Brien Posey, Microsoft MVP

How to Implement a Hybrid Cloud Strategy

Industry Voices Operations
Brien Posey Headshot
This slide has a headline that is titled “Public Cloud Disadvantages.” There are seven bullet points, which read: Costs can become excessive if they are not closely monitored; Some workloads do not work in a public cloud environment; Hosting a workload in the cloud and complicate security; You do not have access to low-level resources; Some workloads could potentially overwhelm your organization’s internet connection; You might not be able to reuse software licenses in the cloud; There can be a temptation to skip on resources.

Yes, the hybrid cloud can deliver better business outcomes. Here’s how.  

According to Microsoft MVP and technology expert Brien Posey, organizations should make a plan to implement a hybrid cloud infrastructure to optimize costs and performance. He explains it all in this Eye on Tech webcast that you don’t want to miss. 

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You’ll learn

  • Advantages and shortcomings of the public cloud 

  • Where private clouds fit in 

  • How hybrid clouds can help 

Who is this for?

Network Professionals Business Leaders


Brien Posey Headshot
Brien Posey
Microsoft MVP 


0:05 Brien M. Posey: Hi, this is Brien Posey. And today

0:07 I want to talk about why a hybrid cloud might be

0:09 your best option. This presentation is designed to

0:14 be largely introductory in nature. And to that

0:17 end, there are several things that I want to

0:19 cover. I'm going to begin by talking a little bit

0:21 about the public cloud. Now, as I'm sure you know,

0:24 a lot of businesses have taken a cloud-first

0:26 approach to deploying IT workloads. And for good

0:29 reason, the cloud has a lot going for it. But at

0:32 the same time, there are also certain

0:34 disadvantages to running workloads in the public

0:36 cloud. So I want to spend a little bit of time

0:38 talking about some of the advantages and the

0:40 disadvantages associated with public cloud. From

0:44 there, I'm going to move on to a discussion of the

0:46 private cloud. The private cloud is a lot like the

0:49 public cloud, except for the IT resources reside

0:51 in your own data center. And like the public

0:54 cloud, there are certain advantages and

0:56 disadvantages to private cloud. And then finally,

1:00 I'm going to move on to a discussion of hybrid

1:02 cloud. Hybrid Cloud gives you the best of both

1:04 worlds. It gives you all of the advantages of

1:07 public cloud, as well as the advantages of private

1:10 cloud. So I'm going to be talking all about how

1:12 hybrid cloud may be the best option for you in

1:15 your own organization. Before I get into the main

1:21 part of this presentation, I just want to take a

1:23 moment and introduce myself and give you a little

1:25 bit of information about my background. Again, my

1:28 name is Brien Posey, and I'm a freelance

1:30 technology author and speaker. I'm also a 19 time

1:34 Microsoft MVP. Before I went freelance, I worked

1:37 as a network administrator for some of the largest

1:40 insurance companies in America. I was also the

1:43 lead network engineer for the United States

1:45 Department of Defense at Fort Knox. And I worked

1:48 as a CIO for a national chain of hospitals and

1:50 health care facilities. In addition to my IT

1:54 background, I've also spent the last several years

1:57 training as a commercial astronaut candidate in

1:59 preparation for a mission to study polar

2:01 mesospheric clouds from space. So that's just a

2:04 little bit about me. Let's get on with the

2:06 presentation. I want to begin the presentation by

2:11 talking a little bit about public cloud. I'm

2:14 guessing that most of you are probably already

2:16 familiar with public cloud. But I want to go ahead

2:18 and introduce the topic just in case because it is

2:20 going to come into play a little bit later on in

2:22 the discussion. There are actually a number of

2:25 different types of public clouds, everything from

2:27 Infrastructure as a Service clouds to Software as

2:29 a Service clouds. So for the purposes of this

2:33 discussion, when I refer to public cloud, I'm

2:36 going to be talking about Infrastructure as a

2:38 Service Cloud. Now, if you're not familiar with

2:40 Infrastructure as a Service clouds, the basic idea

2:44 is that the cloud provider gives subscribers the

2:46 ability to create various types of resources on

2:49 demand within the cloud. For example, a subscriber

2:53 might create virtual machine instances, they might

2:56 create databases, or they might provision various

2:58 managed services within the cloud. And the

3:02 subscriber is built based on the resources that

3:04 they use within the cloud. And that's actually one

3:10 of the really big advantages to public cloud is

3:12 that you're only paying for the resources that you

3:15 actually use, you never have to worry about

3:17 purchasing something and then not fully utilizing

3:20 it. Now, certainly, there are plenty of other

3:24 advantages to using public cloud. One of the big

3:27 advantages is that you don't have to worry about

3:29 buying any hardware. When you subscribe to a

3:32 public cloud, you're hosting resources on the

3:34 cloud providers hardware, so you don't have to

3:36 purchase that hardware yourself and deploy it in

3:38 your own data center. Similarly, the cloud

3:42 provider handles all of the hardware related

3:44 tasks. This might include purchasing the hardware,

3:47 getting it all deployed and set up. And all of the

3:50 ongoing hardware maintenance, such as replacing

3:52 failed hard drives, or refreshing aging hardware.

