The challenge of legacy IT stacks is that applications and workloads can become siloed and stuck in a specific location that isn’t easy migrated. With demand for high-availability and disaster recovery being of paramount importance, getting locked into one deployment option for an application workload is commonly seen as an unacceptable risk today.
The promise of hybrid cloud integration is that organizations can have workload portability, removing the potential risk of a single point of failure.
Hybrid Cloud Integration Tool Technology
There are a number of different technologies and options for enabling hybrid cloud integration. Among the leading options is taking what is known as a “cloud-native” approach, which typically involves the use of container and microservices technology.
- Containers. An application container, is an isolated process that can run an application. The container runs on top of a container engine, which is commonly the Docker Engine, which can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud.
- Kubernetes. Kubernetes is often used to enable container orchestration at scale and be run on-premises or in the cloud to enable hybrid cloud integration capabilities.
- Virtual Machines. Virtual Machine technology can also be used, whereby an entire workload and its underlying operating system is encapsulated in a format that can run on-premises or in the cloud.
In this Datamation top companies list, we spotlight the vendors that offer the top hybrid cloud integration tools.
- Amazon Outposts
- Docker Enterprise
- Google Anthos
- Pivotal Container Service (PKS)
- Red Hat OpenShift
- SUSE Containers as a Service (CaaS)
- Ubuntu Kubernetes
- VMware Cloud
- Vendor Comparison Chart
Value proposition for potential buyers. Amazon Web Services (AWS) dominates the public cloud and with Outposts, organizations get many of the same benefits, in an on-premises deployment.
- Announced at the AWS re:invent 2018 conference, Outposts enables organizations to run the same VMware control plane or AWS EC2 instances.
- Workloads can be deployed to the on-premises Outposts hardware, with the same controls and EC2 features as are available in the AWS cloud.
- An AWS Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) can be extended to include an Outposts deployment creating a unified on-premises and cloud deployment.
- Hardware is fully managed by AWS for both operational and firmware reliability.
Value proposition for potential buyers. Docker is the company that ignited the modern container, cloud-native revolution. The Docker Enterprise offering enables developers to easily build and deploy workloads that can run on-premises or in the cloud.
- The key differentiator for Docker is the desktop component, that enables developers to build and test cloud native applications locally and then deploy them either on-premises or in the cloud.
- Being able to safely secure access credentials and authorization tokens (commonly referred to as ‘secrets’) is another core feature in the platform with an integrated secrets management capability.
- Another core differentiators for Docker Enterprise is the platform’s support for Microsoft Windows based workloads as a stable feature.
- Application templates help to accelerate workload deployments for common types of use-cases.
- Can be deployed on bare metal, virtual machines or in Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.
Value proposition for potential buyers. Anthos is Google Cloud’s answer to the challenge of hybrid cloud integration, providing a Google experience that is uniform across both on-premises and cloud deployments.
- A key differentiator for Anthos is that it is the first real attempt to enable Google cloud users to build and deploy cloud native applications locally.
- Anthos uses a Kubernetes control plane to enable hybrid cloud integration across both Google as well as AWS and Azure.
- Of note, Anthos integrates with the Istio service mesh when connected with the Google Kubernetes Engine, providing improved application visibility and control.
- To help enable Anthos, Google has developed a migration tool that aims to make it easier for virtual machine and other cloud users, to adopt Anthos.
Value proposition for potential buyers. Pivotal combines elements of Kubernetes with VMware NSX network virtualization technology to provide users with an easy-to-use platform that integrates nearly everything that an organization needs for a hybrid cloud.
- The Pivotal Container Service, which goes by the acronym PKS, is yet another Kubernetes based approach for enabling hybrid cloud integration, with deployment options for both on-premises and public cloud.
- A key differentiator for PKS is its integration with the Pivotal Application Service, which brings an application runtime to Kubernetes, making it easier for organizations to deploy hybrid cloud applications.
- Networking can often be a challenge when figuring out multi-cloud and hybrid cloud deployments, but PKS looks to solve that issue with the integration of VMware’s NSX which is one the market’s leading network virtualization technologies.
