- 1. Cloud Computing
- 2. Hybrid Clouds
- 3. Cloud Toolkits
- 4. Conclusion
Cloud computing has reached great publicity in the last few years and has become a new trend in the IT industry. And even though its popularity increases faster than ever, it has to overcome a lot of issues and faces many challenges. Especially in hybrid cloud environments, incompatibilities between the available cloud solutions prevent a broad adoption throughout all businesses.
This article introduced the basic concepts of cloud computing and discussed the opportunities and issues of current cloud solutions. By comparing several existing toolkits, it classified commercial and non-commercial software regarding their possible application scenarios and presented technical requirements and restrictions. By taking a close look at the two open source solutions OpenNebula and Eucalyptus, it set the vision of hybrid clouds in context to the current status quo of the technology.
The results of this article show that hybrid cloud computing is a very young and poorly researched area, and that both commercial and non-commercial products have a lot of catching up to do. Current virtual infrastructure and cloud software are not built for hybrid environments and hardly feature any cloudbursting support at all. While the amount of private cloud toolkits and public cloud providers steadily increases with the popularity of the topic, only very few products are able to leverage their full potential by combining the two paradigms in a hybrid cloud.
Especially the big commercial solutions such as vSphere or Hyper-V currently largely focus on providing private cloud solutions to enterprise customers rather than integrating hybrid cloud support. None of them features the option to scale-out to public cloud providers such as Amazon or ElasticHosts, or interfaces with other external services. Even though the open source solutions are forced to interact more with external providers, their integration of public clouds is rather limited and has yet to mature technically. The reason for this is among other things the lack of standards for virtual machine formats and communication protocols. This makes interaction between toolkits difficult and hinders the vendors to enhance interoperability and reduce incompatibilities.
Cloud computing is a cutting edge technology and evolves rapidly day by day. Both private and public clouds have proven to work perfectly in enterprise environments. However, the power of the concept lies in a combination of the two. The only missing elements to unveil the numerous advantages are to introduce standards and address security and trust issues. Only if cloud vendors are able to solve these issues, cloud users can leverage the full power of hybrid clouds.
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