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What is a Hybrid Cloud?

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A hybrid cloud, also referred to as a cloud hybrid, is a solution whereby data and applications run in a computing environment that includes a combination of public cloud, private cloud, and on-premises data center. Besides integrating the three, a hybrid cloud also facilitates their management, instrumentation, and application portability.

Hybrid cloud computing strategies have become more popular these days because very few companies rely exclusively on the public cloud. They enable enterprises to use their on-premises server or data center and, at the same time, take advantage of various public cloud options. For these reasons, many organizations are investing their time and resources in developing their on-premises infrastructure and adopting hybrid cloud.

Hybrid Cloud Solutions

When deployed in private or public clouds, these solutions comprise applications and their various components, such as networking, storage, and computing.

Today, there are more than 40 hybrid cloud service vendors in the market. This large number gives leaders many options when it comes to choosing the best public cloud services. AWS is currently the world’s most popular public cloud. Other reliable cloud providers are Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

Microsoft Azure is an excellent solution for hybrid cloud architects. Microsoft’s open-source frameworks make it easy for an organization to adopt Azure. Google Cloud has extensive hybrid cloud capabilities. Google’s access to big data makes this public cloud vendor ideal for complex computational needs.

How Hybrid Cloud Works

In a hybrid cloud strategy, organizations station workloads in public clouds or private IT environments and interchange them according to their computing and cost needs at different times. This model offers these enterprises more flexibility and data deployment options. Business owners should note that a hybrid cloud workload comprises of the network and the application’s hosting and web services.

Sometimes, people use the terms hybrid cloud and multicloud interchangeably. However, the two terms are different. A hybrid cloud generates a single environment where a company can run its on-premises, public and private cloud resources. With hybrid cloud, you can move your workloads freely between the private and public cloud, depending on the circumstance.

On the contrary, a multicloud environment involves more than one public cloud provider, such as Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services (AWS). However, it does not include the private clouds or on-premises resources like the hybrid cloud. It enables a company to combine the best cloud services from several cloud computing vendors and choose the most efficient cloud computing environment for its workload.

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Traditional Hybrid Cloud Architecture

Traditionally, the goal of hybrid cloud architecture was to achieve physical connectivity. This approach involved transforming sections of an organization’s on-premises data center into a private cloud setup and connecting it to public cloud environments.

To achieve this goal, companies needed to use a prepackaged hybrid cloud solution to integrate different cloud resources across different environments. They also required unified management tools to allocate, monitor, and manage resources from a central place.

Modern Hybrid Cloud Architecture

The modern hybrid cloud design focuses more on supporting the portability of a company’s workload across private and public cloud environments and automating the deployment of various tasks to the most viable cloud environment to achieve a specific business purpose.

Several factors have contributed to this shift from traditional to modern hybrid cloud architecture. For instance, this digital transformation supports reliable and consistent management and distribution across different cloud environments and cloud providers. Consequently, more firms are designing new applications and updating their legacy applications to take advantage of hybrid cloud native technologies.

In simple terms, organizations are building and adjusting their existing applications to use microservices architecture, which divides these applications into smaller, reusable components focused on particular business roles. They are also distributing these applications into lightweight executable entities that contain the application code and the simulated operating system components required to run it.

After running private clouds on-premises, organizations host them in off-premises data centers, dedicated infrastructure rented from public cloud providers, or virtual private networks (VPNs). Moreover, cloud vendors are providing public cloud services that run in the company’s on-premises data centers. This means that today, private and public cloud are not physical “locations” to integrate.

Infrastructure virtualization enables developers to create these environments using cloud or compute resources that are behind the firewall. This process, combined with the introduction of edge computing, enables developers to improve the performance of global applications by migrating data to the point where real computing happens.

Hybrid Cloud Scenarios

These processes lead to the creation of a hybrid cloud or a unified IT infrastructure that the organizations can use in various scenarios described below.

Big Data Processing

Processing big data continuously at a specific volume is almost impossible. However, a hybrid cloud enables you to use a scalable public cloud to run big data analytics and private clouds to improve the security of sensitive data behind a firewall.

