What Is a Hybrid Cloud?

Apr 05, 2019

What Is a Hybrid Cloud?

BY Tobias Geisler Mesevage

Let's Get Technical
  • What Does Hybrid Cloud Mean?

  • Does a Hybrid Cloud Fit Into My Business Model?

Cloud services allow an organization to store, manage and process data more effectively than with traditional computing when enterprises had to store information on a local server or personal computer. 

The cloud’s architecture is composed of several layers and configurable computing resources like:

  • User applications and services

  • Application development and management tools

  • Cloud infrastructure management services

  • Networking

  • Storage

  • Servers and virtualizations

  • Data center

Further, each resource and layer is valuable to the unique services of an enterprise:

  • SaaS applications

  • PaaS tools and services 

  • IaaS hardware and software

By dividing the cloud into layers, and designating resources into each layer, end-users can quickly and easily acquire resources on-demand, regardless of their need for SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS services. And, as technology evolves, cloud infrastructure has also changed for faster, cheaper, and more agile accessibility to resources. 

Public Cloud 

Services within a public cloud are rented out by service providers. Tenants only pay for services and resources within the cloud that they actually use. And because public cloud services providers are responsible to manage cloud resources, they are much faster and cost-effective for companies to test new products and help with development environments. 

Public clouds usually refer to shared servers and resources, but services providers may also offer dedicated instances or single hardware for one client.  

Public cloud space is especially useful for organizations to:

  • Speed up testing and releasing of new products and applications

  • Allow development teams to deploy tools required to their processes, like test and development environments

  • Provide web-based email and CRM options

Some businesses move into the public cloud for human resources and accounting functions. The heaviest hitters in the enterprise public cloud space are currently Amazon AWS, Azure, Google, IBM, and Rackspace. 

Private Cloud

With a private, on-premise cloud, the enterprise owns all aspects of the cloud’s infrastructure. And, as the only tenant in a private cloud, an enterprise has full ability to control and customize the space to fit its needs. 

For that reason, private clouds are best used to support core business applications, like:

    • Research

    • Manufacturing

    • Supply chain management

    • Big data

    • Mission critical business functions

Private cloud helps give employees a public cloud experience, but in a controlled way. Private clouds tend to have higher levels of security and service level agreement (SLA) metrics but also come at a much higher cost than public clouds, as organizations are responsible for the hosting, servers, infrastructure and security. 

Hybrid Cloud

If distinct sets of your organization’s data or mode of operations require varied solutions, hybrid clouds are a way to take advantage of the benefits on-premises and off-premises IT resources, while minimizing drawbacks like cost and security concerns. 

To start, hybrid clouds allow businesses to leverage managed service while using existing IT infrastructure to house critical data. This helps businesses meet both privacy and security requirements.

Additionally, most businesses don’t require the same amount of computation power each day. So, cloud bursting is an added benefit of a hybrid cloud. Because hybrid clouds give businesses the option to move between private and public clouds as computing needs and costs change, they can theoretically run an application in a private cloud or data center and move (or ‘burst’) into a public cloud when the demand for computing capacity spikes.

Cloud bursting means an organization only pays for extra compute resources when they are needed.

The Bottom Line

As a whole, cloud computing is a cheaper and faster resource than storing data on personal computers and promotes productivity and innovation. But with every business’s needs and existing infrastructure capabilities, cloud service needs will vary. 

Hybrid cloud can be a great option for businesses with a private cloud infrastructure already in place and can be an effective way to align IT priorities with business needs. However, managing a hybrid cloud is a complex task because each cloud solution has its own API, storage management protocols, networking capabilities.

If you have any confusion, always consult with professionals when determining which type of cloud service is best for your organization.