Advancements in the field of cloud computing have enabled many companies to leverage on the benefits that come with using the Cloud. More than that, companies are now adopting the hybrid cloud model. This model involves the use of on-premises, a private cloud and a public cloud. It goes beyond using a single cloud model.
The public cloud and the private cloud are seamlessly integrated and allowed to perform distinct and separate functions. The two clouds are independent of each other but they can still communicate through an encrypted connection. Developments in technology have enabled data and applications to be portable between the private and the public cloud.
There are three ways through the hybrid cloud can be put to place. These are:
- An individual cloud provider can offer the complete, already packaged hybrid cloud to an enterprise seeking to use a hybrid cloud.
- A company can have its own private cloud which it manages and can then sign up for the services of a public cloud. This public cloud cab then be integrated into the company’s infrastructure.
- Different cloud providers can team up and provide an integrated version comprising of both private and public clouds to companies.
Many companies adopting the hybrid do so in an effort to leverage the benefits that come with both private and public clouds. One major reservation that companies have always had when it comes to migrating to the cloud is security over data placed in the cloud. This is because data in cloud can be accessed by anyone with a device having an internet connection from anywhere. This poses a huge risk for companies, considering that sensitive corporate data in the hands of third parties can be detrimental to a company’s growth.
But again the same companies do not want to ignore the cloud altogether and its benefits such as increased scalability and cost-efficiency. Therefore, these companies find a middle ground where certain data that has less risk in compromising the performance of a company is offloaded to the public cloud. Sensitive data is then retained in the on-premises infrastructure or put in the private cloud. This middle ground is what the hybrid model is.
Private Cloud vs Public Cloud
A private cloud is different from a public cloud in that it is incorporated within the corporate firewall. This means that a private cloud is restricted for the use by the company’s employees and is not accessible by third parties. This gives companies a sense of security over data placed in the private cloud and also control over the same data. Thus, sensitive data and operations can be placed in the private cloud, while the rest is offloaded onto the public cloud.
The private cloud component also gives the company the option of selecting the kind of hardware to use and the system design. This gives the company some control over the cloud, as compared with the public cloud whose infrastructure is managed by third parties. The private cloud will therefore allow the company to come up with high levels of security over the hardware, data and network systems to ensure they cannot be accessed by third parties using the same data centre.
The public cloud segment on the other hand offers its own share of benefits to the company using a hybrid cloud model. Public clouds are generally more scalable and cost efficient than private clouds. A public cloud will stretch more to accommodate spikes in the workload as compared to the private cloud. This is because the resources of a public cloud are drawn from a larger cloud infrastructure. The scalability will enable the cloud to perform more effectively. The public cloud also allows a company to pay for only the resources they have used. This is very economical and saves on resources.
The Hybrid Cloud Model
However, the adoption and application of the hybrid model does not come easy. Companies have to ensure that the applications intended to run in the cloud are actually cloud native. This means that the applications should be designed with the ability to run in a cloud environment and that they can easily be disengaged from a specific physical location and transferred to the cloud. Unless the application is cloud native, it will not run in the cloud.
The hybrid cloud model also requires quite some resources for its deployment. The servers in the private segment will need resources for the procurement and maintenance. This can prove to be costly and out of reach for many small businesses that lack the financial resources for such a venture.
Nevertheless, the hybrid cloud model if well-adopted by a company can offer great benefits to it. The company can move the less-sensitive data onto the public cloud and retain the sensitive data where it can have more control over. The private cloud will provide assurance of security over data while the public cloud will provide scalability and reliability for data which security or compliance is not an issue. Using this model, a company can fully leverage the benefits that come with the Cloud. Companies can employ the services of a cloud service provider to link up private clouds that are restricted for their sole use, and public clouds.