3:58 Another advantage to the public cloud is that the

4:00 cloud makes it extremely easy to deploy new

4:02 workloads. For example, if an organization needs

4:05 to deploy a new virtual machine, they can

4:07 typically do that with just a few mouse clicks.

4:12 The public cloud also provides almost infinite

4:14 scalability. If a workload needs to scale, you can

4:18 easily provision additional resources to meet the

4:21 needs of that workload. And you can deep provision

4:25 resources just as easily. And this is really nice,

4:28 because in a public cloud environment, there is no

4:31 guilt associated with the de provisioning of

4:32 resources. If you retire a workload on premises,

4:36 then you may have hardware that's going to sit

4:39 unused after that. So you're not fully

4:41 capitalizing on the investment that you made in

4:43 that hardware. Well, in a public cloud, you don't

4:45 have to worry about that because you never

4:47 actually purchased the hardware. You're simply

4:50 paying for the resources that you use on that

4:52 hardware. And when you're done with a particular

4:54 workload, you can step away from it and not have

4:57 to worry about what happens with the hardware. And

5:01 then another advantage is that large public clouds

5:03 tend to be extremely reliable and secure.

5:09 Just as there are advantages to hosting certain

5:12 workloads in the public cloud, there can also

5:14 potentially be some disadvantages that you need to

5:16 be aware of. One such disadvantage is cost. From

5:21 the very beginning, the public cloud has been

5:23 marketed as being the inexpensive option for

5:25 hosting it workloads. And in a lot of cases,

5:29 running a workload in the cloud can indeed save

5:31 you a lot of money. But you have to remember that

5:34 the public cloud providers bill you based on the

5:36 resources that you consume. So what this means is

5:39 that you have to be very careful to avoid

5:41 allocating excessive resources to a workload,

5:44 otherwise, it's going to cost you a lot more money

5:47 to run that workload than what is really

5:48 necessary. So you do have to keep an eye on cost

5:52 in order to avoid surprise billing. Another

5:57 potential disadvantage to be aware of is that

5:59 there are going to be some workloads that simply

6:01 don't work all that well, in a public cloud

6:03 environment. This can be especially true for

6:06 legacy workloads. And those workloads might be

6:09 better suited for remaining on premises. Something

6:13 else to be aware of is that hosting a workload in

6:15 the cloud can complicate your security. Now, this

6:19 isn't to say that your security is going to be

6:21 weakened simply because you moved a workload to

6:23 the public cloud. As a matter of fact, the

6:25 opposite often happens, moving a workload to the

6:28 public cloud can in some ways, improve the

6:31 workload security, but just know that the

6:34 migration process will cause you to have to re

6:37 evaluate the workload security. And in some cases,

6:40 things can be a little bit more complicated.

6:45 Another potential disadvantage to be aware of is

6:48 that when you host a workload in the public cloud,

6:51 you don't have access to low level resources on

6:53 the server that the workload is running on. This

6:56 can limit your ability to customize the workloads

6:59 platform. For a lot of workloads, this isn't a big

7:02 deal, but it is something that you need to be

7:04 aware of. Another thing to keep in mind with

7:08 regard to hosting a workload in the public cloud

7:12 is that some workloads could potentially overwhelm

7:15 your organization's internet connection. Now,

7:18 certainly, this isn't true for all workloads. But

7:20 if you have a workload that generates a heavy

7:23 amount of internet traffic between your

7:25 organization and the cloud provider, that workload

7:28 is going to be competing with your end users and

7:30 with other applications for internet bandwidth. So

7:33 you just need to make sure that you've got plenty

7:35 of internet bandwidth to accommodate that

7:36 workload. And a moment ago, I mentioned that there

7:42 are some workloads that really don't work all that

7:44 well, in a public cloud environment. Sometimes

7:47 that happens, because a workload just doesn't

7:49 really mesh well with the cloud infrastructure.

