Pairing Hybrid Cloud Architectures and Service Mesh

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In most cases, organizations look to run microservices on platforms such as AWS or Azure. However, there are times when they need something more than what public clouds can offer – performance, or global deployment – or even perhaps a highly restrictive use case requiring custom features that aren’t available in an open cloud environment. 

How do you get around these challenges? You could start your private cloud, but you have to deal with maintaining it. Alternatively, you could also leverage hybrid cloud architectures. This allows greater flexibility, better cost control, and easier disaster recovery planning.

A hybrid cloud architecture solution allows your organization to take advantage of both public and private infrastructure without managing it all on your own; however, like many things in IT, there is no one-fits-all approach here.

Also see: 9 Ways AI Can Help Improve Cloud Management

What is hybrid cloud architecture?

A hybrid cloud is essentially two or more different cloud computing environments that are unified to allow for greater productivity and scale for a businesses. Companies using a hybrid cloud model can quickly move workloads between on-premises hardware, public clouds, and third-party clouds without interruptions. 

It also means that IT teams can ensure applications remain online even if there’s an outage in one of their data centers. Businesses have been increasingly moving toward hybrid cloud architectures because they offer several benefits over other models.

For example, with traditional monolithic cloud architecture, all your resources are tied up in one place. If you want to expand your business or scale up your infrastructure, you need to deploy new servers and build new storage systems—which can be expensive and time-consuming.

What is a service mesh?

A service mesh is a collection of services that provide traffic routing, monitoring, and management across microservices. It’s one of several new methodologies, architectures, or software tools required to solve today’s biggest IT challenges – including scaling at massive levels. 

It’s been successful in cloud deployments, where it helps ensure applications are highly available and performant. Service mesh sits between your applications and underlying infrastructure components like load balancers, firewalls, databases, etc. It provides a layer of abstraction between these components and your applications. This makes managing them more manageable because you can do so through one interface rather than individually configuring them.

Also see: Top Managed Service Providers

What is multicloud service mesh?

A multicloud service mesh is a centralized way to route traffic between applications running on different cloud providers. The mesh enables communication among microservices, regardless of where they’re deployed or what combination. 

A multicloud service mesh provides an abstraction layer that lets developers think only about their applications as a whole, not where they’re running. For IT pros, a multicloud service mesh makes it easier to create hybrid cloud architectures without managing many separate point-to-point connections between services.

How a service mesh works with hybrid cloud architectures

A service mesh is a collection of real-time tools, i.e., smart routing and monitoring capabilities built on the data transport layer critical for hybrid cloud architectures. It’s not just a physical infrastructure piece—it also works with containers in a Kubernetes environment or on bare metal servers. 

It manages communication between microservices distributed across several sites and coordinates stateful resources such as databases and caches to increase data resiliency against failures. However, when working within a hybrid cloud architecture, it can be challenging to keep track of all services in your system. 

In addition, when you need extra capacity, or another component fails, troubleshooting can be time-consuming because each component must be identified and addressed individually. Service meshes give you visibility into every service running in your cluster. This allows IT teams to pinpoint issues to resolve them before impacting end-users.

How is service mesh implemented on a hybrid cloud architecture? 

A service mesh is implemented on a hybrid cloud architecture. It involves running components of network services across virtual machines (VMs) located in both your private company data center and an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider. 

Depending on how you architect your system, VMs may be replicated across multiple IaaS providers, or they may be replicated across multiple data centers within your enterprise IT infrastructure. 

One advantage to using a service mesh is that it can offer increased security by segmenting traffic between applications, which can help reduce single points of failure and improve availability. For example, suppose one VM goes down due to hardware failure or other causes. There’s no need to worry about whether other VMs within that same cluster will also go down—they’re independent entities with unique IP addresses and instances. 

As long as your application remains up and running, so does your service mesh. And since each instance is independently configured for redundancy purposes, it’s less likely that all of them will fail at once. 

Using a hybrid cloud architecture means that you have more flexibility when it comes to deploying resources based on demand; for example, if one region experiences high levels of activity from users accessing its servers during peak hours, you can quickly scale up resources without having to worry about sending them over great distances.

Also see: 9 Cloud Cost Optimization Strategies

What are the benefits of service mesh?

A hybrid cloud (multicloud) enables enterprises to combine their on-premises IT infrastructure with a public cloud provider. This type of architecture allows them to:

  • Manage costs.
  • Reduce risks from cloud lock-in.
  • Accelerate innovation through agility.
  • Lower operational overhead by moving workloads between clouds.

The hybrid cloud service mesh provides service discovery, routing, and load balancing for services in a hybrid or multicloud environment. It’s particularly well suited for applications deployed across multiple public cloud providers because it helps ensure that traffic flows smoothly between these different environments without requiring application changes or configuration updates. 

It can help your enterprise reap many of the benefits listed above while avoiding some common challenges associated with managing hybrid or multicloud environments.

What are the drawbacks of a service mesh?

You can’t eliminate all risks in a hybrid environment. Some risks are unique to a particular environment (e.g., physical location), while others occur whenever you need to work across infrastructures with different vendors. For example, it’s important to have a strategy for backing up data and replicating data between regions when using hybrid cloud architectures. 

If you don’t have an automated way of doing so, your business might be at risk if one region goes down or becomes inaccessible due to an outage or disaster. It’s also important to keep track of what applications and workloads are running. For example, you want to avoid situations where a workload lives on-premises but requires access to other services hosted in a public cloud. 

Without proper network connectivity, services won’t be able to communicate with each other as they should. In addition, some hybrid environments require additional software components such as adapters or gateways; these add complexity that may introduce security vulnerabilities into the system.

Deploying hybrid multicloud using a service mesh architecture

The rise of cloud services has taken businesses to a new level. However, along with greater agility and flexibility comes increased complexity. Companies are increasingly adopting hybrid multicloud architectures to achieve greater efficiency, gain real-time insights, and provide customers with a better overall experience. 

Deploying hybrid multicloud using a service mesh architecture helps you meet customer expectations across multiple regions and applications. Still, it also empowers you to scale your IT resources up or down based on demand. With a service mesh architecture in place, you can leverage hybrid multicloud environments for dev/test and production workloads without compromising performance or availability. 

Aminu Abdullahi
Aminu Abdullahi
Aminu Abdullahi is an experienced B2B technology and finance writer and award-winning public speaker. He is the co-author of the e-book, The Ultimate Creativity Playbook, and has written for various publications, including eWEEK, Enterprise Networking Planet, Tech Republic, eSecurity Planet, CIO Insight, Enterprise Storage Forum, IT Business Edge, Webopedia, Software Pundit, and Geekflare.

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