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What is Hybrid Cloud?

Hybrid Cloud is a mix of different cloud ‘types’ or environments. For example, it could include on-premise private clouds, externally hosted private clouds and public cloud services. It may be a mix of UK-based hosting services with global hyperscale public cloud services. Basically, it’s a hybrid mix of different clouds.

Many organisations choose hybrid cloud so that they can deploy their applications and data across a range of cloud environments, to suit their individual organisation’s needs and business challenges, such as reducing cost and increasing service agility.

Some organisations have a range of applications that can’t be put into the public cloud, for commercial or data protection reasons. In this case, many deploy some applications internally and other applications with a hosting provider in a private cloud environment, and the remaining applications with a public cloud services provider. Alternatively, they may consume their apps as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions.

Some hosting providers offer hybrid cloud solutions, where your different cloud environments are brought together and managed centrally, with the ability to move data and apps between environments easily. The hosting provider takes care of connecting the different cloud environments so that everything can ‘speak to each other’ and so that workloads can be moved from one cloud environment to another.

Advantages of Hybrid Cloud include:

  • Flexible policy-driven deployment to distribute workloads across public and private environments based on security, performance and cost requirements.
  • Scalability of public cloud is achieved without exposing sensitive IT workloads to the inherent security risks.
  • High reliability as the services are distributed across multiple data centres both public and private.
  • Improved security as sensitive IT workloads run on dedicated resources in private clouds while regular workloads are spread across inexpensive public cloud to trade-off for cost investments.

Suitable choice for:

  • Organisations serving multiple verticals facing different IT security, regulatory and performance requirements.
  • Optimising cloud investments without compromising on the value proposition of either public or private cloud technologies.
  • Improving security on existing cloud environment such as SaaS offerings that must be delivered via secure private networks.
  • Organisations that are still on their ‘cloud journey’. A hybrid cloud environment enables you to leverage the flexibility, scalability and the potential cost savings of the cloud without having to commit to moving all workloads to the cloud in one go.

Limitations:

  • It can get expensive.
  • Strong compatibility and integration are required between cloud infrastructure spanning different locations and categories. This is a limitation with public cloud deployments, for which organisations lack direct control over the infrastructure.
  • Additional infrastructure complexity is introduced as organisations operate and manage an evolving mix of private and public clouds.

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