Maintaining Security and Regulatory Compliance

Today, many industries, especially those dealing with sensitive data, have rules that indicate where an app can operate and the kind of data that a company can store in their local data center. Hybrid cloud infrastructure is the perfect solution for firms in the healthcare, banking, and finance sectors.

Hybrid cloud helps them use private clouds and public clouds while still adhering to these regulations. For example, it enables firms to use public cloud resources for unregulated and less-sensitive workloads and reserve the private cloud resources for complex and highly-regulated tasks.

Resilience and Scalability

The hybrid cloud architecture also enables organizations to use public cloud storage resources to respond to the unplanned increase in traffic by scaling up quickly, automatically, and cost-effectively without affecting the private cloud workloads.

Fast Adoption of New Technology

With hybrid cloud, you can easily adopt the latest SaaS solutions or incorporate them into your current applications without creating new on-premises infrastructure or a local data center.

Improving Legacy Applications

Another use case well-suited for the hybrid cloud or integrated IT infrastructure is using public cloud services to enable app users to have a better experience.

Resource Optimization

The hybrid cloud approach allows organizations to monitor workloads with a specific capacity on the private cloud and move the variable tasks to the public cloud. This process saves costs because you could use the public cloud to optimize the available resources and eliminate the need to purchase more IT equipment.

Flexibility for the Future

A business’ needs change frequently. A hybrid cloud approach enables you to use the private cloud, public cloud, and on-premises resources or data center to meet your needs and match your company’s data management requirements.

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Hybrid Cloud Benefits

Having a single, flexible, unified, and cost-effective IT infrastructure enables an enterprise to enjoy the services of private computing and public computing. The hybrid cloud also offers other benefits described below.

Flexibility

Enterprises use various data types in different environments and modify their infrastructure accordingly. A hybrid cloud approach enables these organizations to shift their workload between traditional systems and modern cloud technology as customer demands, market conditions, costs, and business needs change.

Furthermore, you can efficiently allocate necessary resources to each environment when and where you need them. Hybrid cloud also enables businesses to adopt the right innovative solutions and choose the best management and service model from the different public cloud vendors.

Speed

Another benefit of a hybrid cloud is that it enables an enterprise to optimize its IT performance. This process further enables it to deliver products and services faster. You can use hybrid cloud to custom-design the private cloud to minimize latency and optimize an application’s speed, performance, and efficiency.

Effective Application Governance

One of the primary advantages of a hybrid cloud solution is that it enables you to determine the position of your application and the right place for hybrid computing to happen. Doing so improves the privacy, security, and compliance of the regulated applications.

Cost Management

Hybrid cloud is cost-effective. Running private and public clouds resources requires resources. Maintaining an on-prem data center is expensive and involves fixed costs. A public cloud is less resource-intensive because it requires variable operational expenses. With a hybrid cloud, you can choose to run your workloads in the environment that you think is more cost-effective for your organization.

Scalability and Development

Greater scalability is one of the primary reasons why many organizations are adopting a hybrid cloud strategy today. With a hybrid cloud environment, a business can scale its resources and use them to optimize its performance, depending on its changing needs.

Moreover, hybrid cloud enables a company to deploy more compute and storage capacity in minutes to enable enterprises to quickly respond to new business opportunities and improve their competitiveness in the market.

Improved Return on Investment

Incorporating a public cloud provider into your organization’s existing on-premises infrastructure gives you an excellent opportunity to expand your cloud computing capacity without spending more resources on your data center. Additionally, you increase your customer base and create more profits.

Ensures Data Privacy

Some organizations deal with sensitive data, such as patients’ healthcare information and customers’ credit card numbers. Such data is vulnerable to security issues, such as hacking. Hybrid cloud strategies enable these firms to manage and guard this private data.

Agility

The likeliness of a business to survive and gain a competitive advantage in this digital era depends on its ability to adjust and adapt to changes in its environment. Using the Hybrid cloud strategy enables a business to connect its on-prem infrastructure with its cloud resources to become more agile.

In summary, more businesses are adopting the hybrid cloud approach because of its benefits. Hybrid cloud enables you to align your organization’s IT priorities with its business needs. 

At Kennected, we help you save time and simplify opportunities. With our help, you can create different hybrid cloud solutions and share data efficiently across the private cloud, public cloud, and on-prem infrastructure at a pace that suits your business.

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