Is Hybrid Cloud Perfection Possible?

By Bill Byron Concevitch

There’s no doubt that hybrid cloud, the combination of private and public cloud in many shapes and sizes, is the focus for many IT pros today. The rush to find the right mix, the needed flexibility and agility is on.

The question is: How do you solve the problem of protecting and managing your data in a world where the options for both public and private cloud – the hybrid combination – grows and changes minute by minute (and that’s not an exaggeration!)? The solution may be in selecting the right underlying technology to bring cloud-like economics and scale to the private cloud component.

The challenges with current options

In traditional private cloud infrastructure you typically have servers, network and storage – provisioned, managed, upgraded and retired as individual components. Each element in this traditional model is likely procured on different schedules and with different capabilities. That leads to forklift upgrades and time-consuming, expensive migrations to support the upgrade – not a pretty sight.

It’s not fun trying to plan the timing of upgrading or replacing servers to match storage – all on different refresh cycles, while moving data, applications and users around in the backup environment to avoid loss of services. And how many of us only have one backup/recovery solution in place? The last seven IT pros I talked with had anywhere from seven to 10 active solutions running – and they were looking to stop the madness this creates. As one of them said, “Hard to manage is putting it lightly!”

There is a way to end the madness.

Scale-Out mirrors cloud characteristics: ‘Node’ your way to cloud-like flexibility

Enter scale-out replacing scale-up – the traditional infrastructure we just described (aka “the madness”). A scale-out cluster can be quickly defined as a series of co-equal nodes working together. As nodes are added or removed, throughput, compute and bandwidth increases or decreases accordingly. Upgrades are accomplished by adding new nodes to the cluster, seamlessly moving users, workloads and data to the new nodes and retiring the old nodes with no downtime.

Sound cloud-like? It gets even better

A characteristic feature is the inclusion of machine learning to facilitate self-healing and auto-tuning of resources in the cluster to accommodate changing demands. It’s how to mimic cloud characteristics down here on Earth. And it starts to align skill sets so your team can manage workloads across all of the hybrid cloud in a similar way. Less complexity equals less potential for human error. Is this starting to sound good?

So imagine converging your backup environment across all cloud – private and public – into a single compute, network and storage cluster with native cloud (and hypervisor) integration. Add an industry standard x86 hardware component that scales as you need it, and you have the combined Commvault and Cisco offering designed for your secondary workloads. ScaleProtect™ with Cisco® UCS brings together Commvault software-defined data management/data protection with scale-out, hyperconverged Cisco UCS technology to create a flexible, predictable and less expensive backup and data management solution.

Perhaps there is a “perfect” private cloud waiting for you after all.