A recent survey showed that 87% of businesses have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Should you join them?
Find out what hybrid cloud computing is and how it can take your enterprise to the next level.
What Is Hybrid Cloud?
Hybrid cloud is a computing, storage, and services environment that uses a mix of on-site infrastructure, private cloud services, and a public cloud. Common public cloud systems include Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Hybrid cloud connects the on-site and cloud platforms, so your business closes the divide between its physical and virtual sides.
Hybrid cloud gives businesses more flexibility compared to using a private cloud or a public cloud alone.
A private cloud is a cloud that your enterprise uses as a single tenant. You control the hardware. You can host the private cloud on-site, or you can use colocated hardware. You can also have a third party manage your private cloud.
Using a private cloud by itself is secure and gives you more control. You can customize it however you need.
It’s more expensive, though. You have to manage your own IT hardware and software. You also need to ensure your own security and regulatory compliance.
Using a public cloud means you’re renting space on servers with other users. Public clouds have huge economies of scale. You have almost unlimited capacity when you need it because they scale up and down easily. You don’t need to buy your own equipment.
However, you have less control over the security of your data. In addition, you pay more the more you use a public cloud.
Hybrid Cloud Architecture
Creating a hybrid cloud requires:
- A public cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) platform, like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, or Microsoft Azure
- A private cloud, either on-site or through a third-party hosting service
- Wide area network (WAN) connectivity between the two cloud environments
Your on-premises data center is connected to the cloud resources under shared data management, but each component remains distinct.
Your business can’t control the architecture of the public cloud, so you have to build your private cloud to be compatible with the public platform you’re using. Choosing software and services that are compatible with the public cloud’s application programming interfaces (API) and services lets applications and components work across platforms.
Why Choose a Hybrid Cloud?
Hybrid clouds are increasingly popular. Here are 3 reasons why businesses are choosing this model.
Separate sensitive from less-sensitive workloads
Not everything belongs in a public cloud. The vast majority of businesses have concerns about the security of their public cloud. With hybrid cloud, you can store sensitive financial information and customer data on your private cloud while running your other applications on the public cloud.
Process Big Data
When you need big data analytics, you can use the large-scale resources of the public cloud. Your private cloud can keep your business data secure.
Variable Workloads and Temporary Needs
Hybrid cloud is a good option when you have workloads that are highly variable. One example would be seasonal demand spikes for your order system. You can access the public cloud for additional computing capacity during peak demand.
Less dynamic workloads can stay on the private cloud or your on-premises data center.
If you have a short-term need for increased processing capacity, you can use the public cloud. You don’t have to invest in more IT infrastructure for a temporary project.
Benefits of Hybrid Cloud
Implementing a hybrid cloud has many benefits for your business. Here are 4 of the advantages you could see.
One of the main benefits of the hybrid cloud is its flexibility. You can easily scale up and down as your business activity peaks and slows. Instead of adding new servers yourself, you have the resources of the public cloud at your disposal.
Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
Hybrid cloud can provide dedicated backups. You can copy your data to the public cloud while keeping live data on the private cloud. In addition, you can activate your entire environment in the public cloud in the event of a disaster.
For business continuity, you can run your environment on-premises and in the cloud. You have full redundancy for your applications.
Depending on your needs, using a private cloud exclusively can be very expensive. Buying the necessary hardware is a large expense. A pay-as-you-go contract for the public cloud is more affordable.
Remote Work and Globalization
Increasing numbers of employees work remotely. Many of these employees are multinational and need global access for IT resources.
Large public cloud companies are expanding worldwide. Your remote or traveling employees can have global IT accessibility without your enterprise needing to build data centers in other countries.
Challenges of Hybrid Cloud
A hybrid cloud has many advantages, but it comes with challenges as well. You’ll need to keep these considerations in mind.
Managing a wide area network (WAN) is more complex than managing the network for a single site or using a public cloud’s network.
Your network specialists have more hardware to configure with a hybrid cloud. Monitoring the network is also more difficult. Ensuring consistent user authentication and access protocols across multiple sites can be complicated.
Your hybrid cloud can be as secure as on-site IT infrastructure if you design, integrate, and manage it correctly. Meeting these criteria can be challenging, though. You need a different security approach than with on-premises hardware.
Data migration and a larger attack surface are additional security risks. However, having multiple environments helps defend your data. You can address security challenges with expert planning.
Bottlenecks for Data Transfers
Your underlying network infrastructure and the type of packets you’re sending across the network determine if you’ll have issues with bottlenecks. You’ll know whether you need to address this issue after some preliminary evaluations.
Network security across multiple layers can also create bottlenecks when transferring data.
Implementing Your Hybrid Cloud
Although a hybrid cloud comes with some challenges, the advantages give your business a competitive edge. You gain flexibility and scalability. You reduce costs. You can plan for business continuity.
Addressing potential challenges is an important part of your implementation strategy. You don’t have to do it alone. Contact us so we can help you overcome the challenges and maximize the benefits of a hybrid cloud.