5 hybrid and multicloud architecture designs for an effective cloud strategy

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AMINA MANSOUR: Hello, everyone.

My name is Amina Mansour, and Im a Solutions Architect at Google Cloud.

Scott Surovich, who is the Global Container Engineering Lead at HSBC, will be joining me later for a Q&A.

With the growing interest and adoption of hybrid and multicloud architectures, I find myself working with a lot of customers that are looking for guidance on architecting their platforms and choosing where their applications and services reside.

Today we will briefly review the difference between hybrid and multicloud, then I will present some of the more common patterns weve seen with our customers.

And for the interesting part of the talk, we will have a Q&A with Scott to share his experience and insights with hybrid and multicloud.

So what is the difference between hybrid and multicloud? If we take hybrid first, this is where you have workloads that are deployed across multiple environments, one being a private on-prem data center and one in the public Cloud.

Multicloud, on the other hand, combines at least two public Cloud environments, but you can also have a private computing environment as part of your multicloud setup.

So really, multicloud is a superset of hybrid Cloud.

We can put these patterns into two buckets.

The first is distributed deployment, where the aim is to run the application in the environment that suits it best.

So each application runs in a specific environment.

The second is redundant deployment, where you deploy the same application in multiple environments.

Lets now look at the different patterns.

The first pattern we will talk about is the tiered or layered pattern.

The idea of it is to focus first on deploying front-end applications to the public Cloud.

In this pattern, you keep your back-end applications and data in the private computing environment.

Some advantages are that this allows you to start with the less complex migrations.

You also benefit from what Google Cloud knows what to do well, so things like load balancing and autoscaling.

And you keep your data and back-end on-prem for regulatory reasons.

Because you are communicating across environments, choose the Google Cloud Regions and Interconnect location closest to your data center.

Make sure to secure the communication with VPN tunnels, TLS, or both, and establish a common identity between environments to authenticate across.

The second pattern is the partition pattern.

It combines multiple public cloud environments that gives you the flexibility to deploy an application in the best computing environment for it.

So application A is on Cloud 1 and application B is on Cloud 2 based on its dependencies and Cloud services it uses.

Because of your presence in multiple public Cloud environments, youre lowering your risk and you have the flexibility to change plans or partnerships.

You can also choose which provider to run an application or service on depending on its needs.

Each additional environment comes with additional overhead, so weigh the advantages against the overhead.

You should also minimize dependencies across Clouds so it doesnt affect performance.

And focus less on portability of your applications and more on the portability of your workflows and having a unified platform across providers.

Our third pattern is edge.

Running workloads in the Cloud requires that clients have fast and reliable internet connectivity.

There are scenarios when you cannot rely on continuous connectivity, such as stores or supermarkets that might be only connected occasionally or use links that are not reliable enough for business critical transactions.

With this pattern, you run time- and business-critical workloads locally at the edge of the network while using the Cloud for all other kinds of workloads.

In an edge setup, the internet link is a non-critical component that is used for management purposes and to synchronize your upload data.

This helps you ensure low latency and self-sufficiency in cases when you cannot do that due to network restrictions.

You also reuse existing investments and equipment at those edge locations.

And remember that increased traffic to Google Cloud is free, so that makes it easier to communicate back to the Cloud with status or data syncs.

Two things to keep in mind with this pattern-- you dont want to increase the burden of management of these edge locations linearly with how many they are, so you should have a centralized control plane in the Cloud to manage them all.

Also, the less dependencies on the Cloud environment, the more reliable and faster your edge setup is.

Our fourth pattern is analytics.

In this pattern, transactional workloads stay on-prem and analytics workloads are in the public Cloud to leverage best of read services.

Of course, the first thing that comes to mind with this pattern is BigQuery, which is a very common reason why our customers choose this pattern.

Analytics workloads often need to process huge amounts of data and can be bursty, so they lend themselves well to the public Cloud and you dont need to overprovision on-prem anymore.

Google Cloud also provides a rich set of services to manage data throughout its entire lifecycle, ranging from initial acquisition, to processing and analyzing, to final visualization.

Also you get to take advantage of Cloud capabilities-- again, like I mentioned, increased traffic and moving data from the private computing environment to Google Cloud is free of charge.

And when you have existing Hadoop or Spark workloads, consider migrating jobs to data PROC and migrating existing HDFS data to Cloud Storage.

Use queues to hand over data.

So things like Pub/Sub or maybe even Cloud Storage buckets to hand over the data to Google Cloud.

Choose the transfer approach that is best suited for your data set size and available bandwidth for the initial data transfer, and you should use consistent tooling and processes across environments to help increase your operational efficiency.

This one is very common for a majority of the patterns.

Last but not least is the bursting pattern, and its the only pattern discussed today that fits in the redundant deployment pattern bucket.

The idea of the Cloud bursting pattern is to use a private computing environment for the baseline load and burst to the Cloud temporarily when you need that extra capacity.

While you can accommodate bursty workloads in a classic data center-based computing environment, by overprovisioning your resources, this approach is not really cost effective.

