A term that is increasingly making an appearance would surely be that of the hybrid cloud, which is a deployment that entails the use of both the public and private cloud. Indeed, hybrid cloud is on its way to hitting mainstream adoption, according to analyst firm Gartner. So why is there a growing interest in hybrid cloud deployments, and what exactly what does it offer to the enterprise?
Before we answer this question, it makes sense to start by taking a closer look at the various strengths of the public cloud, as well as some of its limitations.
Examining the public cloud
There is no question that the public cloud, with its centrally deployed servers and cloud-centric architecture offers a number of notable advantages over traditional on-premises IT deployments. For one, there is no upfront costs for businesses to contend with, while scaling up is only a few mouse clicks away and not the usual weeks or months long wait to procure, deliver, install and deploy new servers.
Moreover, the cloud is also highly elastic, allowing organizations to rent compute and storage capacity in highly granular time units measured by hours – or even minutes. This allows for much more efficient use of IT resources, and ensures that web capacity for e-commerce sites, for instance, could be doubled or tripled for festive periods at the fraction of the cost of buying new hardware.
Yet it would be foolhardy to pretend that the public cloud has no downsides at all. Chief among them would undoubtedly be the increased operational expenditure (OPEX) that can add up to a significant amount over time. Moreover, compliance rules and security considerations may preclude storing certain types of data outside the organization, potentially preventing the use of cloud in certain industry segments.
The best of both worlds
On its part, a hybrid cloud deployment essentially allows businesses to leverage the various strengths of the public clouds while skirting around some of its drawbacks. Put simply, a hybrid cloud architecture makes it possible to blend both public cloud and on-premises deployments promises to resolve considerations pertaining to cost, compliance, and control.
Mundane processing could be performed by on-premises servers, while spikes in demand during peak seasons could instead be offloaded to public cloud servers. Administrators are also able to keep utilization high, safe in the knowledge that any spikes in demand could be offloaded to the cloud. This increases cost efficiency, and effectively brings down the overall cost of delivering IT services.
In a similar vein, data such as personally identifiable information (PII) and other sensitive information could be kept on-site, while less sensitive data or encrypted backups could be delegated to the public cloud. Finally, critical services such as authentication could be located on-premises, and integrated with cloud services to ensure manageability and full control by the enterprise.
Ultimately, it is easy to see why the hybrid cloud is gaining the interest of businesses looking to tap into the public cloud. If a pure public deployment is your cup of tea though, you may also want to read about “Three top misconceptions of the public cloud” here.
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