There is a cloud strategy for every organization, and typically it involves a hybrid infrastructure comprising multiple clouds.\nOnly 9% of enterprises rely on 100% on-premises IT environment, and only 9% rely on an all-cloud environment, according to IDG\u2019s 2020 Cloud Computing Study. The remainder have a mix of on-premise and cloud.\n\u201cA hybrid cloud strategy is appealing to many firms because hybrid cloud allows [them] to decide, based on their business specific parameters, what works best on-premise and what works best in the cloud,\u201d says Jo Peterson (@digitalcloudgal), vice president of cloud services with Clarify 360. \u201cDigital transformation has accelerated during the global pandemic. This need for speed and agility in business has sparked an uptick in the use of microservices to keep pace with the change.\u201d\nWithout an open systems mindset, though, IT leaders could easily find themselves boxed in by proprietary constraints and unable to add and discard different cloud services as needed. Open source platforms can bolster hybrid cloud strategies \u201cby supporting open standard protocols and being vendor agnostic,\u201d says Avrohom Gottheil (@avrohomg), CEO at Ask the CEO.\n\u201cIT leaders need the agility to quickly customize not only the individual nodes but the complex interaction between these elements in the cloud,\u201d says Frank Cutitta (@fcutitta), CEO and founder of HealthTech Decisions Labs. \u201cThe notion of buying closed source platforms and duct taping them together becomes economically and operationally infeasible.\u201d\nCommunity and innovation\nThe concept of an open, hybrid cloud is gaining favor as organizations look to take advantage of the open source movement.\n\u201cI think that open source and hybrid cloud make beautiful music together,\u201d says Shelly Kramer (@ShellyKramer), co-founder and analyst at Futurum Research. \u201cNot only are we seeing open source easily used by many organizations across both public and private clouds, open source provides organizations great flexibility \u2014 which is important today.\u201d\nWill Kelly (@willkelly), technical marketing manager with Anchore, says that, \u201copen source platforms are foundational elements of a hybrid cloud strategy. Linux and other open source tools power cloud servers.\u201d\nLarry Larmeu (@LarryLarmeu), enterprise strategist at Accenture offers a similar point of view: \u201cOpen source license models are cloud friendly, and the open source community has been driving modern hybrid cloud architectural elements like scalable server tiers and containers.\u201d\nHybrid cloud and open source platforms are a natural fit, says Vi Bergquist (@vibergquist), CIO at Minnesota Housing. \u201cThe union of the two enables organizations to create hybrid cloud projects without some of the typical cloud drawbacks such as vendor lock-in, high costs, and loss of control.\u201d\nInnovation and open source go hand in hand, according to Isaac Sacolick (@nyike), president of StarCIO and author of Driving Digital. \u201cA hybrid cloud strategy requires a balance of stable architecture components and others that can drive innovation,\u201d he writes. \u201cHistorically, IT leaders can find both from the open source community with platforms like Linux, Java, and the Apache webserver that are in most enterprise clouds and data centers, and others like Jenkins, Docker, Git, and Kubernetes that are common DevOps tools.\u201d\nMany observers point to the rise of Linux in making open hybrid cloud a reality. \u201cTo succeed with heterogeneous connectivity and integration you must cater for interoperability with more systems than just the current popular platforms,\u201d says Neil Cattermull (@NeilCattermull) managing director and senior analyst with The Future as a Service. \u201cA solid operating system base, such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, is a good start when discussing hybrid cloud requirements.\u201d\nPortability is a key issue\u00a0\nKayne McGladrey (@kaynemcgladrey), security architect at Ascent Solutions LLC, points out that Linux continues to be a popular deployment choice for new virtual machines on Azure. \u201cOrganizations moving legacy on-premises Linux servers to the cloud can quickly gain the benefits of robust disaster recovery and security without needing to change platforms or applications,\u201d he says.\nBrian E. Thomas (@DivergentCIO), founder and CIO of Coruzant, makes the case that, \u201cmost of the public cloud providers already use open source tech stacks to run many of their platforms anyway. Which makes for an easy transition in many cases.\u201d\nHybrid cloud strategies abstract systems environments, says Jason James (@itlinchpin), CIO of Net Health. \u201cRather than environments being tied to a specific location, these environments can move between public clouds as well as traditional data centers,\u201d he says.\n\u201cOpen source technology underpins innovation and portability,\u201d Mark Skelton (@m_skelts), CTO with CANCOM UK, points out. \u201cIf you think containers and orchestration tech like Kubernetes, they are all based on open source tech. Open source tech allows greater collaboration through communities which drives the innovation forward and is essential to the future of workload transformation.\u201d\nNothing in life is \u2018free\u2019\u00a0\nOpen source doesn\u2019t necessarily mean free, however, points out Scott Schober (@ScottBVS), president and CEO of Berkeley Varitronics Systems, Inc. \u201cOpen source is often associated as \u2018free\u2019 but don\u2019t be fooled \u2013 companies must realize there are real costs associated with implementing an effective open source hybrid cloud strategy,\u201d he says. \u201cThese costs include installation, support, managing, as well as a learning curve.\u201d\nProper management of open hybrid cloud is also critical, adds Christian Schulze (@Perrier_Jouet), CIO at Protectionone GmbH. Schulze says companies must build a management process to define requests and approve open source assets, just as they do with standard licenses. \u201cMeasure and track the assets, so you have predictive vision for future investment outcomes,\u201d he urges.\nNo doubt, some organizations are unsure of security risks regarding their future cloud strategies. But Mark Sangster (@mbsangster), cybersecurity evangelist and author of No Safe Harbor, says, \u201copen source platforms offer a manageable blend between cloud and traditional services, including agnostic connectors, management tools, and API simplification across multiple proprietary services. This single pane of glass and human-readable telemetry is critical to the identification of active threat, rapid investigation, and containment actions.\u201d\nThe transparent and collaborative nature of open source was a big boost to cloud adoption, says Antonio Grasso (@antgrasso), CEO at Digital Business Innovation Srl. "In my opinion, open-source will continue to generate value as a perfect bridge between the different Cloud setups thanks to its flexibility and openness that guarantee the investments and enable the full control by the IT team," he concludes.\nClick here to learn more about RedHat\u2019s open source cloud solutions.