The hybrid cloud seems to be what everyone wants to get to. End users seem to like the idea of using a public cloud, like Amazon Web Services for its large scale and low-cost. But they\u2019re not willing to put everything up in AWS\u2019s cloud, so there are on-premises clouds for mission-critical and extra secure information.\n\n\nVendors are jumping into the hybrid cloud game too: One of Microsoft\u2019s biggest marketing points over AWS is that it has software that customers can run on their own servers - Windows Systems Center - to build a private cloud that connects to its Azure public cloud to build a hybrid cloud. VMware launched a service with the name hybrid in it - vCloud Hybrid Service - in the past year.\n\n\nBut Gartner Vice President and distinguished analyst Lydia Leong says it\u2019s not common to see customers \u201cbursting\u201d between public and private clouds, which is what many consider to be a hybrid cloud. Most customers have workloads they run in the public cloud, and maybe some they run on their own existing infrastructure.\n\n\n+ MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: Progress Report: Building and managing the 21st Century Data Center | Aligning cloud vision with adoption +\n\n\nAnd so there\u2019s been somewhat of a misconception created in the market: Some customers generally believe that hybrid cloud is about bursting between public and private clouds. Yet not many users really do that.\n\n\nLeong says hybrid cloud management is not about bursting, instead customers should think about supporting two basic IT environments today: an old one and a new one, what she calls \u201cbi-modal\u2019 management. The old environment is typically a company\u2019s system of record that is heavily customized to the organization\u2019s specific use case and serves a core function for the business. The new IT environment is where the company pursues leading edge projects; applications and software are developed rapidly, with fast iterations and quick launches. And IT has a challenge: \u201cYou don\u2019t want your old stuff to slow down your new stuff,\u201d Leong says. \u201cIf you try to blend those two you\u2019ll end up doing neither one well.\u201d\n\nThe pursuit of hybrid \n\nDespite the challenge of managing these two environments, organizations are still going full bore ahead on hybrid cloud, whether they know it or not. New figures from New Hampshire-based analyst Technology Business Research show that nearly 20% of the 1,600 large enterprises IT decision makers recently surveyed reported that they are using two or more cloud services that have been integrated to create a hybrid cloud. TBR estimates there is a $7 billion market for vendors who integrate various disparate cloud platforms together.\n\n\nThe important decision for IT leaders is to consider how fast do they want to embrace these \u201cnew\u201d technologies, like hybrid clouds, while still supporting the old legacy ones. IT organizations are faced with this dilemma of needing to own and operate critical legacy infrastructure into the foreseeable future, while at the same time building a brand new org and process structure around cloud based environments, says Mark Thiele, executive vice president of data center technology at Switch, a major cloud and collocation hosting provider. \u201cThis \u2018two IT\u2019 system will be necessary because in order for either of the environments to be truly successful they would have to be managed very differently from each other,\u201d Thiele says.\n\n\nThat creates somewhat of a schism between an enterprise\u2019s legacy IT and new ventures involving cloud and devops, says Bernard Golden, a frequent speaker on cloud issues at various conferences. He says the key to managing this environment is for customers to retain flexibility and choice to decide where those new applications are hosted - either on their own premises or in the cloud. \u201cCustomers don\u2019t want to be constrained,\u201d he says. \u201cThey want it to be their choice and not their vendor calling the shots.\u201d\n\n\nGolden says there is an evolution in the hybrid cloud market right now. It\u2019s not just about companies like Microsoft, VMware and IBM, which extoll their ability to manage old and new IT, but there are a variety of companies that provide integration services amongst many clouds. Companies like Enstratius - where Golden used to work - which is now Dell Cloud Manager and RightScale do this. Golden currently serves as vice president of Strategy for ActiveState, the maker of a platform as a service (PaaS) for application development, which allows organizations to build an application and then deploy it to various end-points.\n\n\n\nSo while Leong says that few customers are pursuing a hybrid cloud \u201cbursting\u201d model, other cloud experts say that hybrid cloud is very much real and in the market. Joe Weinman, author of the book \u201cCloudonomics,\u201d says there are many other types of hybrid cloud setups that are prevalent in the market other than just bursting between public and private clouds (see graphic, above). Technology is evolving to make hybrid cloud bursting a reality over time, although there are likely limited use cases for that architecture. \u201cIn the meantime there are plenty of other types of hybrid clouds one can envision,\u201d Weinman says. \u201cCIOs need to deal with heterogeneous environments, and that\u2019s somewhat of a challenge.\u201d\n\nWe\u2019ve seen this before \n\nManaging this new model of IT is a challenge for CIOs and IT leaders. The drastic differences between these old systems and new processes mean that there are not many great platforms for managing an organization\u2019s entire IT asset portfolio. Companies like IBM, BMC, HP and CA Technologies offer services across the spectrum of IT management, from legacy workloads all the way to cloud management. But these two environments require vastly different skills and management tools. The good news is, Leong says, over time more and more workloads will migrate from the old to the new model.\n\n\nThis idea of IT needing to manage heterogeneous environments really isn\u2019t a new concept either. For a long time CIOs have been managing multiple modes within an organization. There was the mainframe to client server transition; Unix to Linux. Now we\u2019re seeing a new wave of transitions: PCs to mobile devices and desktop applications to SaaS platforms. Organizations are integrating multiple hypervisor platforms and combining converged infrastructure with customized commodity hardware. While a new model of IT, focused around devops, cloud, mobile, social and big data is a big break from the old way of doing business, Leong it's part of a natural evolution of the IT industry.