The term Hybrid Cloud is at the same stage that ‘Cloud’ was a few years ago: Used everywhere but generally misrepresented. What most people have is basically a mix of on-premises, cloud based and SaaS applications, often with only limited interaction between them. And that’s OK. It represents a stage on our journey to a more integrated, flexible service delivery architecture where, eventually, policy will probably automatically determine where an application workload runs.

What we need to know is what path we need to take to get from here to there with the minimum of wasted effort and dead ends.  One of the things that seems necessary to me is having ubiquitous and consistent application services in all your locations. What are application services? They are all the things that are neither the application or the base infrastructure. Firewalls, application delivery controllers, protocol gateways: these are all services that help to make an application more salable, secure or available. To really create a flexible environment, we need to know that an application can be deployed in our chosen location and that it will have the services it needs to work. From an operational perspective we want consistency and homogenous management across our various infrastructures, a common set of tools and processes.

One way to do this is to choose vendors that can supply services wherever we are going to need them, at the scale we require. This, I think is a significant advantage of F5. Whether you need a high capacity Viprion for a high performance application running on dedicated hardware, or a farm of lab-edition BIG-IP’s running in AWS for your test and development, and anything in between, we will be there with you. Providing our range of security, availability and optimization services wherever your applications need them, and helping you turn hybrid cloud into reality.