When it comes to cloud environments, businesses today search for efficiency, agility, and flexibility of resources. The hybrid cloud is an excellent option for businesses with evolving IT infrastructures that focus on efficiency, scalability, and data security.
This article explains everything you need to know about the hybrid cloud and its infrastructure, how it works, and its benefits.
What Is Hybrid Cloud?
A hybrid cloud combines the elements of public and private cloud environments into an aggregated solution. It allows organizations to host sensitive data and applications in the private cloud while simultaneously utilizing the resources of the public cloud. This helps them optimize the IT infrastructure through the scalability, cost-effectiveness, and agility this combination offers.
Learn about the phoenixNAP hybrid computing solutions and choose the right one for your organization.
How Does Hybrid Cloud Work?
A hybrid cloud allows data and applications to move seamlessly between the public and private environment based on the changing business needs and workloads. The public cloud is suitable in cases of sudden spikes in demand for resources or when testing during development phases. While doing so, sensitive data can reside in the private cloud for additional security.
Hybrid Cloud Components
Two components of a hybrid cloud are public and private.
- The private component. Located within the organization’s own data center or a dedicated hosting solution. It provides a controlled environment for storing sensitive data, applications, and workloads. The private component also manages compliance and ensures data sovereignty over the organization’s cloud assets. A single organization is the only user of the dedicated resources, which guarantees security and performance stability without noisy neighbors.
- The public component. Offered by external cloud service providers, such as Azure, AWS, or Google Cloud. The CSPs provide on-demand resources and easy scalability for organizations to suit their fluctuating workloads. In addition, public clouds allow access to their data centers across the globe, so the geographic location does not affect latency and access times.
Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure
The hybrid cloud infrastructure combines physical and virtual components of private and public clouds by using dedicated lines, virtual private networks (VPNs), or software-defined networking (SDN) technologies.
In the private cloud, organizations either invest in personal data centers or outsource data center services (such as colocation or data center as a service) to set up their infrastructure. They decide how many resources they need for their data and applications and may choose to ensure on-premises maintenance and management or opt for managed private cloud services provided by third-party vendors.
On the other hand, in the public cloud, the infrastructure is managed solely by the cloud service provider. The data centers exist in all parts of the world, allowing remote access to resources to all users, no matter their location. Organizations utilize these resources based on the pay-as-you-go method, which saves money and allows easy scalability when needed.
Learn about the differences between the multi-cloud and the public cloud to choose your best option.
Hybrid Cloud Benefits
Hybrid cloud offers many advantages for your business. The section below provides a list of the most prominent hybrid cloud benefits.
- Scalability. Hybrid cloud resources are easily scaled on demand to fit changing workloads.
- Cost-effectiveness. A hybrid cloud allows users to optimize their cloud computing costs by allocating resources based on their consumption.
- Business continuity. A hybrid cloud provides easy disaster recovery in case of data losses or other disruptions to business operations.
- Global reach. Hybrid clouds allow access to resources and data centers from all over the world.
- Innovation and agility. The hybrid cloud offers the most advanced solutions to organizations to keep them competitive in the market.
- Vendor diversity. A hybrid cloud prevents vendor lock-in by allowing organizations to freely choose the most suitable cloud hosting option.
- Resource optimization. A hybrid cloud ensures the best resource optimization so that no service remains underutilized.
- Easy integration. Hybrid clouds allow organizations to smoothly transition between old systems and modern cloud solutions.
- Availability. Hybrid clouds are designed with redundancy and failover mechanisms that prevent disruptions and guarantee high availability.
- Data security and compliance. A hybrid cloud ensures the highest data security and compliance with regulatory standards.
For more information, refer to our guide to hybrid cloud security.
Challenges of Hybrid Cloud Implementation
However, implementing a hybrid cloud also brings some challenges:
- Complexity. Implementation of a hybrid cloud requires a high level of expertise to avoid potential disruptions along the line.
- Skills gap. Between the public and the private cloud, there is a different set of skills for implementation and management. The staff must be equipped with the knowledge of both to successfully handle the hybrid cloud implementation.
- Data mobility. Organizations must ensure a seamless transition of data between the two clouds, which is a challenging task that includes adjustments and system integrations.
- Performance uncertainty. While the private cloud guarantees uninterrupted performance, the public cloud comes with a set of challenges that the hybrid cloud should remediate.
- Governance and control. Private and public clouds have different permissions and levels of transparency for their data centers.
- Resource underutilization: Hybrid cloud services could be underutilized if the organization does not properly plan resource utilization to save costs.
- Cost management. Predicting expenses between the public and the private cloud can be challenging and lead to unexpected costs.
Who Should Use a Hybrid Cloud Solution?
A hybrid cloud is a suitable solution for businesses that wish to utilize the best of both worlds in cloud hosting. Organizations with limited budgets benefit from hybrid clouds due to their cost-effectiveness.
Global companies that require remote access to data centers all around the world find hybrid cloud a smart solution for their business, especially if their industry includes strict regulatory and compliance demands. A hybrid cloud is also suitable for fast disaster recovery and an uninterrupted business operation.
Striking the Perfect Balance
A hybrid cloud is a dynamic solution for organizations that wish to combine the scalability, agility, and flexibility of public and private clouds. The hybrid cloud architecture has huge potential to bring out the best in organizations from all industries, so keep this in mind when choosing your cloud service provider and cloud hosting environment.