Hybrid cloud computing is increasingly gaining traction in the business environment. However, as IT professionals sing its praises, business owners who are usually laymen wonder what this technology is and how it will change the way they operate. These are the questions that business owners are forced to address as they determine whether the hybrid cloud is suitable for their business’ needs.
The hybrid cloud computing model enables users to leverage benefits of both the public and private cloud systems. Proponents of these systems praise the scalability, speed, and cost effectiveness of the hybrid cloud. Here is an insider’s look at this technology and why it is an important resource for your business.
A hybrid cloud is an amalgamation of at least one private and one public cloud. The public cloud and private cloud are bound together on a platform that enables an organization to use them as if they were one. However, the two cloud resources remain distinct entities. The platform created allows utilization of both private cloud and public cloud resources. This allows management of the resources such that on-premise capacities are used for some functions and public cloud capacities for others. For example, you can chose to maintain data on the private cloud and use the public cloud for service delivery. The cloud is therefore a useful choice for companies that need to use external resources while still maintaining control over sensitive data and security.
The biggest advantage of the hybrid cloud can be summed as providing the user with peace of mind. Security concerns are easier to handle on a hybrid cloud while still accessing the economies and efficiencies provided by the cloud. As a matter of fact, the hybrid nature of this cloud solution means that it can be used by a company as an introduction to the cloud experience. It can serve as a bridge between on-premise IT infrastructure and outsourced IT infrastructure. A good example is a company transferring their email service to the cloud while still using in-house solutions for sensitive consumer data. The flexibility of the cloud is what makes this solution so appealing to the end user.
There are companies who chose to leverage hybrid clouds specifically for their scalability. Instead of expanding their private cloud, they utilize public cloud resources to meet the shortfalls as and when they occur.
The hybrid cloud is a source of benefits that draw companies to the solution. The wealth of benefits on this platform ranges from ease of deployment and integration to flexibility, practically limitless storage space, scalable nature, and economies of scale. Furthermore, since a bulk of the IT needs can still be serviced by in-house infrastructure, companies can comfortably test the vendors offering hybrid cloud solutions. This allows companies to test support systems, suitability, cost effectiveness, efficiency, and other important capacities. This way companies can be sure of the vendor before committing to a complete transition to the cloud.
Security was already stated as a benefit of the hybrid cloud but in reality it is a double edged sword. By committing data to both internal and external IT infrastructure, a company makes security compliance problematic. This is because the company needs to ensure that they comply both on their private cloud and on their public one. Furthermore, there are other issues occurring such as the challenge of complexity of the resultant network and infrastructure dependency just to name a few.
However, the hybrid cloud provides the best of both worlds. It allows utilization of public cloud and private cloud resources simultaneously. While the resultant network is complex, this complexity also adds to the security of the hybrid cloud. Every hybrid cloud is a unique entity because it has been designed and built to the specifications of the end user.
Modern IT infrastructure rarely creates any general solutions that fit the needs of all and sundry. The unique nature of every business regardless of industry and sector means that solutions must be customized to the needs of the company in question. As a result, the suitability of a solution is related to the nature of the organization and the operating environment in question. The choice of using a hybrid cloud will be determined by the regulatory environment, applications in use, and data protection requirements. In most cases, the hybrid cloud is utilized by organizations that while under strict regulatory requirements have some latitude to outsource some of their data needs. The question to ask is whether the organization can benefit from externalizing some of their IT infrastructure while maintaining an internal system as well.
The growth of the public cloud in terms of technology and adoption, combined with the necessity to maintain control over certain data and applications, shows a bright future for hybrid clouds. Once you factor in the immense savings, unparalleled flexibility, and other benefits of the hybrid cloud, it is clear that hybrid cloud is here to stay. Industry experts expect it to be one of the main forces behind public cloud adoption momentum. Strict regulatory environments may act to hinder the adoption. However, organizations may soon find that in-house solutions are no longer able to meet their needs adequately in the dynamic modern business landscape. In such case, the hybrid cloud will remain the only feasible option.