What is Hybrid Cloud?
A hybrid cloud refers to mixed computing, storage, and service environment that runs on private cloud services, public cloud services and on-premise infrastructure. With a hybrid cloud, you can take advantage of each delivery method while mitigating the risks of choosing just one.
How does Hybrid Cloud work?
- Traditional Cloud Architecture.
This architecture focused on transforming some of the company’s data centres into the private cloud and then connecting that infrastructure to public clouds such as AWS, GCP or Microsoft Azure. This was achieved using sophisticated enterprise middleware to migrate resources across the environment plus managing these resources from one console.
- Modern Hybrid cloud.
Today’s hybrid cloud focuses more on the portability of application and data workloads across all cloud environments. In the modern hybrid cloud, public and private clouds are no longer hosted locally. Instead, it takes advantage of a unified hybrid platform that has features such as a single operating system across multiple environments, and a container orchestrator such as Kubernetes that automates the deployment of applications across cloud environments.
The modern hybrid cloud provides a virtual bridge for data transmission. It allows organizations to leverage cloud capabilities and create an interconnected and consistent computing environment that allows the movement of applications between environment APIs without compromising on productivity and security.
Hybrid Cloud Use Cases:
- Digital Transformation.
Hybrid cloud enables companies with application and data workloads to migrate parts of their IT infrastructure to the cloud and retain some of them on-premise. Companies can see what works for them through this migration and continue to expand as the need arises.
- Big Data Processing.
A hybrid cloud gives companies the ability to run periodic analytical queries on locally stored data using highly scalable public cloud resources.
- Temporary processing needs.
It is cheaper and faster to allocate public cloud resources as compared to using your data centres. This way, you don’t over-invest in equipment you will need only temporarily.
- Security and Regulatory Compliance.
In this kind of setup, resources that handle sensitive data such as customer information are reserved behind a firewall in a private cloud while less sensitive workloads are moved to the public cloud.
- Disaster Recovery.
A hybrid cloud helps organizations to replicate on-prem workload and backup data in the cloud. If there are disruptions in the data centres it is possible to do a quick recovery of the organization’s critical systems by harnessing the power of cloud immediate spin-up and failover.
Advantages of Hybrid Cloud.
- Flexibility and Scalability.
Public cloud platforms allow flexibility to provide IT resources at a short notice whenever needed. Demand may vary based on variables such as geographical location.
- Managed cash flows by minimizing capital expenditure.
The public cloud provides cost-effective IT resources without incurring capital expenses. You can quickly deploy, redeploy or scale resources while avoiding unnecessary expenses and matching resources with the tasks best suited for them.
- Security and regulatory compliance.
The hybrid cloud provides businesses with critical control over data and improves security by minimizing potential data exposure. Examples include hosting your sensitive/critical workloads in your private cloud and having the less critical workloads running on the public cloud.
- Business acceleration.
In hybrid cloud environments, there are faster release-to-market of products and shorter development cycles. Additionally, it is easier to integrate with other third parties to deliver new products and services.
Disadvantages of Hybrid Cloud.
- Complex access and management.
The public cloud in itself has its complexities in terms of authorization and authentication. In a hybrid setup, you must evaluate how your data will be accessed both on-premise and in the public cloud.
- Implementation difficulties.
Hybrid cloud infrastructure can indeed be complex to implement as it requires local infrastructure such as servers, storage and networking capabilities.
- Security concerns.
Due to the nature of the hybrid cloud, security vulnerabilities may be present. E.g data transfer within the hybrid cloud, authorization and authentication, and compliance concerns.
Maintaining visibility over a hybrid cloud setup can be complex. This makes it difficult to have a clear 360 view of the overall cloud environment.
Ultimately, hybrid cloud architecture can offer organizations a balanced solution between private, public cloud or on-premise environments.
While there may be advantages and disadvantages of this kind of setup, having the right partner to advise you helps your business to make the right decision.