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August 3, 2010

The Legend of the Hybrid Cloud?

Nicole Hemsoth

On the surface, hybrid clouds make perfect sense and are in use today in multiple settings. The concept is simple and practical; by blending in-house resources with those in the cloud via numerous SaaS offerings or even more direct cloud storage paradigms, it is possible to leverage the cloud when needed while making sure that the confidential or secure information stays inside the firewall where it’s “safer” than it would otherwise be in the ether.

While there are several that are viable examples, the term “hybrid cloud” is being adopted by many new parties, some of which really don’t offer what the true (if there is such a thing) definition of hybrid clouds promise. This has prompted some to ask whether or not the hybrid cloud is something concrete or if it’s the product of marketing hype on the part of vendors who don’t want to appear that they are behind the times by not providing a product that has the word “cloud” tied to it.

The question is, where do we draw the line about what is practicable, functional hybrid cloud to begin with? After all, there are many hybrid cloud models that we see in action that make sense and have yielded good results. So why the questioning and where is it coming from?

This all comes to the surface after today, when Joe Panettieri at MSPMentor asked readers which companies were the ones promoting hybrid cloud offerings and suggested that those who could be listed were simply the ones who didn’t have a cloud strategy in place. He suggested that it’s “like 1995 all over again. Back then, Microsoft ‘internet-enabled’ all of its software, thanks to Bill Gates’ famed Internet Tidal Wave memo.

Now the cloud tidal wave is here-and every on premises hardware and software company wants to cloud enable their offerings.” He urged readers to be careful as “many vendors will simply slap a ‘cloud’ logo on their products, hoping partners and customers will drink the Kool-Aid.”

Panettieri and others who make similar assertions do have a point—since cloud is the latest craze, there are a boatload of offerings that present no cloud-like characteristics to speak of yet are being heavily branded as such. Until the fervor around the term has time to simmer and the real pieces of cloud in the NIST definition float to the top, it’s going to be up to end users and partners to make up their own minds about what a cloud is—and is not.

Full story at MSPMentor