By: Janakiraman Jayachandran, Director-Cloud Services, Aspire Systems
In the age of disruptive innovations, managing investments of technological diversity is critical to building business agility. Having productive versatile software would require a modern sophisticated architecture of being able to run multiple applications in different dynamic ecosystems. CIOs are looking at game-changing transitions to incrementally put together an IT architecture that would ease virtual workloads for a seamless working environment. The evolution of IT architectures and business models are shifting the centre of gravity of businesses on a trajectory of growth even as they reassess their business goals.
The Rise of Data Gravity
With data gravity moving to the cloud, hybrid cloud is riding the wave and predicted to grow from $25 billion in 2014 to $85 billion by 2019 at a CAGR of 27% according to researcher MarketsandMarkets. However, Gartner’s ‘Hype cycle for Emerging Technologies’ report puts the hybrid cloud computing model in the ‘trough of disillusionment’ stage of adoption with the technology propelling itself for more strategic partnerships as it moves ahead to the ‘slope of enlightenment’ and ‘plateau of productivity’.
The adoption rates are rising according to an IDC survey that says 58% (as against 24% a year earlier) of companies are making inroads into both public on-demand services like Amazon Web Services as well as private clouds. All this even as companies like Netflix are fully embracing the public cloud.
Creating a hybrid cloud environment comes with its own technical challenges, not the least of which are lack of data portability and centrally monitoring applications across multi cloud environments. It would take the right integration strategy and key design factors to manage the whole integration lifecycle. Managing such integrations can either be done in-house or through a systems integrator. Technology vendors like IBM, Google, EMC, Oracle, and Microsoft are all introducing new paradigms to manage this data gravity from the corporate data centre to the cloud. Ariel Kelman, VP of Marketing at Amazon Web Services spoke of this need for public clouds to integrate into a bigger hybrid environment.
Architecting Hybrid Product Development
The digital business era has put product development to the test- with software development teams facing pressure to deliver high-quality software while minimizing time to value. A strategic combination of process, architecture and infrastructure is key to striking a fine balance for high performance.
A focus on modern practices is the need of the hour. Light weight application infrastructure together with migrating application platforms to the cloud would deliver the scalability that organizations desire. While PaaS frameworks like OpenShift and CloudFoundry exist, they do not fundamentally change the architecture of applications and application containers. The launch of Lambda which is the new born-on-the-cloud platform architecture from Amazon Web Services has been a frontrunner with the cloud-native platform architecture while others like IBM are making great strides too.
Expedia faced a challenge in the high volume and velocity of data (240 requests per second) and ran it on AWS for the Auto Scaling feature that helps it adjust the server capacity according to the load leading to a more stable infrastructure. Airbnb also uses Elastic Load Balancing for multiple instance distribution of traffic automatically thus cutting costs and improving their flexibility for business growth. AT & T has also planned to move 80% of their applications to the cloud while citing that 50% of the applications are run more efficiently in the cloud.
Next-generation cloud native apps would be built with superior application design to accommodate the new microservices architecture. This would deconstruct the monolithic application into independent functional components, reducing the integration overhead but would need to take care of dynamic application topologies. Application developers would need to scale up to advanced tools and frameworks to run distributed application components and bring about platform parity. Orchestrating unified data services and integration workflows that span multiple clouds would make the data flow seamless and integrated between on-premise and cloud applications. Mobile apps built with a hybrid architecture would balance portability with native features to manage criticality.
The Hybrid Future
Leading-edge hybrid integration platforms are evolving as organizations are looking to optimize the data that the Nexus of Forces brings. Cloud service integration platforms like Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) is a step towards hybrid connectivity. The appeal of the hybrid environment lies in deriving the best out of CAPEX and OPEX without committing to a single architecture model while maintaining optimum agility, stability and security.
It is this hybrid tide that skims the surface of dynamic ecosystems and takes gravity to the skies that leads on to business fortune.