On-premise and cloud computing environments come with their own strengths and limitations, and it may not be obvious which is and which is not right for you. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel. According to IT decision-makers, the ideal solution may lie somewhere in between: the hybrid solution.
What is a hybrid cloud?
The hybrid cloud solution combines private cloud services, public cloud services and on-premises tech and provides management and application portability across all three. That results in a single, cohesive, and flexible distributed computing environment where you can run and upscale your cloud-native or traditional workloads in the most appropriate, even advanced computing model.
The architecture of a hybrid cloud, on the other hand, can be quite different. It can be a combination of on-premise infrastructure with a public cloud, a combination of private cloud and a public cloud, or a combination of multiple private clouds, public clouds, and on-premises infrastructure. No matter the setup you choose, every hybrid cloud architecture share common traits:
- Network connections: on-premises infrastructure, private cloud, and public clouds are connected. Proper cloud deployment can’t be possible without network connectivity.
- Data integration: synchronisation of data across your public and no-public infrastructure can be challenging. This will require you to implement additional hybrid cloud solutions to automatically ensure data consistency.
- Unified management: in the best-case scenario, hybrid cloud management is handled by a single tool, removing the need to manage each cloud separately.
Understanding the need for hybrid cloud solutions
According to a 2020 report by Flexera, the amount of money going into cloud solutions doesn’t exceed the amount most organisations spend on-premises. Yet, an entirely on-premises IT infrastructure is costly to run and maintain, especially as a business expands and more server space is needed.
On the other hand, public clouds provide the necessary means for scalability and seamless management as the cloud provider takes care of the maintenance of infrastructure. While public clouds may be cheaper, they provide less flexibility and control over critical parts such as storage security. To prevent ever-present cloud security risks and concerns and ensure a swifter and safer workflow, increasingly more organisations opt for hybrid clouds. This not only helps them avoid ongoing security threats but also balances the advantages and disadvantages of public clouds and private infrastructure. As the needs and cost requirements change, transferring tasks between private and public clouds provides businesses with the security and flexibility they need.
Hybrid cloud architecture combines the best of both worlds
Early-stage and big-name businesses will benefit greatly from the use of a hybrid IT model. In fact, the implementation of hybrid IT solutions will give your business the benefits of on-premises tech combined with the flexibility and power of cloud-based systems.
Increasingly more companies employ public cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) to process some workloads while preserving others in their private clouds, whether for regulatory compliance, costs, or technical reasons. The hybrid cloud architecture comes to the rescue of organisations- especially mid-to-large organisations that often rely on their private cloud solutions for mission-critical applications and legacy infrastructure. Here are some key advantages of making the switch to a hybrid model:
1. Ensures seamless migration and flexibility
Hybrid cloud architecture ensures organisations’ seamless migration of the front-end and stateless application to the cloud while still maintaining legacy on-premises applications and servers whose data cannot be migrated to the cloud due to governance or regulatory issues.
Another, and perhaps one of the primary advantages of the hybrid cloud model, is its flexibility. We all know that managing a complex on-premises IT infrastructure takes financial power and time, let alone adding capacity. The cloud is already set to provide IT resources whenever needed with little time for preparation.
For data storage users, private cloud storage offers the highest speed access since private clouds are generally located-on premises. This helps prevent seasonal spikes when demand exceeds resources available in the private clouds and vice-versa.
2. Reduces the potential exposure of data
Another advantage of hybrid cloud computing is that it gives businesses more control over their sensitive and critical data. According to cloud solution experts at Nutanix, companies are given the ability to choose which data needs to be stored in a private cloud based on the latest security and compliance guidelines.
Typically, organisations in some industries must follow privacy and data security regulations such as:
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
- European General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR)
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
With a hybrid cloud solution, companies are exempt from building data cantered in each country they operate in. They are allowed to store locally collected customer data in public cloud environments that are GDPR compliant.
3. Better support for distributed and remote employees
Recent findings hint that the top reason for cloud implementation was access to data from anywhere at any time. Seamless access on desktops is a key advantage for businesses with a massively remote workforce.
A hybrid cloud model gives enterprises the flexibility to support their remote and distributed employees with ongoing access to data that isn’t limited to one central location.
To cut to the chase, businesses with a hybrid cloud architecture can have the best of both worlds. They can migrate any critical or sensitive data to their prime on-site servers while making important services and applications available on the public cloud. With the right logins, the remote workforce can access the public cloud from any location at any time.
As increasingly more people shift to a hybrid or remote work model (sometimes working across different time zones), providing straightforward and flexible cloud environments will be critical for attracting top talent and boosting efficiency and productivity business-wide.
Last but not least, a hybrid cloud architecture can drive innovation, making it easier for tech firms to build new services and meet the ever-changing needs of their customers.