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The Best of Both Worlds: Attain Maximum Flexibility with an Open Hybrid Cloud

Open hybrid clouds provide end users the benefits of both hybrid clouds and open source technologies. These benefits can extend the usability, security, flexibility and interoperability of the IT environment.

“As hybrid cloud solutions allow for a mixture of internal systems with private and public cloud environments, open source solutions allow the organization to provide differing levels of customization, interoperability and control of the open source operating systems and applications,” said Jerry Irvine, CIO of Prescient Solutions. “The combination of both technologies can provide increased flexibility as open source environments allow for full disclosure, code review and common practices to implement their applications.”

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Combinations of open source cloud solutions may provide for increased functionality and agility of interoperability even with proprietary systems and applications by allowing the organization to integrate with the closed source application via APIs. As Irvine pointed out, “All in all, this provides organizations with options to review a larger number of service providers, systems and applications to fulfill their feature and functionality requirements as well as their project timelines. Additionally, it provides an increased number of infrastructure options within their own local environments as well as cloud solutions.”

Regardless of whether a hybrid cloud is open or proprietary, “the main benefit is the flexibility to only purchase infrastructure resources to support your average load and then burst out to a CSP for your peak load requirements,” Ken Copas, Cloud Practice Lead at GlassHouse, added. This benefits the organization because it brings about the best of both worlds. You will dramatically reduce costs by not purchasing infrastructure designed for peak loads, that sits underutilized the majority of the time.  “This way,” Copas said, “you are only paying for what you actually use.”

Furthermore, capacity management is no longer a risk because you have access to infinite resources via your CSP and can scale up quickly when necessary.  An additional potential advantage of an open hybrid cloud vs. a proprietary hybrid cloud is that the former should be less expensive, although some would argue more risky.

Because open source solutions are plentiful and growing, it is easy for organizations to build a computing strategy around this cloud model. “Integration and interoperability between open source and other open source solutions is generally a given,” said Irvine. “However, integration and interoperability between proprietary closed source solutions is not always available or difficult at best. Nevertheless, there are opportunities and possibilities in providing integration and interoperability between open source and closed source solutions because of the flexibility and full disclosure of open source systems.”

As a result, organizations which may be interested in some closed source systems but were unable to use them may be able to develop open source solutions to bridge the gap between these environments.

Sue Proemba blogs for Rackspace Hosting. Rackspace Hosting is the service leader in cloud computing, and a founder of OpenStack, an open source cloud operating system. The San Antonio-based company provides Fanatical Support to its customers and partners, across a portfolio of IT services, including Managed Hosting and Cloud Computing.

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