3) Hybrid Cloud
After years of hype, hybrid clouds are beginning to live up to their early billing.
A hybrid cloud generally refers to a combination of a private cloud—an onsite or third-party data center, for example—and a public cloud, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure. Until recently, hybrid clouds were limited by connectivity issues between the two types of cloud, but cloud providers have largely overcome this problem by offering private network connections that bypass the internet altogether. AWS, for example, offers a service known as Direct Connect.
A hybrid cloud approach is likely to appeal to universities that are leery of storing data in a public cloud but nevertheless want to take advantage of the computing power of cloud services. A good example is the student data stored in a school’s CRM, said Ritz: “Imagine the university wants to hire a firm to run some analytics on CRM data to identify trends. It could push this data through AWS Direct Connect, spin up a bunch of AWS servers in Hadoop clusters, run those workloads there, and then bring the information back.”
In effect, a hybrid cloud gives schools a way to unlock the value tucked away in its data center without surrendering the keys to the castle. “When it comes to data, you want to have compute right next to it,” noted Ritz. “Creating a network link between the data center and a public cloud gives you a shortcut to get there quicker.”
Andrew Barbour is an editorial freelancer with eCampus News.