7:52 But another reason why you might have trouble

7:54 making a workload work in a public cloud, is

7:56 because you might not be able to reuse your

7:58 software licenses in a cloud environment. Now,

8:01 again, this isn't true for every workload, but it

8:03 is something that's worth paying attention to. And

8:06 then finally, one last disadvantage is that there

8:09 can be a temptation to skimp on the resources that

8:12 are allocated to your application. Remember, in a

8:15 public cloud environment, you're paying for the

8:17 resources that you consume. So there can be a

8:21 temptation to cut some corners and not given

8:23 application, all of the resources that it really

8:25 needs, just in an effort to stretch the IT budget

8:28 a bit. So now that I've talked a little bit about

8:33 public clouds, I want to turn my attention to

8:36 private clouds. private clouds have a lot of

8:38 similarities to public clouds, in that they

8:41 provide authorized users with a self service

8:44 environment that allows them to create resources

8:47 on demand. For example, an authorized user might

8:51 create virtual machines based on a template that's

8:54 been put into place by an administrator within the

8:56 private cloud environment. The primary difference

9:00 between a private cloud and a public cloud is that

9:02 the private cloud is based on the organization's

9:05 own hardware. That's hardware that the

9:07 organization owns, that exists in the

9:09 organization's own data center. One of the most

9:14 important things to understand about a private

9:16 cloud environment is that although the environment

9:18 does indeed give you cloud like functionality,

9:21 you'll lose one of the key benefits that's

9:23 associated with public clouds, namely, Pay As You

9:26 Go pricing. Because remember, the private cloud is

9:29 based on hardware that exist in your own data

9:31 center. So that means that you have to purchase

9:33 all of the capacity that you're going to need in

9:35 advance of actually needing it. And you're also

9:38 going to have to handle all of the hardware

9:40 maintenance yourself. Whereas in a public cloud

9:42 environment, the cloud provider takes care of all

9:45 of the hardware acquisition, and all of the

9:47 hardware maintenance on your behalf. Now that I've

9:53 spent some time talking about both public cloud

9:55 and private cloud, and the advantages and

9:58 disadvantages of each one of them turned my

10:00 attention to hybrid cloud. Hybrid Cloud is

10:03 essentially a combination of public and private

10:06 cloud resources.

10:08 The public and private clouds are merged together

10:10 in a way that gives the organization's all of the

10:13 benefits of both technologies. It's a way of

10:15 getting the best of both worlds. And as you can

10:18 imagine, there are many compelling benefits to

10:21 choosing the hybrid cloud option. So I want to

10:23 talk about some of those benefits. One of the big

10:28 benefits to building a hybrid cloud is that it

10:31 doesn't require an organization to abandon its

10:34 existing hardware resources. Because very often

10:37 when an organization is running a workload on

10:39 premises, and they decide that they want to

10:41 migrate that workload to the cloud, then once the

10:44 workload has been migrated, they have to figure

10:46 out what to do with the hardware that the workload

10:48 had previously been running on. Remember, this is

10:51 hardware that the organization had bought and paid

10:53 for. And now it's just sitting idle. And because

10:56 the hardware is sitting idle, the organization's

10:58 no longer realizing a return on investment. From

11:01 that hardware. Oftentimes, the hardware ends up

11:04 being prematurely retired, simply because it no

11:07 longer has a workload to run. But in a hybrid

11:11 cloud, on premises resources are still used, and

11:14 they're combined with resources that reside in the

11:17 public cloud. So you can continue to make use of

11:20 that hardware that exists within your data center.

11:25 Another especially compelling benefit to building

11:28 a hybrid cloud is that our hybrid cloud gives you

11:31 flexibility, you're free to run a workload in the

11:34 location where it makes the most sense to do so.