So this pattern allows you to apply it to interactive and batch workloads.

But when youre dealing with interactive workloads, you must determine how to distribute requests across environments.

These three advantages are all related.

It allows you to reuse, or in this case, use your investments, and there is no longer a need to overprovision your compute resources on-prem.

So that enables increased utilization and cost effectiveness in the private computing environment.

As for best practices, again, you should choose the regions that are close together.

That applies to the Cloud region and the Interconnect location.

You should make Cloud resources private for batch workloads.

Those are not public-facing, and so in this case, you should secure and have them be private.

And you should secure the communication because the data that is exchanged between environments might be sensitive.

And finally, establish common identity so that you can securely authenticate across environment boundaries.

Now its time for the more interesting part of our session.

Scott is the Global Container Engineering Lead at HSBC and the Global Anthos Product Owner.

Hes also a Google Cloud Certified Fellow and Co-Chair of the CNCF Financial Services Working Group.

Great to have you with us here today, Scott.


Thanks for having me.

AMINA MANSOUR: Before we start with our questions, why dont you tell us a little bit about the scale of HSBC? SCOTT SUROVICH: Sure.

So before we get into the patterns, Ill explain about who HSBC is.

We are one of the worlds largest global banks, and the sheer scale of what we deal with on a daily basis is presented in this slide.

As you can see, were in 66 countries.

We process about $1.5 trillion a day in payments.

We have 110,000 servers, roughly, globally right now-- so thats an out of date portion.

We have data centers in 21 different countries-- that does not count where we have large server rooms, as well.

We have a large amount of employees, around 235,000.

Weve got 39 million customers globally.

We process about revenue of $53.8 billion a year, and we have offices all over the world-- roughly about 3,900 offices.

So its a large organization.

And even in the IT section, we have 40,000 IT professionals working for us.

AMINA MANSOUR: Thank you for that intro, Scott.

Let me start by asking you why you would consider a hybrid or multicloud solution in a highly-regulated industry? SCOTT SUROVICH: Definitely, great idea.

The first thing Ill talk about is going to be the hybrid Cloud.

So in the hybrid Cloud, as we have on the slide, we have data centers globally.

And again, we have server rooms globally, as well.

So we have a large investment in data centers already.

So we want to utilize that where we can.

But of course, going to the Cloud makes sense in multiple scenarios.

So to use these data centers, we have a hybrid Cloud solution.

It helps us with a backup plan.

So if we go to a Cloud with an application, we have to have a backup plan for the regulators.

So we have to show that if something were to go wrong in the links, the relationship, just with the vendor in general, where do we go from there? And on-prem is a viable solution.

It also could go to another CSV, but since we have those data centers, we can leverage that internally.

Finally, it takes time to get approval to go to the Cloud for an application.

It can take three to six months.

Now, in that time, you dont want to sit idle.

You might want to refactor your app.

You might want to test out some new services.

So with the introduction of containers-- Kubernetes and Anthos-- for on-prem, if a workload fits into that, my developers can actually start developing that today and they can move that to the Cloud once they have the approval to do so.

In the multicloud side, we select the best-of-breed for features for each CSP.

As you said, BigQuery is a big one for the Google side, and its just one of many different features on the Google side.

Theres also regional availability.

Certain times I have an application that has to go into multiple regions.

But somebody like Google may not have a presence in China, or you may not have a point of presence somewhere close to a certain other region.

So we have to go multicloud where it makes sense to go multicloud.

AMINA MANSOUR: Those are all great reasons, Scott.

Of course, we recognize there are many other reasons for other industries and verticals.

But of those patterns that I described, which patterns are you most likely to implement? SCOTT SUROVICH: Sure.

All the models are great.

All the patterns are great.

So the first one that I like to talk about is going to be the tiered model, or the tiered pattern.

So in my previous days, we would have our websites on-site.

And we would be under attack-- get denial of service attacks.

Wed have to engage multiple teams-- operating systems, networking, obviously our service providers, and we would spend hours and hours trying to remediate that situation.

We want to restore the services to our customers and our employees.

So rather than have us deal with that-- the whole time were fighting that fire, we are not innovating and were not going forward for the business.

So lets let somebody like Google, who was born in the Cloud, raised in the Cloud, knows the Cloud, and can protect the Cloud-- we will put our presentation layer in GCP and products like the Web Application Firewall, available on Cloud Armor, would help us to remediate that attack a lot faster and not drain our resources.

So put the front end in the CSP, but keeping your data safe, and even better, regulatory compliance to have your data on-prem.

The other model would be the partition model.

Now, weve already mentioned that HSBC has multiple data centers and multiple server rooms globally, so we have a heavy investment in machines.

AMINA MANSOUR: But what about the bursting pattern? From your experience, what are some use cases for that? SCOTT SUROVICH: Yeah, the bursting pattern is a great use case for Cloud.

However, its also one of the more difficult ones to utilize.

And I say that because the challenge is the regulatory issues that we deal with in this industry.

