A great number of businesses are now opting for cloud technology, and the media is reporting on it with great regularity. This has led to there being a certain amount of hype attached to this embryonic technology. But while the cloud is unquestionably a highly useful technology, and one that deserves to be successful, and indeed already is, it is not wise to become to obsessed with it without fully understanding all of the implications and requirements related to it. While the cloud can assist many, many businesses, it is unwise to go into it blindly without asking yourself basic questions about what you’re hoping to achieve.
Given all of the attention which is being a lavished on the cloud at the moment, it is easy to become preoccupied with it at the expense of other possible solutions. This is not wise, as although the cloud will deliver a lot of useful functionality for a lot of companies, researching infrastructure platforms for your business should always encompass a truly holistic approach.
Additionally, many companies have been known to so ubiquitously focus their attention on the cloud that they in fact sacrifice the optimum network environment, as they are so motivated to utilise the cloud. The notion of using the cloud is of course an extremely wise one, given that it is already predicted that 80% of small businesses will be utilising the cloud by 2020, and undoubtedly those that do not do so will increasingly being left behind. But a cloud solution which truly suits the needs of businesses must be a priority.
In this context, it is perhaps not surprising that the hybrid cloud is already becoming the most successful implementation of cloud technology. There are a variety of reasons for this, possibly the most prominent one being that the hybrid cloud enables businesses to benefit from the functionality associated with both the private and public cloud. The ability to have the flexibility, choice and functionality to utilise both physical and virtual servers in one environment, and manage them through one, unified interface is extremely useful, and finds favour with most businesses.
The hybrid cloud should not be thought of so much as a product, but more as an operations model, and one that can fit in exceedingly well to your existing network setup. Many of the IT applications and tools that you utilise on a daily basis will have differing requirements. To give one example, the average relational database can only work vertically, meaning that it is always based on one server. By the same token, individual servers always have strict limitations with regard to how many resources they can provide. This can mean in many cases that the overhead which is found in many cloud-based systems can have serious implications on the company’s existing network structure and performance. Such setups are better served by a dedicated server.
By contrast, web servers are capable of horizontal scaling, which means that they can be utilised across multiple servers. Their workload also fluctuates throughout daily operation. Such a setup is the ideal fit for the cloud, and it is by connecting both database on a server and website in a cloud environment that one is able to create the ideal hybrid cloud environment.
Another reason that hybrid clouds are becoming particularly popular is that the economics of the technology usually works out in favour of business. A hybrid cloud strategy almost without exception offers better overall economics than a pure cloud strategy. In particular, by implementing idealised optimisation of cloud resources, usage of hybrid cloud technology will achieve a lower overall total cost of ownership.
This can also be improved by optimising resource utilisation within a company’s network, and additionally maximising the efficiency of one’s application infrastructure. The latter can be achieved by ensuring that one chooses the correct component for each major aspect of application. This makes the hybrid cloud a very efficient setup for almost all businesses, and additionally the scalable nature of the cloud ensures that any setup always has the opportunity to grow.
Of course, the hybrid cloud is not always the perfect setup for all businesses and everyone’s needs. There will probably never be a product that is perfect for everyone. Therefore it is wise to evaluate whether or not the hybrid cloud is going to be the ideal solution for you. The best way to work this out is to ask yourself some simple questions.
Do any of your websites require you to accomplish multiple goals? Examples of possible multiple goals can include scalability and security, or compliance and flexibility.
Do any of your websites or applications consist of multiple components? Examples of these can include both a front-end and back end, relational databases and non-relational databases.
Do your businesses and networks require you to run a multitude of commercial applications that have very differing network requirements? The hybrid cloud is particularly well suited to this given its flexible nature.
If you answered yes to any of the following, then you should at least seriously consider implementing the hybrid cloud at your business.