Technology management often includes weighing the benefits to the organization versus cost. The technology world has been rapidly changing from on-premise delivery to cloud-based solutions. IT managers need to consider the scalability that any investment can provide.
Competitive advantage can often come from agility. Companies that prepare to seize and leverage technology can obtain such advantages – if they react quickly enough and have the infrastructure to do so.
Optimizing the environment, such as the use of hybrid cloud, is key for driving growth. But what is hybrid cloud, and how can it benefit an organization?
What Is Hybrid Cloud Computing?
Adapting to change is a core principle of digital transformation. Part of this transformation includes examining the delivery models and technology that make the most sense for an organization. Your organization should consider cloud computing as part of its ongoing technology needs.
Cloud computing can refer to a number of things. It can include storage, data, delivery of software, analytics, and networks.
Businesses can opt to incorporate hybrid cloud computing. This is a combination of on-premise, public, and private cloud solutions. Hybrid cloud computing can create a much more customized data center for your business.
By using this approach, your organization can strike a balance between responsiveness and cost. You can make decisions about which solutions make the most sense in each deployment method.
Hybrid cloud can allow you to segregate different delivery methods based on the purpose of the data. Considerations may include:
- Sensitive data
- Security capabilities
- Cost benefits
- Innovation and future IT planning
Hybrid cloud solutions offer options that are best suited for even the most particular requirements. However, they can be complex to design as you make decisions about the delivery method for each system. These options include on-premise, public cloud, and private cloud.
On-Premise vs. Cloud Delivery
For a long time, on-premise software for most companies. IT managers installed products on the company’s own servers and behind its firewall. They offer reliability and security.
But cloud computing has grown in popularity over its flexibility for enterprises. Cloud delivery has everything from saving time and money to scalability.
You may want the extra layer of security that an on-premise solution may provide. However, you need to weigh the management and maintenance of such an environment. Your organization needs to consider the following with on-premise delivery:
- Staff for troubleshooting
- Backups and disaster recovery
- Storage limitations
- Licensing costs for any software applications
- Firewalls and other security
Cloud computing offers the same functionality as on-premise. The critical difference that a third-party service usually hosts the environment, though your organization could create its own cloud environment.
Companies only pay for the resources used. This offers the ability to scale up or down as needed. Cloud computing offers nearly instant provisioning because everything is already configured.
Companies must consider their needs and the pros and cons. The decisions are even more in-depth for companies operating under some form of regulatory control.
It could be that a hybrid of on-premise and cloud offerings is the best solution. You would then need to create integration between the two.
Public vs. Private Cloud
When companies make the decision to use cloud computing, there are essentially two options: public cloud and private cloud.
Public cloud is accessible by anyone in the world. While you own your data, your third-party provider controls the environment. This can be very cost-effective and have unlimited storage potential.
Security is one of the main disadvantages of public cloud. Anyone with an internet connection could potentially access your database or storage. However, there are some use cases where public cloud makes sense for companies, such as collaboration and backups.
While large public cloud providers are generally reliable, a major outage can be disruptive. You would have no control over the amount of downtime.
Private cloud is a dedicated cloud infrastructure for an organization. You could manage this internally or by a third-party service. Businesses have greater control and customization with private cloud than public cloud.
At the same time, businesses that maintain their own private cloud have more responsibility. This can include both security and compliance. The organization must also manage the scalability of private cloud.
Only people with authorization can access data stored within a private cloud. Credentials and security prevent unauthorized access. Private cloud could have some limitations on storage that would need to be considered.
If a third-party service handles the cloud computing, the service will handle the maintenance, security, and other controls. It usually is customized for any business use-case.
Why Select Hybrid Cloud Deployment?
Hybrid cloud can be any combination of public, private, and on-premise deployment. It offers the benefits of all three, allowing businesses to make decisions about which model makes the most sense for different applications.
In a hybrid environment, applications are integrated across the boundaries of public, private, and on-premise. You can expect that data will move around between the different environments.
A hybrid model also allows for businesses to change application delivery over time. What may work today for one application may not make sense in the future. With a hybrid model, the infrastructure is already in place for a migration from one environment to another.
Advantages of Hybrid Cloud Computing
An organization will have more control over its data with hybrid cloud. Stakeholders can choose an environment for each individual use case.
There are also cost savings since you can select an environment based on your individual needs. Rather than investing entirely in private cloud, for example, a business can determine that public cloud is sufficient for some applications.
Hybrid cloud offers a blend of control, performance, and scalability. Each hybrid cloud solution is unique to that organization’s needs. Because of this, you can optimize the environment for fast deployment.
Disadvantages of Hybrid Cloud Computing
To make the hybrid environment successful, integration is necessary. Organizations may not have the internal expertise to establish such a hybrid environment.
Security can also be more difficult to manage. Each environment may have different access levels and security considerations.
For organizations interested in the benefits of hybrid cloud but cannot create the environment themselves, they should look into consulting or third-party vendors for expertise.
Use Cases for Hybrid Cloud Computing
There are many instances where hybrid cloud computing makes the most sense for an organization. Businesses across many industries have taken advantage of hybrid solutions to improve computing, storage power, and physical space.
Some examples include the following:
Balancing Workloads: You may have data that widely varies in volume. You can take advantage of managing the dynamics between multiple environments.
Separation of Sensitive Data: Sensitive financial or customer information can be stored in a private cloud. Other enterprise applications can be stored in public cloud.
Data Processing: Organizations can run some big data analytics using public cloud resources while keeping other data behind a firewall.
Backups and Disaster Recovery: Every organization needs to have solutions in place for backups and DR. Depending on the sensitivity of the data and the volume, you can make choices about backing up on-premise, in the public cloud, or in the private cloud.
Making Changes as Needed: You can start with one environment and see what works best for your organization. You can make changes and expand or scale back on your cloud usage over time.
Temporary Needs: You can allocate cloud resources for short-term projects. Since you pay only for the space used, this makes sense instead of a long-term on-premise investment. You don’t want to pay more for something you will not need within a few months or a year.
Flexibility: You may not have any way of projecting future needs. You can have your hybrid cloud solution match your current needs while leaving options open for the future. You can select the right environment based on that application’s use case.
No Limits: Few businesses have only a single use case for their applications. There is no reason to be married to one solution. You can access the worlds of public cloud, private cloud, or on-premise.
The market for hybrid solutions has been skyrocketing in recent years. This is because hybrid cloud computing has been proven to be an effective model of storage. With an abundance of storage, a high level of security, and customization options, businesses can innovate the delivery of their applications.
Finding the Right Cloud Solution for Your Business
Businesses must ask themselves if a hybrid cloud delivery method makes the most sense. This involves considering cost, control, security, and compliance. Companies also need to consider the transition and find the right experts to help manage their cloud experience.