What is a hybrid cloud?
Hybrid cloud is a combination of public and private cloud services. It may include on-premises data centres. Hybrid cloud allows data and information to be shared among different computing environments. Hybrid clouds combine the benefits of multiple types of cloud environments for greater efficiency and functionality within an organisation.
The different types of environments found in hybrid cloud are:
- Public cloud– A public cloud is a cloud service run by a third-party external provider. Public clouds are used by multiple organisations. Public cloud is cost-effective as companies do not have to purchase and maintain on-premises hardware and application infrastructure.
- On-premise private cloud– A private cloud is a cloud server dedicated to one organisation. On-premise private cloud is the responsibility of the company to manage, maintain and supervise.
- Hosted private cloud– Similar to an on-premise private cloud, hosted private clouds are dedicated to only one organisation but the servers are not located on the premises of the organisation. Rather the servers are hosted by third-party cloud providers. The organisation accesses the cloud over the internet instead of an internal network. However, unlike a public cloud, there is no multi-tenancy as the cloud servers are not shared with other organisations.
- Legacy deployment– Legacy deployments do not use cloud technologies at all. In this model, companies purchase software licenses, installing, and maintaining hardware in house, as well as installing all the software locally on employee computers.
How does the hybrid cloud work?
Hybrid cloud enables companies to deploy workloads between multiple computing environments and interchange them in accordance with computing needs and cost change. It connects multiple computers through a network and incorporates a single, unified management tool. It allows organisations to automate processes more efficiently.
Hybrid clouds are the foundation of cloud computing. A hybrid cloud has the following elements, much like all standalone cloud does:
- A local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), VPNs, and/or APIs to connect multiple computers together.
- Virtualisation, containers, or software-defined storage abstract resources
- Management software to allocate resources to environments where applications can run.
The high mobility between cloud environments allows more flexibility and agility in data deployment options. The architecture of a hybrid cloud environment varies depending on the business goals of an organisation.
What are the benefits of a hybrid cloud?
- Supports remote workforce better– Hybrid cloud allows access to data anytime, anywhere. Desktop virtualisation is a key advantage for companies with a distributed and remote workforce. Hybrid infrastructure better supports remote work environments. Companies can keep their sensitive data in on-premise datacentres while key applications and services can be made available on the public cloud. Such flexible and accessible cloud environments are critical to productivity and efficiency.
- Cost management– Maintaining a private cloud where the datacentres are on-premise can require significant investment. On the other hand, the public cloud offers resources and services that are accounted for as variable and operational expenses. Hybrid cloud users can choose to run workloads on either cloud environments for better cost management.
- Scalability– Hybrid cloud offers more resource options, making it easier to manage provision, deploy, and scale resources to changes in demand. The flexibility of data movement across the different cloud environments enables companies to move workloads to the public cloud when on-premise infrastructure is overloaded.
- Resilience– To increase resiliency, businesses can run workloads redundantly in both private and public environments. Components of one workload can also run in both environments and interoperate. This workflow functions as a fail-safe where the company never loses access to resources and data.
- Compliance– Due to regulations, certain data cannot be moved into a public cloud, mostly due to the sensitive nature of the data. With a hybrid infrastructure, organisations can keep data in a private environment while operating workloads in the cloud or they can operate workloads in a private data centre and move data to the public cloud as and when needed. This strategy can help companies to comply with regulations while keeping operational cost low and flexibility high.
Hybrid cloud is a cutting edge trend in cloud computing which can save companies money and make them for agile and resilient. It also offers superior security than that of traditional on-premise cloud infrastructure. Naturally, a hybrid cloud is a preferred choice for most competitive businesses.