Is there a strong business case for hybrid clouds?
While developers of Software as a Service (SaaS) and other cloud technologies have been busy creating powerful solutions for businesses of all sizes, the owners of some smaller companies are still reluctant to entrust all of their critical data to a public storage medium. But there’s only so long you can ignore the cloud’s significant financial and operational dividends.
Hybrid Cloud to the rescue
Compromise, in business as in life, is key. Hybrid Cloud solutions can offer businesses the flexibility and function of the public cloud while preserving the security of a private server. The trick is ignoring “all or nothing” approaches and finding the right blend of services to satisfy all of a customer’s requirements. Or, in other words, be creative and value innovation.
What is a hybrid cloud?
Hybrid computing involves combining both public cloud providers – such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Compute Engine (GCE), or Joyent Compute – with private, locally hosted resources.
Each infrastructure element is built to function independently, but nevertheless employ a high speed encrypted communication connection to simulate local network connectivity.
The hybrid model can be executed in various modes:
- Multiple independent providers collaborate to deliver both private and public services as a combined service.
- Individual providers provide complete end-to-end hybrid packages.
- Organizations running their own private resources sign up to a public cloud service that they then integrate within their infrastructure.
Benefits of hybrid cloud computing
A hybrid solution provides distinct benefits for small and medium-sized businesses looking to expand their computing reach. We know that the right public cloud provider can deliver world-class technology at a reasonable cost, but not everyone is entirely comfortable with public-cloud security.
Private clouds, when properly configured, can feel more secure, but often for a higher price. A hybrid solution that strategically partitions business processes among available locations (i.e., local or off-site), can sometimes work best of all.
- Flexibility and scalability – Access to cost-effective, secure, and scalable public resources offer organizations opportunities to explore a far wider range of operational possibilities…exactly when they’re needed.
- Cost – Cloud-based operations, when properly designed, can deeply reduce management and compute expenses even if some of your resources are still maintained locally.
- Security – A hybrid architecture that allows you to keep your sensitive data local can satisfy regulatory requirements without closing the door to the savings and efficiencies possible through cloud services.
- Performance and agility – Development cycles often require the frequent transfer of applications between private and public infrastructure elements, which can prove cheaper and more efficient using the existing connectivity of a hybrid model.
- Accessibility – Just as much as with purely public cloud deployments, hybrid applications can be accessed at any time from any Internet-ready device. This helps build a mobile business workflow and makes it easy to expand operations beyond any one particular geographic location.
- Hybrid clouds benefit from both private and public cloud infrastructure.
- Hybrid clouds make use of on-premise infrastructure in conjunction with public clouds to reduce the need for new programming and maintenance costs.
- Hybrid clouds provide improved and dependable data access.
- Hybrid cloud technologies are still quickly evolving. Their biggest challenge is ensuring dependable and secure access to a company’s complete IT infrastructure. Careful configuration and the right choice of a cloud partner can lead to a high-performance, low-failure deployment.