11:37 And there are any number of criteria that might

11:40 establish where it makes the most sense to run a

11:42 given workload. One such criteria is cost, you may

11:46 find that it costs less to host a particular

11:48 workload on premises than in a public cloud. Of

11:52 course, the opposite can be true, too, you might

11:55 find that it's cheaper to run a given workload in

11:57 the public cloud than it is to run it in your own

12:00 data center. And in a hybrid cloud environment,

12:03 you have that flexibility of being able to place

12:05 that workload where it makes the most sense to do

12:08 so based on cost. Another factor that sometimes

12:13 plays into the decision as to where a particular

12:16 workload should be hosted, are your compliance

12:19 requirements. For example, there may be a

12:21 compliance mandate that requires a given workload

12:24 to be hosted on premises rather than it residing

12:27 in the public cloud. And if you have a hybrid

12:30 cloud environment, you're certainly free to do

12:32 that, you can place a workload where it needs to

12:35 go based on your compliance mandates. one more

12:39 factor that often plays into the decision as to

12:42 where a particular workload should be hosted is

12:45 simply the workload logistics. For example, if you

12:48 have a very bandwidth intensive application, you

12:51 may want to keep that application in your own data

12:53 center so that you're not consuming an excessive

12:56 amount of internet bandwidth. At the same time, if

13:00 you have a workload that depends on a number of

13:02 other managed services residing in the public

13:04 cloud, then it might make more sense to host that

13:07 particular application in the public cloud. The

13:10 bottom line is that a hybrid cloud environment

13:12 gives you the flexibility to run that workload

13:14 wherever it makes the most sense to do so. Yet

13:20 another benefit to building a hybrid cloud is that

13:23 hybrid clouds give you on demand scalability, but

13:25 without the hardware investment. Now, as you'll

13:28 recall, hybrid clouds make use of hardware that's

13:31 running on premises, but they also make use of

13:33 resources in the public cloud. So if you suddenly

13:37 need to scale up a workload, you don't necessarily

13:40 need to go out and purchase more hardware, you

13:42 could use resources residing within the public

13:45 cloud to help you to scale that workload. If at a

13:48 later time you need to scale that workload back

13:50 down. Well, then you could simply d provision

13:52 resources in the public cloud and bring the entire

13:55 workload back on premises. The point is that the

13:58 hybrid cloud gives you the ability to demand scale

14:01 your workload either up or down, without

14:04 necessarily having to purchase additional

14:06 hardware. Another benefit is that hybrid clouds

14:12 can improve an organization's agility. Remember,

14:15 hybrid clouds use resources residing both locally

14:18 in the organization's own data center and in the

14:20 public cloud. And having all these resources at

14:23 your disposal makes it very, very easy to

14:26 provision and deploy new workloads at a moment's

14:28 notice, thereby helping to make the organization

14:31 far more agile than it might otherwise be. Yet

14:37 another benefit to the hybrid cloud is that when

14:39 properly configured, a hybrid cloud can help an

14:42 organization to achieve business continuity and

14:44 disaster recovery capabilities that might

14:46 otherwise be out of reach. One of the most popular

14:50 use cases for hybrid cloud is to configure

14:52 workloads that are running on premises to

14:54 automatically fail over to the public cloud,

14:57 should something happen in the organization's own

14:59 datacenter

15:01 hybrid clouds are often also used for disaster

15:04 recovery purposes. For example, workloads running

15:07 on premises might be backed up to public cloud

15:09 resources. These are just a couple of different

15:12 examples of some of the ways that organizations

15:15 achieve business continuity and disaster recovery

15:17 capabilities through the hybrid cloud. And one

15:23 more benefit to building a hybrid cloud is that

15:25 hybrid clouds are really good for accommodating

15:27 temporary workloads. If for example, an

15:30 organization needed to provision a new workload,

15:33 but they knew going in that that particular

15:35 workload was going to be temporary in nature, then

15:38 the hybrid cloud would make it very easy for the

15:40 organization to deploy the resources that were

15:42 needed by that workload. And then to reclaim those

15:45 resources once the workload is no longer needed.

15:49 So those are just a few of the many benefits to

15:51 building a hybrid cloud. Throughout this

15:56 presentation, I've stressed the idea that there

15:58 are three main types of clouds, public, private,

16:01 and hybrid. And in the vast majority of cases,

16:04 hybrid cloud is the preferred model. Now, having

16:08 said that, hybrid cloud does have some

16:10 disadvantages just as public and private cloud

16:12 have disadvantages. The main disadvantage to

16:15 building a hybrid cloud is that some hardware is

16:17 going to be required. That means that if you don't

16:20 already have hardware in your data center, you're

16:22 going to need to purchase some hardware. And

16:25 because of that, hybrid cloud probably isn't going

16:27 to be the best choice for startups. If you've got

16:31 a startup organization, it's generally going to be

16:33 more cost effective to deploy workloads in a

16:35 public cloud. But if you do have hardware in your

16:39 own data center, then you can certainly use that

16:41 hardware to build a hybrid cloud. Now, if you're

16:44 interested in building a hybrid cloud, and you

16:47 don't already have hardware or don't have enough

16:49 hardware, there is another option available. There

16:52 are vendors that will give you consumption based

16:55 pricing for data center hardware. So that's just

16:58 something to think about. The bottom line is that

17:03 in the vast majority of cases, hybrid cloud is the

17:05 preferred solution because it gives you the

17:07 greatest degree of flexibility for your workloads.

17:12 So I hope you found this presentation to be

17:14 informative. I'm Brien Posey, thanks for watching.

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