When the first frost comes, I become obsessed with tuning into the weather, and I know I’m not the only one. Have I topped up the anti-freeze? Do I need to invest in all-weather tyres? And so the list goes on. CIOs have just as many questions about moving to the cloud. But one thing is for sure – you can’t control the weather, but you can control your move to cloud with a true hybrid approach.

Just like weather reports, there is a lot of confusion around about what hybrid cloud is. So let me put that one to bed first.

Market research company Gartner has a pretty good definition in by book. It sums it up as “policy based and coordinated service provisioning, use and management across a mixture of internal and external cloud services”. In other words, a mix between in-house and public infrastructure. You can immediately see the appeal of extending public cloud into the private infrastructure for enterprises that are still very wary of public cloud.

My clients tell me, especially those that are highly regulated, that everything cloud is an impossibility. True hybrid cloud, however, is within reach and makes obvious sense. It is about having a single management view that unlocks the power of decision making for IT. It is about choice and flexibility in where to run workloads and applications. It is about igniting innovation and increasing business agility.

A resilient cloud

There are also some promising developments in the cloud such as containers, PaaS (Platform as a Service), serverless computing and microservice architectures. These will bring more benefits to enterprises in areas such as speed, scalability and flexibility.

The microservices route, for example, offers accelerated deployment and decouples components, making it far easier to both roll out and update. But when it comes down to it, it is mainly about creating resilient apps that work.

Microsoft Azure Stack, for example, allows for a consistent and dependable development process across cloud-native and traditional applications. The beauty of this agile DevOps environment is you only have to build them once to deploy on-premises, in the public cloud, or to tap into the power of Internet of Things (IoT), at the edge. From the beginning you are optimizing your developers’ productivity building and deploying applications exactly the same way, whether they run on Microsoft Azure or Azure Stack.

Consistency

If there is one word that sums up true hybrid cloud it is ‘consistency’. Hybrid cloud provides a consistent, safe user experience, wherever you are. As well as common identity and security, it delivers on providing an uninterrupted and controlled extension of all your applications, both new and existing, into the cloud.

For some of our clients, the march of cloud may have only just started, but it is already shifting its gaze to value-added services, business decision making and troubleshooting.

In a digital world that revolves around data, cloud is inextricably linked to making data work, getting insight and results. True hybrid cloud has the extraordinary flexibility to make this happen without re-working applications and tearing infrastructures apart.

Do you have applications already tested for the public cloud? Why not test their compatibility on Azure Stack in our European engineer labs? Find out more here.