Is hybrid cloud the best of both worlds? Five experts explain how to get it right

Is hybrid cloud the best of both worlds? Five experts explain how to get it right

Madhura Maskasky, co-founder and vice president of product, Platform9, speaks at the GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Fervent cloud computing evangelists used to look down their noses at the notion of hybrid cloud, seeing the approach a cop-out for slow-moving and shallow-minded tech organizations. Things have most certainly changed.

The past week was a good example of how hybrid cloud is here to stay, and increasingly embraced by cloud pioneers like Amazon Web Services who have realized that giving customers a taste of what’s possible with the public cloud without having to totally rip out their existing infrastructure is a winning play. VMware’s annual customer conference, which took place past week in Las Vegas, is now a fixture on AWS CEO Andy Jassy’s calendar, and their partnership continues to demonstrate how how the market for public cloud services has evolved over time.

There are a lot of different ways to build modern computing infrastructure, and most companies tailor their infrastructure to suit the needs of their products or services; online banking is a different undertaking than mobile gaming. And there are lots of reasons — ranging from cost to legal obligations — why companies need to maintain their own infrastructure while developing new applications or moving certain things over to the cloud over a period of time.

This, of course, creates its own level of complexity, because nothing about computing infrastructure is allowed to be easy. That’s why we invited five experts to help attendees at the 2018 GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit understand how big companies and growing startups are implementing hybrid cloud strategies.

Here’s what they’re thinking about, and what they recommend:

Alex Legault, Associate Director of Products, PitchBook

Pitchbook’s startup-investing database is built across Rackspace hosted servers run by the company as well as Amazon Web Services, which it chose a few years for its data science workloads, Legault said. He kicked off the morning’s tech sessions with a detailed look at how Pitchbook made the shift and a few lessons it learned along the way.

Jin Zhang, Director, Product Management VMware & Hybrid Computing, Amazon

Sometimes the hardest part of any technology migration project is simply getting started. Zhang walked attendees through ways to pick and choose which workloads will deliver the best return-on-investment after they are rewritten to work on the cloud, which always warms the heart of the finance department.

Nicholas Criss, Sr. Manager, Cloud Center of Excellence, T-Mobile

T-Mobile runs lots of internal and external-facing applications across a hybrid cloud infrastructure that makes heavy use of containers, as we covered last year. Criss discussed three episodes in T-Mobile’s recent history in which it learned how to operate this hybrid cloud model no matter what the world threw at it.

Madhura Maskasky, Co-founder, Platform9

One of the reasons hybrid cloud has staying power is that companies are learning exactly which tools in their arsenal can take advantage of cloud services, and which might be more cost-effective to run on their own equipment. Maskasky outlined some of the thought processes smart companies use to evaluate where their workloads are best placed.

Anthony Skinner, CTO at

Skinner took a bit of a contrarian approach to round out the day, noting that virtually no one building a startup company right now is spending a lot of time shopping for servers. While there will always be some companies like Dropbox that figure out a way to fine-tune their own infrastructure and move off cloud services, at some point down the road hybrid cloud strategies will fade out in favor of cloud services.

Source: GeekWire

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