- Another big feature in PKS is the CloudFoundry Bosh system which brings deployment and lifecycle management to hybrid cloud deployments.
Value proposition for potential buyers. Recently acquired by IBM, Red Hat’s OpenShift can run across both multi-cloud and on-premised deployments and integrates with wider portfolio of Linux and application development technologies.
- OpenShift is a Kubernetes based cloud native platform with both on-premises and multi-cloud deployment options.
- Having Red Hat Enterprise Linux at the core, with its multiple application and security certification is a key differentiator for the platform, making it easier for existing Linux users to adopt the platform.
- OpenShift makes use of the Operator Framework for Kubernetes which makes it easier and faster to deploy application into a cluster that could be running anywhere.
- Serverless deployment capabilities are an emerging category, which OpenShift now enables via its support of the Knative serverless framework. With serverless, rather than deploying a full application, only a specific function is deployed which runs as needed to execute a given task or process.
Value proposition for potential buyers. The SUSE CaaS platform goes beyond what Kubernetes provides natively, integrating advanced application lifecycle management capabilities to aid hybrid cloud integration efforts.
- Configuration tools are a key differentiator for the platform, making it easier to properly set up a hybrid cloud deployment.
- Application availability and performance monitoring is another core capability, which helps to make sure that workloads are running efficiently.
- Management of a hybrid cloud deployment with SUSE CaaS is enhanced with the Velum project, which provides a web based dashboard for simplified management of a Kubernetes cluster.
- Integrated role based access control, helps to ensure authorization security for deployed workloads and users.
Value proposition for potential buyers. Ubuntu is the baseline reference implementation for Kubernetes across all major public cloud providers and enables easy entry point for users to get started.
- A key differentiator for Ubuntu is that its’ Kubernetes platform is entirely based on the upstream open source project, making it highly compatible with any other Kubernetes deployment.
- For developers, the MicroK8s option is an easy way to get started on a local system to see how the system works and what can be done to enable hybrid cloud integration.
- The Charmed Kubernetes option, is a way to rapidly deploy Kubernetes across public cloud, bare metal or VMware infrastructure with little hassle and intelligent default for deployment.
- Organizations can choose to run Ubuntu’s Kubernetes on their own, or opt into a fully managed Kubernetes offering that runs in any cloud or data center.
Value proposition for potential buyers. VMware helped to define the era of server virtualization and with its cloud service, organization can extend existing investments to enable hybrid cloud workloads.
- VMware Cloud can be used to run on-premises, as well as across different cloud providers including AWS.
- The same control plan and management resources that an organization’s staff is familiar with and likely has been using for years, is extended out to the cloud, making it a really easy option for organizations with existing deployments and skill sets.
- The VMware NSX network virtualization technology is an integrated part of the offering, providing organization with an easy way to set up networking for hybrid cloud deployment.
- VMware Cloud is an ideal solution for organization that have already invested in VMware’s ESX hypervisor related technologies that want to scale up and out to the cloud.
Choice of either AWS EC2 or VMware control plane.
Extensible to AWS Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).
Fully managed on-premises hardware offering.
Windows and Linux container deployment.
Integrated secrets management.
Desktop options to enable developers
Migration tools to move from virtual machines and other clouds.
Multi-cloud and on-premises support.
Istio service mesh integration for improved visibility.
Pivotal Container Service (PKS)
Application management and lifecycle capabilities.
Integration with Pivotal Application Service (PAS)
Integrated VMware NSX network virtualization.
Red Hat OpenShift
Operator framework makes it easier to deploy applications.
Serverless deployment capabilities are also part of the service.
Red Hat Linux at the foundation of the platform for improved compatibility and stability.
SUSE Containers-as-a-Service (CaaS)
Configuration tools for deployment.
Management dashboard for cloud deployment.
Application lifecycle management capabilities.
Based on the upstream open source Kubernetes project code.
MicroK8s option for developer workstations.
Broad support across on-premises and cloud providers.
Integrated NSX for network virtualization.
Unified control plane for on-premises and cloud deployment.
Enables existing VMware deployments to move to the cloud.