How To Explain Hybrid Cloud To A Five-Year-Old

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Hybrid cloud

TechWeekEurope asks hybrid cloud experts how they would explain 2015’s hot topic to a young child

Hybrid cloud has certainly become a bit of a buzz word in the last few months, and looks set to continue its rise throughout 2015 as a viable cloud solution for the enterprise.

According to a survey from Avanade, companies around the world predict that more than half of their applications and services will be deployed on the hybrid cloud within an average of three years. Furthermore, 69 percent of companies agreed that implementing a hybrid cloud strategy will be one of their biggest areas of focus in 2015.

Hybrid cloud adoption is a ‘priority’

The study of 1,000 global C-level executives, business unit leaders and IT decision-makers in 21 countries also showed that while businesses of all sizes in all geographies view hybrid cloud adoption as a priority, there is much confusion about what exactly hybrid cloud means and what is required to prepare an organisation for hybrid cloud implementation.

TechWeekEurope decided the term needed clearing up a little bit, and asked a range of technology and cloud vendors to share how they would explain hybrid cloud to a five-year-old.

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Ian McEwan, head of Europe for Egnyte

“Hybrid cloud is like chocolate milk as it combines two ingredients which are tasty on their own accord. The combination of local storage (ie Netapp) and virtual storage (Microsoft Azure) gives end users the delicious taste/use of fast data transfer and availability on various mobile devices.”

Rory Delahoyde, MD of HA Hosting

A hybrid cloud is a bit like a magic toy box. It sits safely and securely at home in the corner of your room and holds all of your favourite toys. As it’s a magic toybox, it means you can open it up anywhere – in the car, in the park or anywhere else in the whole wide world! Inside you will be able to find all your toys which are ready and waiting to be played with. The magic toybox has also got some very special powers. Imagine leaving your favourite toy in the park or you accidentally break it: It would be gone and lost forever. But using its special powers the toys will be ready and waiting for you, as good as new, the next time you open it.”

Martin Ashall, CTO UKI at CA Technologies

“Imagine you have a brother and a sister. For Christmas your parents gave each of you a set of two keys. The first key was unique – each one of you could use it to open your own small box of toys that you could keep locked away from your siblings. The second key opened a large box of

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toys that all three of you had access to. You could move toys from your private box into the big box if you wanted to share them with your siblings or take toys out of the big box and lock them in your own box if you wanted to keep them for yourself. As you can sees, hybrid cloud is essentially a form of sharing – a system that lets you keep control of what toys you want to share with others and which ones are better locked up in your own toy box.”

Daniel Liptrott, managing director of NCC Group’s escrow division

“A hybrid cloud is a single computing environment which is made up of services from different sources. Your applications might be provided by one company and accessed over the internet, while your customer data could be on a server in your own building. The challenge is making it all work together.”

Rob Sobers, director, Varonis

“Hybrid is a fancy word that means a mix. You have some of one thing, some of another. At school you have your own little cubby. That’s your own private space where you can put your lunch box and your books. Your school also has shared spaces like the lost and found box. Anyone in your class can dig through and look for something. So, you can say that your school has a mix of private and public storage.  It has hybrid storage. Some companies also have a mixture of public and private storage. Not for their lunch boxes, but for their information: files and hybrid cloudapps and photos and other computer-based stuff.  That’s called a hybrid cloud.Your cubby at school is like the public cloud. The school provides you with a space with your name on it and you can put your stuff there. But you don’t own your cubby. The school does. You borrow it. Your backpack is like a private cloud. You own it, and you control who can look through it. You get to take it with you.”

Fraser Kyne, principal systems engineer, Bromium

“You have two kinds of Lego bricks. Some are red, and some are gold. You’ve got lots of the red ones, which you don’t really care about, and you’re happy to let your brother look after them for you. However, the gold ones are precious and no-one is allowed to touch them but you. Over time, some of your gold ones might turn red – in which case you can hand them to your brother.”

David Jones, cloud solution marketing manager of Hyland, creator of OnBase.

“Hybrid cloud connects cloud computing and local computing resources, such as disk storage, a single application or an entire business application suite. For end-users this is seamless – they just use their chosen business application, unaware of its location.

“For IT professionals, hybrid cloud makes available the combination of the best, most cost-effective and secure IT resources and tools, wherever they happen to be located. The shared nature of hybrid cloud also means they can provide collaboration or external access to certain parts of the solution, while keeping the more sensitive parts in-house.”

Guenther Meyringer, Executive Director, Avaya Strategic Services, Europe

“The benefits of hybrid cloud computing can be likened to removing the constraints of limited storage space for toys in your bedroom. For example when planning to store those new toys Santa delivered over the holiday season, you might want to keep the larger toys that you won’t play with often in a more practical location like your auntie’s house as they occupy unnecessary space. Your auntie has the ability to keep or host numerous items in the most appropriate and efficient environment possible. However she will charge a monthly fee to store and manage these toys, while providing access whenever needed. Meanwhile the smaller toys that you play with all the time can remain in your bedroom, in your current toy box, where you can keep an eye on them at all times and they are always within arm’s reach.”

Stefan Haase, product director at cloud service provider, Redcentric

“Ben is five years-old. He gets a new wooden train set for Christmas and loves it, but mum and dad could only afford a few pieces of track and a small train. Ben would love to have a bigger train set even if it was just once a week. His friend Harry already has a train set that is the same make as Ben’s. Now and again Ben and Harry play together and Ben takes his train set over to Harry’s and joins them up. Now they both can play with a big train set. Even if they take a piece of track out or add more track in, the train set still works. They can change the layout of the track or the length of the train whenever they like and as as long as the track is all connected it will work. When they finish playing Ben takes his train set home and both Ben’s and Harry’s train sets work on their own again. Everybody’s happy.”

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