Cloud computing kept the business and remote workforces connected during this ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As we move into 2021, every organisation would eventually adopt cloud models and existing cloud business would look at ways to streamline their processes for better business continuity.

Broadly, in addition to the standard single public cloud deployment model, there are 3 kinds of cloud models we are taking about – multi-cloud deployment, hybrid cloud deployment and cloud on the edge.

A Multi-cloud environment provides enterprises to modernize their applications and adopt cloud services from multiple cloud vendors based on their business requirements and avoid vendor lock-in. As workloads and infrastructure is different for each enterprise, this approach gives a flexibility to deliver applications on various public cloud providers based on customer’s cloud preference, regulations, cost factors, disaster recovery, cloud locations, specific cloud features and at the same time being agile and cloud neutral. 

A hybrid cloud environment provides an environment where applications are deployed on public cloud as well as on-premises (on-prem). Organizations having existing on-prem investments usually adopt the hybrid deployment model to start extending their on-prem infrastructure to the cloud and building their effort for modernizing their applications (like creating cloud-native applications).This is a common scenario where customer data residing in on-prem cannot leave the geographical boundaries due to compliance and regulations reasons and hybrid model is adopted to scale on-prem infrastructure to public cloud and also leverage cloud services to run non-sensitive computation tasks. Also, adopting a hybrid cloud model usually consists of a roadmap for enterprises to consolidate their on-prem infrastructure, migrate and modernize applications, reduce operational overheads and improve their deployment processes.

A cloud on the edge deployment model drive use cases where data and compute needs to be located closer to end-users. In a connected world and with 5G gaining momentum, the next generation applications would drive new set of requirements like near real-time decision making, low latency streaming, gaming and virtual experience, immersive experience and collective intelligence. With adoption of Internet of Things, every object in the world would have the potential to connect to the Internet and provide their data so as to derive actionable insights on its own or through other connected objects. To realise this vision for Internet of Things, Edge computing would play a very critical role. Industries need to be agile and prepared for transformation. For example virtual mall shopping, trying outfits using digital mirrors/changing rooms, Fashion advisor bots suggesting outfits based on your persona, can provide the same real-life experience in future. Similarly, there is a great opportunity to transform education and the entire on-line learning experience to be immersive, interactive and more conducive/friendly for students.

As organizations start to transition towards these cloud models, the following challenges arise –

  • How to create cloud applications that can be deployed anywhere.
  • How to deploy and manage cloud applications in a consistent way across these environments.
  • How to modernize existing on-prem applications leveraging the existing virtualized infrastructure.
  • How to extend single cloud deployment to support multi-cloud deployments.
  • How to provide consistent compliance and security across environments.
  • How to provide the same consistent tooling for continuous deployment, continuous integration across environments.

To address the above challenges in a consistent way, we need a platform that enables organizations to build cloud applications that can be deployed anywhere – multi-cloud, hybrid or cloud on the edge. 

In the next article, I will talk about Anthos, a modern application management platform that provides a consistent development and operations experience for cloud and on-prem environments.

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The author Navveen