So because of that, I cant just select any workload and say, OK, Im going to burst when I need to in the Cloud.

It has to be an application that is approved, the data has to be approved.

So we have to be careful.

So with the right choice, its the perfect scenario for the challenges that it addresses.

And 2020 was one of those challenges.

So, of course, during 2020, a lot of people started working from home.

Basically everybody started working from home.

If you had to expand your data center for certain use cases because of this different working pattern, you might have to expand out and scale out your server infrastructure.

That was a big challenge in 2020.

Trying to order equipment was delayed for months due to manufacturing, due to shipping, or due to silicone shortages.

So we cant wait months for that.

So to address this, first thing is the perfect scenario.

Its a little bit longer than normal temporary, kind of like what you were mentioning during your introduction, but at some point we do hope that all of this is going to die down, everythings going to be good, and then we all get back to the office-- we dont need all that extra capacity.

So by scaling up and bursting into the Cloud, we do it faster, we do it cheaper, and we dont have any of that hardware left over after were done with all of the nightmare of 2020.


You hit the nail on the head with this example.

But lets pivot to something happier.

Whats a fun use case for the edge pattern? SCOTT SUROVICH: Yeah, the edge pattern is one Ive always liked.

So in the banking industry, a lot of processes, a lot of hardware, started to look at that.

So ATMs-- were not quite there yet, but thats a great use case for an edge.

From an HSBC view, though, the edge case I like to bring up is something called Pepper.

Pepper is actually a robot, originally developed by SoftBank, that we have in 22 branches.

And what Pepper does is it will greet the customer as they come in.

So banking isnt exciting.

We all kind of know that.

Pepper makes it exciting.

So when you walk into this branch and you see this robot with a really cute face looking at you with an LCD and touch screen, you can walk up to her and you can choose what you want to talk about to CSR or what products you might be interested in.

Not only is it fun and interactive, but it cuts the wait time down for the customer.

This all goes into a system that the CSR will see and then they can walk out to get you and know exactly what you need before four other people ask you the same questions.

You go right to the person, they know what you need, and they can process your request really quick.

Now aside from the cool factor-- it does bring people into the branch.

So people want to see Pepper-- taking pictures, posting them.

We get our brand out there.

But it can go further than just this basic stuff.

So internally, Pepper is limited to about four core M processor with 4 gigs of RAM.

It can do a lot of processing.

It can talk to systems locally so we can figure out what we need for you.

But to make it more fun and to expand it, we can connect that into the Cloud.

So of course, using something like Google, we can use translation services, text-to-speech, AI interactions.

And one of my favorite ones that weve been debating, with consent, would be facial recognition.

So Pepper can greet you when you walk into the branch and it can say, "Welcome back, Amina.

Would you like to look at this service?" Or just having a conversation with you using the AI interaction.

AMINA MANSOUR: Thats amazing.

I personally hope to meet Pepper someday.

I know that HSBC leverages BigQuery for some analytics workloads, so tell us a little bit more about the analytics pattern there.


Were a bank, we get a lot of data.

We have a lot of things that we have to sift through, look at, do analysis on.

So BigQuery is very popular among our developers, and thats at a global scale.

So with BigQuery, as you said during the introductions, it can process your data, handle millions of queries per second, and without us having to expand and install hardware for this.

Now, in the earlier days, we used to do this.

We would run things that would take two weeks.

It would run at a bunch of kit that we also had DR for, because if we didnt have a problem of fraud, wed have to put it to DR. Its a lot of money that when youre not processing anything, it just sits there.

So aside from just being slower and costing more, we wanted to go to the Cloud for that.

So one of our applications that we did happen to move used to take about 10 days to process the information.

It sat on a lot of kit, and for the rest of that month it just sat.

So it takes up power, it takes up cooling, it just takes up general maintenance.

We have to pay for a lot of stuff that isnt in use.

By moving it over to BigQuery, we only utilize or we only get charged when were utilizing it.

It also cut our processing time on that operation from those 10 days down to less than a day, and on certain operations down to a couple of hours.

So we get the information analyzed much quicker and cheaper.

And there really is nothing better, and faster, and cheaper, and its done well.

AMINA MANSOUR: Thats a great use case for BigQuery and the analytics pattern.

Thank you so much for joining us today, Scott.

It is great to learn about all the innovation that Google Cloud products enable for our customers.


Thanks, Amina.

Its my pleasure to be here.

AMINA MANSOUR: If youd like to continue learning more about the different multicloud and hybrid patterns and how to implement those using Google Cloud products, please check out these sessions here that will talk about Anthos, for example, as the control plane supporting that multicloud or hybrid patterns, as well as different examples with Cloud Run running in hybrid or multicloud environments, all the way to extending your Anthos or multicloud environment to VM workloads on-premises, as well.

Thank you so much for joining the session today, and hopefully it was useful.

Google Cloud Tech: 5 hybrid and multicloud architecture designs for an effective cloud strategy - Cloud Consulting