through very well-defined interfaces and some use of standards.

Dynamic migration refers to the moving virtual machine instances between private and public cloud instances, as if both the public and private clouds existed in the same virtual operating system. Standards are used where possible. This is the functional objective of hybrid cloud computing and the core promise made by the hybrid operating systems providers. But so far, they're just promises.

Hope this helps!

This article, "Guidelines for implementing a hybrid cloud," originally appeared at Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and follow the latest developments in cloud computing at

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