Hybrid Cloud For SaaS

We often say that the cloud is for everyone, but not for everything. Between social networks, mobile apps and entertainment, we all use some type of cloud-based service. However, SaaS operators who are anxious to move off of legacy hardware and on to the cloud may find that due to regulatory or industry constraints, parts of their architecture must remain in a dedicated environment. For example, a finance-related service could run its website front end, file storage and test/dev in the cloud, but due to federal regulations, it could be unable to move sensitive customer databases or shopping cart functions to the public cloud. This is a hurdle that prevents many businesses from adopting any type of cloud asset.

As the cloud evolves, so to have ways to make the cloud work with resources that live outside of the cloud. This approach is called Hybrid Cloud. Our method for connecting cloud and dedicated resources is RackConnect®. With it, customers can run cloud resources and dedicated resources as if they were in the same environment. This would allow a cloud-fueled frontend to interact with databases on a dedicated backend. In the finance service example above, RackConnect could easily provide a seamless experience by connecting cloud and dedicated architectures to reap the benefits of cloud bursting and utility pricing while maintaining dedicated servers for security and compliance.

Hybrid Cloud is also a solution for those who aren’t ready to go all cloud yet. Though cloud is tried and tested in the business, there will always be those who prefer to work with existing technologies and legacy systems while still taking advantage of the cloud. RackConnect enables this by allowing an existing configuration to remain on dedicated servers while moving cloud-able pieces to the cloud.

If you’re considering a hybrid approach, here are five considerations laid out in the whitepaper “Nervous About Cloud? Go Hybrid Instead” to think about in planning:

  1. How well do you understand your current application environment?
    Gather internal utilization reports that provide historical traffic and hardware performance statistics.
  2. Do any regulatory or industry requirements need to be adhered to?
    Isolation is often required for compliance to standards such as PCI or HIPAA. They may also forbid the use of multi-tenant infrastructure.
  3. Are all of the applications currently running certified or supported by their vendors to run in a virtualized environment?
    In some cases, software companies will not provide support if their application is installed on a virtualized platform.
  4. Do you understand your current hardware environment?
    Server reports can be run to determine historical and average metrics such as processor, memory and disk utilization to understand the factors that cause spikes in CPU and memory use.
  5. Has a budget been defined for this project?
    A hosting provider can work with you to help design a system that optimizes your investment while adhering to your technical and financial needs.

Read the entire whitepaper to understand more about Hybrid Cloud or engage us for a discussion about your needs and if Hybrid Cloud powered by RackConnect fits your unique use case.

Trey is a cloud evangelist with the Rackspace Startup Program. Check out the previous post in his SaaS series where Trey talked about how the cloud can improve the resource utilization of your SaaS app. Find out more about hosting your SaaS application at Rackspace.


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