What is hybrid cloud?
When it comes to cloud architecture, there isn’t a one size fits all approach, because each business case is unique. Cloud architecture lets you decide where you want to store your data—whether that’s in the public cloud, private cloud, on-premise or hybrid. Not sure of the difference? We’ve got you covered.
- Private cloud involves keeping your data on our premises (at our place), meaning we’ll store it for you.
- Public cloud (at their place) means we manage your data, but it’s stored in a public cloud, owned by a provider like Microsoft or Amazon Web Services.
- You can also choose to keep your data on your own premises (at your place), which means you’ll be using your own infrastructure and resources.
- Or you can choose to incorporate all or some of the above and create a hybrid cloud infrastructure that works specifically for your businesses needs.
So, what is Hybrid Cloud?
Hybrid cloud is a computing, storage and service environment including a mix of on-premise infrastructure, public and private cloud services. Basically, it’s a way for you to store your data and run your web applications that can be tailored completely to your business.
It can be hard to describe the hybrid cloud but at the most basic level, you should be able to:
- Move workloads across environments (access your documents from anywhere)
- Combine your IT resources—making them stronger
- Be able to scale your resources when needed (your cloud grows as and when you need it to)
- Help with automation to deal with demand
- Incorporate a unified management tool (one overarching view of your whole infrastructure)
So, basically, having a hybrid cloud strategy lets you determine which cloud storage option is best for storing which data—whether it’s private, public or on-premise.
What are the benefits of Hybrid Cloud?
There are a number of benefits to having a hybrid cloud infrastructure. For example, scalability. Often, with on-premise infrastructure, if there’s high demand when the workforce is out of the office, for example, during the christmas break, you would need to have access to the physical infrastructure to deal with the issue. But, with a cloud solution you can easily access your information from a remote desktop, whilst the structure gives you the instant capacity to handle any excess data.
Running off a hybrid cloud infrastructure during a period of change also means there is less time and money spent on purchasing, installing and maintaining new equipment that you may only need for a short time.
What’s more, many hybrid cloud infrastructures offer automation, meaning you have control and can set up automatic adjustments to respond to changing demands or to optimise performance—which is also a key factor to allow for innovation.
Choosing hybrid cloud services means you can have the optimal infrastructure for your storage needs. For example, public cloud environments mean multiple users share the same infrastructure and are managed by a third party provider. This may not suit some of your more sensitive or personal data—so only having a portion of your data on there and the rest of a private, more anonymous cloud can lower the risk of your business being hacked, as well as provide you with everything you require.
Using a hybrid cloud model also lets you better support a remote workforce, as the data can be accessed anytime, anywhere without your teams being tied to one place.
Hybrid cloud also enhances your business continuity options in the event of a disaster, and reduces downtime. The hybrid option ensures a centralised management of data and services, which in turn, leads to improved risk management, tighter security and reduced potential for data breaches.
Is Hybrid Cloud right for your business?
It’s totally dependent on the needs of your business, but not everything should be or needs to be on a public cloud. That’s why companies choose to use hybrid options.
For example, if you’re looking for a place to store your data that can grow in a cost-effective way, then public cloud may not be for you. A managed on-premise or private cloud approach may be more suitable as they have predictable fees, where public cloud providers run on more of a taxi meter basis—so, the more you use, the higher the cost…and it can spiral.
So, why choose hybrid managed service? Well your system is monitored, updated and usage reports created, which can be helpful to inform how businesses are operating and any efficiencies they can afford to make.
Even though practically anyone can benefit from use of a hybrid cloud infrastructure, it’s suggested a medium sized business can find the most advantages from it’s implementation. This is because it enables them to be cost effective by eliminating and selecting the appropriate services for their needs.
Often a hybrid cloud structure can be complicated to set up in comparison to a simple public cloud one. This could lead to you needing more technological support from your own employees or from a cloud provider. Smaller businesses may not be able to pay for the support needed.
Whether or not hybrid cloud is right for you is exclusively down to your business needs. It’s important to weigh up the benefits and disadvantages that you would find from using a mix of different cloud options, so that you’re in no doubt as to the best options for your operational structure.