Hybrid Cloud 101

Cloud computing is ubiquitous. We do encounter, however, many organizations who have not embraced or fully embraced it yet. And an approach we occasionally recommend is using hybrid cloud. Simply stated, you can put each of your applications in its ideal environment as you create a seamless experience using public and private infrastructure. We explain key concepts, advantages, and guardrails in our explanation of Hybrid Cloud 101.

What Is Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid cloud refers to a mixture of on-premises infrastructure and public & private cloud services to manage computing, storage, and technology services. If you’re using a combination of public cloud, on-premises computing, and private cloud in your data center, you have hybrid cloud infrastructure. It is not a multi-cloud model, which consists of two or more public cloud providers but no private or on-premises component. Hybrid cloud is a single environment that operates with on-premises, private cloud, and public cloud resources (e.g., AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud).

Why Use Hybrid Cloud

Organizations can use the cloud to instantly scale infrastructure up or down when computing and processing demand changes in an on-premises data center, avoiding the costs of purchasing, installing, and maintaining new servers that they may not always need. We’ll explain hybrid cloud benefits in more detail…

Hybrid Clouds Are Flexible.

Organizations that work with a variety of data scattered across disparate environments can use hybrid cloud to adjust their infrastructure to suit dynamic needs. You can migrate workloads between traditional infrastructure and public cloud as needed.

Hybrid Clouds Are Agile.

You have infinitely more resources available from a public cloud provider compared with your organization’s on-premises data center. With hybrid cloud, you can provision, deploy, and scale resources to meet demand. If demand exceeds your data center capacity, you can add infrastructure on the fly via the public cloud.

Hybrid Clouds Add Resiliency.

You have the option to hybrid run workloads redundantly in private & public environments. You can also run a workload in multiple environments that interoperate.

You Can Manage Your Costs.

With a private cloud, organizations own & operate data center infrastructure. That ownership requires significant capital expense and ongoing management costs. Public cloud services require no upfront investment, accounted as an operating expense only. Using a hybrid cloud, you can run workloads in the environment that is most cost-effective.

You Can Handle Compliance.

Organizations in regulated industries (e.g., healthcare, finance) must follow regulations on how & where data is stored. Compliance can restrict specific workloads from the public cloud. Hybrid cloud services are powerful because they give organizations more control over such private data. You can store sensitive data on your private cloud or local data center while you leverage computational resources in the public cloud. Thus, organizations can meet regulatory requirements and still employ the cloud’s elasticity.

You Can Innovate Faster Too.

You can deploy cloud infrastructure & services to quickly enable your digital transformation projects. By modernizing your applications, your business can leverage older technology while building for the future with the cloud.

When NOT to Use Hybrid Cloud

You Don’t Have Expertise.

Your organization needs techncial talent and the skills to manage the different environments. Although outside consultants can help, it adds costs and risks if you don’t add in-house expertise.

You Have Security Concerns.

Hybrid cloud enables advantages over public cloud, but it can face privacy & security issues. Sharing data across a network where it can be intercepted can be an unacceptable security risk. Adding protection can add to costs and further stress IT teams.

Latency Is a Factor.

Public & private cloud solutions can introduce latency issues, which may be problematic for mission-critical systems. Over time, these issues have improved, but performance can still be a hurdle in some implementations.

Takeaways of Hybrid Cloud 101

Organizations already moved most applications that can easily be migrated to the cloud. But two-thirds of applications today remain on-premises because of concerns like security, compliance, costs, and system dependencies. Thus, organizations struggle with a mix of old & new, trying to meet goals in a complex IT operating environment. Despite initial reluctance, cloud vendors like AWS now embrace integrating their public cloud infrastructure with customers’ on-premises resources. Such tools enable leveraging the many benefits of the cloud while balancing the risks, costs, and challenges of integrating with on-premises infrastructure.

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