Hybrid cloud is a combination of private cloud with one or more public cloud services. Garter defines a hybrid cloud service as a cloud computing service that is composed of a combination of private, public and community cloud services from different providers. Hybrid cloud offers the flexibility of moving workloads between clouds. It enables organizations to have full control of sensitive data in a private cloud, while leveraging all the resources of public cloud services.
Statistics show that 94% of enterprises already use cloud services and the public cloud market is expected to exceed $623 billion by 2023. The cloud is already an integral part of IT operations and that’s not going to change any time soon.
There are several types of cloud environments, such as public, private, hybrid, and multi-cloud. Each has its own advantages and it’s important to identify which environment, or a combination of them will meet your corporate requirements.
It’s also important to identify which network infrastructure would be more appropriate, whether on-premises or off-premises, or some combination of both. the decision, of course, will depend on specific needs.
Public cloud services are often more affordable than deploying private cloud environments, making public cloud more appealing to many businesses. However, for companies that require extensive computing power, private cloud makes more sense. Private cloud services cost more up front, but can be more economical in the long run.
Investing in a private cloud environment is a worthwhile IT capital expense for many businesses since it can be listed as property or equipment and depreciated on your tax return.
Many choose a public cloud provider to save money while having flexibility and scalability, but some companies also require a private environment, so they utilize a hybrid cloud environment to satisfy all of their needs.
Hybrid cloud is a mix of public and private cloud environments and often includes the use of on-premise legacy infrastructure where appropriate. When managed correctly, hybrid cloud environments tightly connect multiple environments to function as one infrastructure.
There are multiple reasons that organizations opt for utilizing a hybrid cloud architecture. Functionality, flexibility and redundancy are the 3major reasons to deploy a hybrid cloud infrastructure.
Multiple technologies blended together provide greater functionality and efficiency than each technology provides on its own.
For example, it’s not practical to run big data processing in a private cloud, but it’s easy in a public cloud environment. Having access to public and private clouds that work together provides the best of both worlds without forcing a business to choose one or the other.
You might want to run some of your workloads from a private cloud to maintain certain high security standards as required by law, while using a public cloud environment for employee emails and team project collaborations.
Since a hybrid cloud is a mix of on-and-off premises IT resources, including public and private cloud infrastructure, it offers great flexibility. It gives more control over the data, and enables companies to move data quickly and easily. For example, you can save local storage space by automatically moving all files that haven’t been used in the last year over to your cloud server, where they can be archived at low cost. Similar rules can be created to move any type of data as needed to fit your workflow and data retention policies.
In any cloud environment, downtime is the enemy. Many cloud providers guarantee 99.9% and even 100% uptime and can usually meet these promises because they’ve got a massively structured system behind those guarantees. For example, service interruptions can be avoided when one cloud environment is programmed to automatically take over for a crashed cloud environment.
It’s not that a hybrid cloud server doesn’t experience downtime, but the appearance of downtime is avoided due to a quick automated takeover.
Having multiple clouds that each store the same backup creates a redundancy that can facilitate instant backups in any cloud environment.
Although firewalls and endpoint security are both vital, they’re not enough to keep a cloud environment secure. You also have to think about additional security threats like employees accessing the network from unsecured public Wi-Fi, BYOD policies, mobile applications that may not be secure, and the inability to see threats that arrive via SSL (encrypted) traffic.
With public and private cloud, businesses no longer directly manage their infrastructure. This makes cloud security more complex to manage than on-premises security. Especially in more advanced cloud computing technologies like serverless, where the security perimeter is around the function and not the platform running the function. And this complexity is multiplied with hybrid-cloud deployments, where companies need to apply the same security policies across different deployments using different public and private cloud vendors.
Although hybrid cloud environments require security like any other cloud environment, it’s not impossible to achieve even in a serverless environment or when using multiple cloud vendors. For example, managed cloud security solutions will secure multiple environments, whether it’s Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform (GCP).