The Evolution of Cloud Computing

Hybrid Cloud Is an Inevitable Journey for Most Enterprises

  1. Build a private cloud. Top reasons for this strategy include strict security and regulation requirements, latency considerations, and reusing existing infrastructure investment. Some people speculate that when the scale of their infrastructure reaches a certain point, it’s more cost effective to build a private cloud than using public cloud. However, this is often not true when considering Total Cost of Ownership. My further advice for those choosing to go with this approach is that you need to make sure you have a strong technical team to implement and operate a private cloud.
  2. Migrate to a public cloud. In this approach, you would keep existing on-premises infrastructure but gradually migrate to public cloud. Normally, this migration is performed when existing servers reach end of life. New applications are also deployed with public cloud as the primary consideration. This is a practical “hybrid” approach that many customers take.
  3. Use both public and private cloud. For customers who have applications that require a private cloud for reasons described in the first strategy, but also want to take advantage of public cloud for other applications, using a hybrid combination of both public and private cloud is their natural choice.

Ensuring a Consistent, Unified and Connected Experience

  • Connected network. Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) has become the de-factor standard for user space networking in the cloud. While users typically create separate VPCs in public and private cloud, connecting these VPCs together builds the bridge between them, making it possible for the service and application instances from the two worlds to communicate and integrate with each other.
  • Connected resource pool. A private cloud provides a dedicated and isolated resource pool to the customer. This brings better security and locality, while losing elasticity and agility. A common approach is for a private cloud to use the public cloud as a secondary resource pool, such that certain applications can scale to the public cloud when the private cloud runs short of resources. A converged resource provision and scaling service can bring the two together as one virtual resource pool.
  • Connected applications. Application orchestration and integration services, such as Kubernetes based container services and service mesh frameworks, make it easier for applications to span across public and private cloud, connected as one larger composite application.

The Rise of Apsara Cloud OS

Distributed Cloud Is the Next Wave of Cloud Computing

Innovations in the Operation Model Open up More Possibilities for Cloud Computing

  • Customizing the “kernel” to support different scale of the cloud with different cost constraints.
  • Improving the control plane’s robustness to support the wide distribution of the cloud deployments and to tolerate various network conditions.
  • Ironizing security to protect both the cloud base as well as customer’s data especially in untrusted physical environments.
  • Taking customer’s existing servers to become an integral part of the cloud, including the support of VPC and Cloud Disk, without modifying their hardware. Alibaba did a major innovation here with the introduction of a smart cloud switch. By connecting customer’s servers to such a switch, the servers can then be managed as Elastic Bare Metal instances.
  • Productization of internal asset management processes to support customer- and partner-owned servers.
  • Turning infrastructure operation into a service to manage 3rd party data centers.
  • Flexible billing and accounting system to support the reseller and virtual operator model for partners.

A Never Ending Journey

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