Hybrid Cloud Solutions: The Agile No-compromise Business Case
What is a Hybrid Cloud Solution
Hybrid Cloud is a cloud computing environment that makes use of a mix of different computing services. A Hybrid Cloud is formed when two of these computing services have a working balance between the two. Most commonly a mix of on-premises, private cloud and third-party, public cloud services are what make up a Hybrid Cloud. Hybrid Clouds give business greater flexibility and more data deployment options as it allows workloads to move between private and public clouds as computing needs and costs change.
Hybrid Cloud Solution Examples
By using a Hybrid Cloud, it can allow you to store personal and private data on an on-premises private cloud, and then you can hold less-critical data on a third-party public cloud, such as notes that you have taken or public documents that other people need to access.
Before we get into the benefits of implementing a hybrid cloud solution for your business, let’s understand the components in which a Hybrid Cloud operates.
Sometimes it is not clear if an application will succeed upon its launch into the market. Considering this it makes sense to use the public clouds resources, as it allows you to ensure that you wish to spend the capital expenditure which is associated with using a private cloud. Once the organisation is sure that the application will succeed and there is an identified steady-state workload then they may choose to bring the application to a private cloud environment.
Cloudbursting is an application deployment model in which an application runs in a private cloud or data centre and bursts into a public cloud when the demand for computing capacity spikes. Usually this is a temporary solution as it is commonly triggered when there is a high spike due to a seasonal traffic or a news event driving this traffic to an application for a short time. If this occurs when using a Hybrid Cloud, you would see the steady state handled by the fixed private cloud environment and the spike handled by on-demand resources from a public cloud.
High Availability and Disaster Recovery
Using Hybrid Clouds allow customers to promote high availability and disaster recovery. For example, in a disaster recovery scenario an organisation can keep its production environment in a private cloud and then a recovery environment in a public cloud ensuring that is read to start up as necessary. In the event of a disaster, administrators can start the application in the public cloud as the data is already present there. This configuration ensures that there is significant cost savings along with dramatic improvement in the applications availability.
Private Cloud vs Public Cloud
Private clouds traditionally ran on-premises, but organizations are now building private clouds on rented, vendor-owned data centres located off-premises. Private clouds are located on a company’s hosted data centre where all the private data is being protected by a firewall. This is beneficial for companies that already have a private data centre as it allows for them to use their current infrastructure. The main problem that people see with Private Cloud is that the management, maintenance and updating of data contained on the data centre must be done by the company as it is their responsibility. Along with this you will also be expected to replace your servers which un-surprisingly isn’t cheap. However Private Clouds do offer more security as they share very few resources with other organisations.
Public clouds traditionally ran off-premises, but public cloud providers are now running cloud services on their clients’ on-premise data centres. The main difference between the two types of Cloud service is that with Public Clouds you are not responsible for any of the management of the Public Cloud hosting solution. This is due to the fact that your data is stored on the providers data centre, making the providers the people responsible for the management and maintenance of the data centre. This is a common type of cloud environment as it reduces lead times in testing and deploying new products. However, many companies that use Public Cloud services often believe that the security is lacking. Even though you don’t control the security of a public cloud, all your data is still held separate from others and security breaches of public clouds are often rare.
How Hybrid Cloud Incorporates the two
Hybrid Clouds combine both Private and Public Clouds allowing you to benefit from the advantages that come with both of the services. You can use the Public Cloud for a high-volume, lower-security needs and then use the Private Cloud for sensitive, business critical operations. The way public clouds and private clouds work as part of a hybrid cloud are no different than how standalone public clouds or private clouds work. Separate clouds become hybrid when those environments are connected as seamlessly as possible. This interconnectivity is how workloads are moved, management is unified, and processes are orchestrated. Depending on how well-developed these connections are will have a direct impact on how well your hybrid cloud works.
Hybrid Cloud Solution Benefits for Your Business
Hybrid cloud deployments offer many benefits to organizations of all sizes. As they become more widely implemented, companies could well see the advantage to combining the security and control of private networks with the expansive power and versatility of public cloud computing.
Speed of operations
Hybrid Cloud environments aren’t inherently faster than a multi-cloud environment or a purely Public Cloud. However, it does allow IT staff to optimize the network to minimize latency and make it easier for data to get where it needs to be. Hybrid environments also make advantage of edge computing architectures to further increase speed.
While implementing a hybrid cloud solution imposes some additional costs beyond establishing a purely private or public environment, in the long run, it can significantly lower IT costs. The scalability of a hybrid cloud makes it an attractive alternative to a purely private cloud, which can be extremely expensive to both update and expand over time.
With Hybrid Clouds companies can leverage the security of Private Clouds with the power and services that come with Public Clouds. While data stored in a private environment will likely still have to be transmitted to the public cloud for analytics, applications, and other processes, extensive encryption methods can be implemented to ensure this data remains as secure as possible. Since IT staff have direct control over a Private Clouds structure, they can manage access to the data across an organization, allowing them to establish strict protocols for how critical assets should be managed.
Flexibility and scalability
One of the challenges of a private network is the capital investment required to build, maintain, and expand that network. With Hybrid Cloud architectures critical data, assets and operations can continue to reside in the private cloud, but organizations can now leverage the expansive power of cloud computing allowing them to increase their operational capacity.
Allows for remote IT Support
The Hybrid Cloud is currently an ideal option for small and medium sized businesses looking to move towards a cloud solution. This option means you can retain infrastructure onsite whilst linking this to an external infrastructure (either shared or private) via an internet connection. The benefit of this option is that it allows you to retain data locally, which has benefits for backup, restore & business continuity. As we move closer and closer to mainly using the cloud the hybrid option is the perfect stepping stone for most businesses.
How do I know if Hybrid Cloud Solution is right for my business?
A Hybrid Cloud isn’t for every business so to determine whether your business can benefit from a Hybrid Cloud here are some questions that you should ask yourself. If you are finding that you are answering yes to two or more of the questions below then you should consider converting to a Hybrid Cloud solution.
- Do you have many home-based or traveling uses who share files with one another and/or customers?
- Are you concerned with downtime due to a local disaster?
- Is it vital for your users to have fast, reliable access to data?
Along with asking these questions you need to ensure that your company has the availability of the following:
- A public infrastructure as a service (IaaS)platform, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform;
- The construction of a private cloud, either on premises or through a hosted private cloud provider;
- And adequate wide area network (WAN)connectivity between those two environments.
An enterprise has no direct control over the architecture of a public cloud, so, for a hybrid cloud deployment, it must architect its private cloud to achieve compatibility with the desired public cloud or clouds. This involves the implementation of suitable hardware within the data centre, including servers, storage, a local area network (LAN) and load balancers.
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