As with most emerging technologies, the hybrid cloud has certainly engendered a good number of niche players and start-ups. Yet industry stalwarts are also throwing their hats into the hybrid cloud ring.
In 2010, Intel Corp. launched its Intel Hybrid Cloud Pilot Program as a means of providing small businesses with “the flexibility of the cloud that wasn’t offered in the market,” says Terry Thorn, director of the channel server marketing business within Intel’s data center group in Hillsborough, Ore. The Intel program includes an on-premises virtualized server that is loaded with various software offerings. “As businesses activate and use that software, they are on a pay-as-you-go basis for that software as well as the hardware,” Thorn explains.
Intel is working with a number of ISVs and offers Microsoft operating systems. “We are trying to give the small business first the broad base of software that they may want for backup, firewall, or operating system,” Thorn says. “And then as we go out over the horizon, we will get into vertical software applications.”
Microsoft is working on its own hybrid offering with Windows Small Business Server, code-named Aurora. The solution, announced in the summer of 2010, mixes an on-premises server for file and print, security, and identity management services with hooks into hybrid cloud services for functions such as backup, and provides integration into cloud-based applications and services.
IBM also solidified a commitment to the hybrid cloud with the purchase of Cast Iron Systems, a provider of cloud integration products and services. Cast Iron’s OmniConnect cloud integration platform is designed to tie together on-premises applications with applications in public and private clouds.