It’s been hot here in California and I’ve had my fair share of ice cream including: soft-serve, supermarket, fresh liquid nitrogen churned, vegan, and the good old drumstick. I’m sure many of us can have a healthy debate (is ice cream healthy?) on which “type” of ice cream is the best — but when the discussion turns to which “flavor” is the best: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, salted caramel, mint chocolate, cookies and cream, cookie dough, etc….you’ll never come to a consensus. What can be more subjective and personal than your favorite ice cream flavor?

So what does ice cream have to do with the IT world and more specifically the cloud? More than you may think. First, think about the different types of cloud strategies and deployment models: public, private, and hybrid. And within each type (much like ice cream) there are many different flavors and vendor offerings. I won’t go over all types of cloud and all the options but rather focus on hybrid cloud — which just like supermarket ice cream — is the most likely cloud deployment we run in our organizations these days.

Why hybrid cloud? As great as a “cloud-first”, “all-in”, or “let’s do everything ourselves and keep things private in our full control,” may sound, the reality is that most organizations will end up with a mix of public and private cloud. So is there really one way to do hybrid cloud, or like ice cream are there multiple flavors? Let’s take a look at the definition from Wikipedia

Hybrid cloud is a composition of a public cloud and a private environment, such as a private cloud or on-premises resources,[99][100] that remain distinct entities but are bound together, offering the benefits of multiple deployment models.

Now let’s break this down.

Composition of Public Cloud and a Private Environment

So your hybrid cloud is composed of some public components, say some legacy workloads that are staying on-premises in a private environment and some public cloud, say SaaS apps like Microsoft 365. They both run fine on their own and you use separate data management strategies such as using an on-premises backup solution and the built-in recycle bin in Microsoft 365. Separate clouds, separate data management strategies, separate tools and processes to manage both. This works fine for now, but is this the best flavor of hybrid cloud? Let’s go further in the definition….

Bound Together, Offering Benefits of Multiple Deployment Models

“Bound together” is key, as it offers a clue on how to achieve the best of both worlds with public and private clouds. The question now is, what are the ways to bind or connect the environments and once again, is there a flavor that is “the best”? 

Network Connectivity

“Network connectivity” is the answer that will invoke a Captain Obvious meme. Of course you need to connect your public and private environments, but just setting up an internet or VPN connection between them is just that, a basic connection. How do you actually enable the two sides to “communicate, so you can share data and achieve organizational collaboration where the whole is greater than the sum of the individual cloudy parts? Let’s look at this from a data management perspective below.

Unified Hybrid Data Sources

The first step to hybrid cloud bliss when it comes to data management is to stop looking at different data sources as independent silos. Yes, you might have different users and workflows for your M365 vs your VMware environment, but that doesn’t mean you need to manage the data as silos. In fact, managing them separately can lead to more complexity with different tools and UIs to manage all these data sources, different skill sets that need to be trained and maintained, and worse  — a fragmented view of data can hamper collaboration, limit the insights you can extract, and open your organization up to potential threats from bad actors.

With Cohesity, we give you the ability to protect your data sources whether in the cloud or on-premises on a single platform all managed through a single UI. This is true if you choose to deploy and self-manage our solution in one or multiple locations, or if you choose to have it managed in a SaaS model where we take care of the infrastructure and software for you. Take Cohesity DataProtect delivered as a Service as an example. It’s our backup as a service offering and it supports a wide range of hybrid data sources from VMware, M365, NAS, AWS, SQL, Oracle and more — all through a single service and user interface. This allows our customers to unify data management for their hybrid data sources resulting in simplified operations, uniform data backup and recovery SLAs across their data sets and applications, and provides global visibility into their key data sets. Now that’s a hybrid cloud flavor worth deploying.

Unified Hybrid Cloud Operations

But wait  — there’s more! Just like the flavors of ice cream, I can’t get enough of the flavors of hybrid clouds. Unified hybrid data sources are great, but we can still do better  — like getting the waffle cone upgrade, or having your ice cream dipped in chocolate. Some data management or backup solutions out there, probably offer some level of hybrid data source support  — but the challenge comes about when you want to maintain data management operations at the various respective locations  — such as within your data center, in the cloud, or consumed as a service. This is where complexity rears its ugly head again. (I’m looking at you, legacy vendors.) Most will focus on a point product per location  — one product to deploy and manage on-premises, another for the cloud, and another one as SaaS  — all with different features and UIs that are separately managed  — thus keeping your data fragmented and more difficult to manage.

With Cohesity, we go beyond unified hybrid data sources to enable and embrace unified hybrid cloud operations. What this means is, no matter the location (on-premise, cloud, or edge), no matter the deployment model (self-managed, partner-managed, or SaaS) you are operating Cohesity on the same multicloud data platform with EVERYTHING managed with a single UI with Cohesity Helios. This gives a consistent experience in managing all deployment locations and data sources and helps you greatly simplify your operations by removing the complexity of multiple silos, tools, and user interfaces. It also allows you to have the best deployment in the right place for the right uses  — fast on-premises backup and recovery for your on-prem databases and BaaS for your SaaS data for example  — all while managing them with the same UI and workflows.

Cohesity  — Hybrid Cloud Ice Cream Delivered the Way You Want

So at the end of a hot summer’s day  — there is no one ice cream or flavor that’s best, but instead the best ice cream is one that’s tailored to your tastes and preferences. 

That’s what Cohesity delivers for hybrid cloud with our ability to support unifying BOTH hybrid data sources and hybrid cloud operations. You get your choice of flavors and toppings with all the hybrid data sources we support, and your choice in how to consume it with self-managed, partner-managed, or SaaS  — just like your choice of cup, cone, or waffle cone with ice cream. With all the data unified and consolidated on a single platform and managed and operated with a single UI.

Now I’m craving some ice cream hybrid cloud. If you are too, why not take a quick test drive of Cohesity and sign up for a 30 day free trial of DataProtect delivered as a service and check out how easy it is to back up your hybrid data sources.

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