Cloud computing has been one of the fastest-growing technologies in recent times. It has empowered businesses to operate smoothly, even during one of the most difficult times of the decade – the COVID-19 phase. Of all the three cloud options, hybrid cloud is witnessing great popularity these days. A hybrid cloud incorporates a private cloud with single or multiple public cloud solutions along with exclusive software to communicate between them. It enables organizations to enjoy the benefits of both the on-premise (private) cloud as well as the public cloud and is hence becoming the ‘de facto’ enterprise standard.
The 2020 Denodo Global Cloud Study found that hybrid cloud deployments were about 42 percent of all the cloud configurations.
Characteristics of Hybrid Cloud
With a hybrid cloud, organizations have the flexibility to store their sensitive and critical data on a private cloud and use the public cloud (or clouds) for noncritical information and resources. The following are other features of the hybrid cloud:
- Binds together a company’s internal data center, private and public cloud resources, data, and workload using standard data management, while also keeping them separated logically.
- Connects the existing systems operating on traditional architectures having mission-critical applications, also containing vital, sensitive information that may not be best kept on the public cloud.
Why Do Enterprises Prefer Hybrid Cloud Solutions?
Hybrid cloud adoption is gaining stronger momentum day by day and is reshaping how companies function. The changing business needs, global competition, and increasing customer demands keep businesses on their toes, looking for solutions to enhance their efficiency, flexibility, agility, and scalability, in order to remain relevant and competitive.
The hybrid cloud meets all such organizational requirements and is therefore a preferred choice for large as well as small and medium enterprises.
As per Mordor Intelligence, the hybrid cloud is estimated to achieve a global market value of about 128 billion USD by 2025 from 45.70 billion USD in 2019, with a CAGR of around 18.73 percent.
Also Read: How Cloud Computing Used Small and Business?
Top 8 Benefits of Using a Hybrid Cloud – You Must Read
The following are the benefits of using a hybrid cloud:
1. Cloud Bursting
Cloud bursting is one of the greatest advantages that organizations enjoy because of a hybrid cloud. It refers to an application deployment scheme where a program running on an in-house data center or a private cloud can burst into (move to) a public cloud, whenever facing a higher computing capacity demand. It is a cost-effective model where an organization has to pay only for the additional computing resources, as and when required.
Applications handling non-sensitive data are preferred for cloud bursting as companies don’t have to bother much about the security of the data being moved to the public cloud. Also, enterprises use cloud bursting to free up their on-premise cloud for handling business-critical tasks, while moving the non-critical information and resources to the off-premise cloud.
2. Enhanced Security
Security is one of the major factors influencing cloud adoption. A hybrid cloud solution offers better security compared to a public cloud as the organizations can use dedicated infrastructure for storing and accessing crucial computing resources while using the public cloud as extended storage for their less critical assets.
Cloud service providers offer innate support for dedicated, on-premise servers. This enables organizations to communicate between the public and private clouds over a secure, private network.
3. Better Flexibility and Agility
The hybrid cloud offers great interoperability between in-house data center, private, and public clouds, which makes organizations more flexible and agile. Often, business units require rapid access to various IT resources and that is where a powerful hybrid cloud strategy comes to the rescue. It also helps businesses align their information and resources according to where they fit best.
For the quickly growing modern-day organizations, scaling up or down the existing, on-premise IT infrastructure can be both inefficient and expensive. Hybrid cloud proffers such organizations with the ability to tether existing infrastructure with a specific cloud strategy required at that particular time. It brings the unlimited cloud space to an organization’s disposal, empowering it to use it in accordance with its requirements. Hence, hybrid cloud models provide an on-time, cost-effective, and efficient scalability option for companies across the industry.
5. Risk Management
Hybrid cloud offers a risk-free experience to organizations embracing the cloud for the very first time. They can start by shifting some of their non-critical data and applications to the public cloud initially. Once they are confident enough about the safety and security of their data, they can consider using the services of that particular cloud service provider. It enables them to get their feet wet before completely migrating to the cloud.
6. Simplified Cost
While public clouds are believed to be more cost-efficient, private clouds tend to provide better security to the crucial company data. A hybrid cloud model brings perfect balance to organizations looking for both cost-effectiveness as well as security, offering the best of both worlds.
7. Better Control Over Big Data Analytics
The various centers of gravity that hybrid cloud offers make it a preferable choice for organizations dealing with Big Data. Both data and its relative analytical processes are stored according to their applications and requirements. Data important from an internal organization’s perspective remains on a private server, while that related to public and customer services can be stored on the public cloud.
8. Higher Level Support for a Remote Workforce
The on-demand and remote access to data and computational resources is still the fundamental reason behind cloud adoption. A hybrid cloud provides greater support for a remote workforce with multi-center access. The core, sensitive data on the private servers can be accessed only by internal, key people, while other services are available on the public cloud for widespread remote access through appropriate logins.
The scalability, elastic resources, and computational powers of a hybrid cloud strategy help businesses achieve greater customer satisfaction, better employee assistance, cost-effectiveness, and security, overall proving to be greatly beneficial for the organizations.
3 Frequently Asked Questions About Hybrid Cloud
Q1: What’s my path to the hybrid cloud?
A1: Here are key steps you should take when moving to a hybrid cloud:
- Assess the business objectives you want to achieve (e.g., agility, data center efficiency, etc.).
- Assess whether your current on-premises infrastructure is cloud-ready.
- Determine what cost reductions you want to prioritize.
- Determine new, cloud services-based business opportunities you want to pursue.
- Identify the on-premises infrastructure you need based on the expertise and effort required of your IT department (e.g., build your own, hyper-converged infrastructure, etc.).
- Determine how you plan to use the public cloud based on your software placement strategy.
- Install a hybrid cloud solution from a trusted vendor that helps you achieve your objectives above.
- Start by migrating proof-of-concept software to your hybrid cloud to optimize the deployment and ongoing operational process.
Q2: How long does it take to migrate to a hybrid cloud?
A2: It’s important to remember that migrating to a hybrid cloud strategy doesn’t mean hitting the ON switch and instantly moving from your present data center to a policy-based, hybrid cloud-based infrastructure. Numerous companies move to hybrid cloud in small increments, often one application at a time. Start by choosing an application that is suitable for being deployed on a hybrid cloud—one that is cloud-aware and able to run in a fully virtualized environment.
Q3: What are the cost parameters for migrating to a hybrid cloud?
A3: As with many IT decisions, your requirements and choices can result in greatly varying costs.
One driving factor is scale. How will you use the public cloud? How much on-premises, private cloud infrastructures do you need? Many vendors and manufacturers provide tools and methods to help you “size” your resource needs. We can help
with that effort.
Another factor is the path you take to build out the private cloud portion of your hybrid cloud strategy. This will impact the effort required (or not required) of your IT staff. While several large companies select to custom engineer their cloud infrastructure, small and medium businesses often choose assemble-to-order options, or converged and hyper-converged infrastructure solutions to reduce IT effort and costs.
One way to control costs is to start small with a single application or proof-of-concept pilot. Purchase just enough infrastructure to meet that need and to get IT more comfortable with cloud migration. Then you can add more workloads and infrastructure at your own pace.