The cloud: avoiding provider lock-in

Enterprises want the economics and elasticity of cloud computing, but are understandably reluctant to completely abandon their own data centres, or lock themselves into particular cloud architectures.

The perception is that, once your environment has been embedded into a service provider's data centre (a hybrid cloud), it becomes impossible to switch to another service provider in the future without starting over.

These challenges must be addressed before applications can be successfully transferred:

- Application complexity:Enterprise applications commonly depend upon shared services, including directories and databases, residing in the enterprise data centre. These applications must, however, operate in the cloud without migrating or duplicating these shared services.

- IT silos:While the enterprise data centre and the cloud represent distinct infrastructure environments, care must be taken not to create duplicate tools, processes or teams.

- Secure, private connectivity:Incompatible network policies, unaligned IP address ranges and other tactical considerations must be overcome in order to allow applications to span on-premise and cloud environments.

Before an application can be transferred to the cloud, several things must be taken into account. For example, the application likely consists of multiple components, such as directory services, that are shared by other applications and cannot be easily migrated. Therefore, secure connectivity between the enterprise and cloud data centre must be established to use application components that still reside within the enterprise premise...

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