What do you need to know about hybrid cloud? Should you choose hybrid cloud for your business? What are the main considerations? Read on to separate fact from fiction about hybrid cloud and what you need to know before taking the plunge.
You’ve checked out cloud-based services and made the decision that it’s right for your business. The next question becomes which model should you opt for?
There are three major cloud types to choose from – private, public and hybrid cloud.
You may be most familiar with public cloud, which offers cost saving solutions by providing shared services, scalability and easy-to-use plugin capabilities.
The second option is private cloud, which is mostly used by enterprise-scale companies that are sensitive to data and privacy issues surrounding their data. Private cloud offers the same benefits as public cloud, but with more control and security.
Hybrid cloud is the ‘Johnny-come-lately’ of the cloud computing models. Offering a mix of both private and public cloud options, it is also one of the more misunderstood of the three. Many companies think they are opting for hybrid cloud, but can often simply end up with siloed instances of infrastructure, computing and storage providers.
Avoiding this situation is imperative in getting the hybrid cloud model right, and choosing the right option will also depend on many things. Considerations can include, but not be limited to, your business needs, what services you provide, the types of applications and information you need to deploy to users, your security needs and the maturity of your IT infrastructure.
What is hybrid cloud?
A hybrid cloud lets you mix-and-match your cloud technologies (a combination of private, public, on-premise or off-premise) to store and manage certain data or applications in-house while hosting the remainder to a public cloud provider. It sounds deceptively simple, but in practice can be difficult if not designed to work in unison.
In other words, two or more of the components need to integrate and communicate with each other; otherwise, it is not a hybrid solution but a siloed one.
For example, you may choose to select a public cloud provider for non-critical applications (such as email), while storing sensitive data such as financial or medical records in your private cloud solution.
Done well, the hybrid approach lets you take advantage of the cost effectiveness and scalability of public cloud while protecting mission-critical applications and data.
The hybrid cloud is gaining popularity as an IaaS option, according to Forrester Research. The research company released data where 59% of survey respondents indicated they are adopting the model. Fuelling this accelerating adoption is the need for enterprises to scale their computer resources to better serve customers.
Pros and cons – get the facts about hybrid
Hybrid seems to offer the best of both worlds, by offering the advantages of both premises and cloud-based deployments. However, it’s important to carefully consider whether it’s right for your business, rather than following the herd.
Let’s look at some of the benefits and challenges of hybrid cloud.
- Improve utilisation and investment in existing infrastructure assets.
- Customise provisioning additional public infrastructure to suit the needs of your organisation.
- Manage long term infrastructure needs through private cloud and ramp up/down public cloud use for applications, storage or computer power without incurring additional CapEx.
- Comply with data security, privacy regulations and adhere to specific industry standards using private cloud instances while moving non-critical application testing or environments to public cloud.
- Difficulty integrating data or applications between public and private cloud instances.
- Not a viable option where the business already has ageing infrastructure that needs significant upgrades to manage private cloud instance.
- Need to invest in virtualisation, cloud management software and SAN storage/server environments to manage resource pool.
We hope that helps you understand the nuances of hybrid cloud. Now that you’ve determined whether it is right for your business, you may also be interested in the benefits of the Hybrid cloud.