How hybrid is your cloud? Takeaways from the X-change 27/09/2017


Companies can be hesitant about jumping feet first into cloud solutions. Hybrid IT may offer a golden mean between optimisation and concerns such as security, etc., the Beltug Priorities Survey revealed.  But it raises a lot of other issues. High on the list are: integrating the IT infrastructure, moving towards a cloud-first strategy, and negotiating contracts, to name a few.

In our X-change “How hybrid is your cloud?”, we explored what exactly it means to ‘go hybrid’, the advantages and pitfalls, and specifics such as network performance.


Presentations from the event are available exclusively for Beltug members (after login):


Beltug: How Hybrid is your Cloud?

Atos: Cloud solutions – why go hybrid?

FPS Mobility and Transport: Fast Fibre Optic Connection to the Cloud


"Cloud is the foundation for digital business" was the basis of the first presentation. Peter Retera, CTO Managed Services at Atos, gave a major tip: when people talk cloud, ask them what exactly they mean by the terms ‘hybrid cloud’, ‘private cloud’, ‘public cloud’, etc. To illustrate the need for clarity, Peter described a number of scenarios possible with the term 'hybrid': all combinations between public and private cloud are imaginable.


Once that’s clear, how to make the choice? In general, public cloud is cheaper per hour, while private cloud is cheaper per month.  So elasticity, scaling and flexibility are key to the decision. However, when considering public cloud, check on: latency, risk of lock-in, security, etc.  And make sure to leverage your cloud to the fullest, using the most appropriate solutions (public, private or other) for your needs and requirements. Peter gave a few real life cases, walking the audience through how companies make their decisions and choices (slide 6).


Cloud customers still have a lot of responsibilities (slide 11), in any environment, whether Amazon, Microsoft...  So be sure you know how to handle things - clicking the wrong setting could cost you a lot of money.  For some companies, this might be an argument for managed public cloud services.


To conclude, Peter touched upon the journey companies take when considering a cloud project: from classification of applications, to the options for cloud transformation, and ultimately to choosing cloud platforms. The decision making process (classification) is vital in this journey; considering the cloud platforms is (only) the execution part, he says.


Next up was the user story of FPS Mobility and Transport. Jo Vanderwegen and Stijn Fouquaert, both IT infrastructure engineers at the FPS, shared the concept they had in mind at the start of their cloud project (slides 6-8). Currently, the FPS has an on-premises, private solution, but they hope to move to a more hybrid model in the future.


For the practical roll-out, the organisation started small, but soon ran into performance and latency issues.  An ExpressRoute leased line, set up in collaboration with EuroFiber, solved these issues and increased performance. It offers:

  • scalability
  • redundancy
  • private layer-3 connection
  • connectivity
  • reliability
  • low latency
  • SLAs
  • Fixed monthly payments.


FPS Mobility and Transport is very happy with the solution they built.  Bandwidth and latency are satisfactory, and they aren't seeing any problems (slide 28).


Following these two speakers, we had a highly interactive round-table discussion, moderated by Luc Lornoy, Adviseur-generaal/Conseiller général at FPS Finances.




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