Application Delivery Considerations for Building Hybrid Clouds

Organizations typically face the following challenges while transitioning to a hybrid cloud:

  1. Maintain separate deployment environments in private and public cloud, with different tools and dashboards
  2. Receive the consolidated status of application health across clouds
  3. Identify traffic patterns that require special treatment, such as ability to contain the traffic from an application or a particular location to a private data center

Appcito’s Application Delivery System (ADS) offers simple strategies and solutions for taking the applications to the hybrid cloud.

Ensuring Consistent Policies Across Hybrid Clouds

In a hybrid cloud environment, the application is hosted in multiple clouds and the application needs to be front-ended by a proxy in each of the environments. The application policies must be kept consistent between the proxies in the environment, and the database must be in sync.

Building Hybrid Clouds with Appcito ADS

Appcito ADS’s unique architecture offers the ability to associate proxies across the hybrid cloud to be part of the same cluster.

Unlike other solutions where DevOps engineers have to repeat the configuration changes in each proxy in every environment, with Appcito ADS, they can make the configuration changes once in the Appcito ADS Cloud Services Controller (CSC) portal, and all proxies receive the same configuration. The proxies in the cluster can be across clouds, across geographies, are independently brought up and brought down, and stay in sync at all points in time by communicating with the controller. Therefore, placing an app in a new cloud or removing an app from another cloud is not an issue as CSPs can be added or deleted from cluster anytime thereby helping with the migration of apps to public clouds.

Managing Multiple Technologies Across Hybrid Clouds

Sometimes organizations are stuck with the unavailability of their choice of application delivery controller (ADC) or proxy in all public clouds. Also, identifying the health of an application across clouds becomes a challenge. With Appcito’s solution, there are two ways to address the problem. In the first case, Appcito’s Cloud Services Proxy (CSP) is used in both private and public clouds. Application teams see the analytics dashboard to get one consolidated view of the application health. The drill down of analytics data identifies the problem proxy or application.

In the second case, organizations use their choice of ADC in their private cloud and Appcito CSP in the public cloud. Here, Appcito ADS Service Adapters are configured to send health information about the application and ADC to the ADS Dashboard, while the CSP sends similar health information for application running in the public cloud. So with a single dashboard, organizations can get information about application health regardless of the cloud or ADC technology.

Sometimes, due to industry or country regulations or disturbing user behavior, a portion of the application must be re-directed to another cloud or data center. In this case, organizations can use a combination of Appcito’s Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) and CSPs to address this use case. One can define the rules in GSLB to redirect traffic to a particular CSP in the public cloud, and route all other traffic to the closest geographic proximity cloud.

Configuring Applications and Appcito ADS for Hybrid Clouds

Here is an example workflow of setting up an application in a hybrid cloud:

STEP 1:

Replicate the data from the Private Data Center to the Public Cloud using the resources below.

STEP 2:

Using Appcito ADS, create an application tier in the hybrid cloud.

  • Create a cluster of Appcito CSPs in each cloud.
  • Ensure that CSPs are in the same cluster.

STEP 3:

Use Appcito’s GSLB service to create the logic for application traffic forwarding. Considerations include:

  • Should application traffic be routed according to geographic proximity?
  • Should a subset of IP addresses be routed to AWS/Azure and another subset to Private Data Center
  • Should all traffic be routed to one cloud and upon detecting failure utilize the second cloud?

Appcito ADS’s unique architecture offers the ability to associate CSPs across the hybrid cloud to be part of the same cluster. CSPs communicate directly with the ADS controller and eliminate the need to chatter between CSP instances thereby offering simplicity, flexibility, and portability of deploying apps in hybrid clouds.

Transitioning an application to the hybrid cloud must be as simple as plug-and-play to evaluate the multiple public cloud options. Identifying the overall application health of a geographically distributed application is also critical. It is also important to have a simple user interface that application developers, enterprise infrastructure teams, and DevOps teams can quickly use to redirect problematic traffic flows to another region or cloud to reduce the impact on application servers in the private cloud.

By Ratna Malladi, February 23, 2016