To be widely used, the cloud industry needs to address the connectivity and security conundrums that can be described as ‘the last mile’ for connecting hybrid cloud networks.

What’s the problem?

Connectivity between compute resources in the cloud and those in the on-premise datacenter can be complicated—current connectivity options require companies to set up VPNs (virtual private networks) between the cloud and the datacenter.

Most importantly, security is often the key issue when starting to make use of the hybrid cloud. Companies must maintain the perimeter-based security surrounding hundreds or thousands of their applications, and they’d like to continue with their existing compliance and governance policies. In addition, companies usually require a centralized directory service for credential management that is in a single, secure environment.

Name a solution

How will the last mile problem be solved for the hybrid cloud? Typically in the computing industry, abstraction and virtualization have played an important role in advancing new paradigms. Thus, it should be no surprise that cross-domain virtualization for the hybrid cloud is starting to appear, such as container technology that allows applications to run in self-contained environments on any cloud.

Software-defined networking, or SDN, is another emerging solution that offers software-based control for the complex maze of hardware switches and routers in large datacenters. Although software-defined networks typically have been constrained to operating within a single datacenter, cross-domain SDNs are a viable approach to hybrid cloud networking.

The third approach is a next-generation virtual network, Cloud over IP (CoIP), which is a scalable network virtualization technology that connects endpoint cloud resources across the ecosystem. CoIP is completely enterprise-controlled and it provides the security and flexibility required for widespread hybrid cloud adoption.

Vendors for each of these approaches are helping companies overcome the challenges of deploying hybrid clouds quickly, efficiently and securely. These new products will help the cloud be truly everywhere.