In a hybrid cloud computing environment, an organization provides and manages in-house resources and accesses resources in a public cloud. One or several touch points exist between the private cloud and public cloud environments. The services and data from both clouds combine to create a unified and well-managed computing environment.

1 shows how customers can utilize hybrid cloud computing using Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand.

Components of a Hybrid Cloud
Components of a Hybrid Cloud

In their private clouds, customers manage their business workloads using virtualized, pooled compute resources. Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand, managed by VMware, exists in the public cloud and exposes infrastructure capabilities through a Web UI and publically available APIs. Together, customers’ on-premises private clouds and the VMware public cloud provide hybrid cloud functionality—the ability to extend private cloud resources to the public cloud. In a hybrid cloud environment, computing resources and business processes are designed to connect customers’ private clouds and the public cloud as though they are a single environment for each customer.

Not all companies that use some public and some private cloud services have a hybrid cloud. A hybrid cloud environment is not an environment where a few developers in a company use a public cloud service to prototype a new application that is completely disconnected from their private cloud or on-premises data center.

A hybrid cloud is an environment where the private and public cloud services are used together to create value. Hybrid cloud computing began as a way to take advantage of the ability to move workloads between private and public clouds. At different times of the month or year, certain workload requirements might need extra capacity. In many cases, it was the idea that customers owned the applications and rented the capacity spikes.

Customers built virtual private clouds for numerous reasons; for example, to handle dynamic scaling requirements, to run workloads at lower costs, or to run workloads for limited time periods. The resources ran in the public cloud but linked back to resources in their private clouds through VPN or other private connections. Their workloads ran where it made the most sense but required visibility back to resources in their private clouds, for example, to allow for authentication of users or archive data at set intervals into secure storage.

Hybrid Cloud Interconnection Between Private and Public Clouds
Hybrid Cloud Interconnection Between Private and Public Clouds

Over time, the characteristics of hybrid clouds have evolved. Today, hybrid cloud computing exists as a private cloud and multi-public clouds. A customer leverages resources whether they are public and public, multi-public, private and public, or any combination, and has a single way to orchestrate and provide services to their business based on a multitude of criteria (cost, location, performance, or availability).

For example, a customer might need to keep legacy applications private but look to moving new applications public to take advantage of geography, time zone, or for legal reasons. For example, in 3, public cloud “Public - West” might be in a required geographical location.

Multiple Public Clouds with Single Point of View
Multiple Public Clouds with Single Point of View

Customers approach their hybrid cloud strategy by looking at all resources across all clouds. They want a dashboard way of managing cloud resources whether they are private or public. In this environment, customers do not think in terms of moving resources between public and private clouds, but rather as operating them in environments that best solve their business needs to give them business advantages.