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It is a rare pleasure to both have ones cake and eat it. But that is precisely what next generation, hybrid cloud, offers organisations looking to reduce the cost whilst increasing control of the technology that underpins modern, digital business.
Hybrid cloud refers to mixed computing, storage, and services environments that blend on-premises infrastructure, private cloud services, and a public cloud. By deploying a composite of public clouds, on-premises computing, and private clouds in a data centre, a business develops a hybrid cloud infrastructure.
Why hybrid, part 1: early gains
In a world where cloud computing is a necessity, but risks to cloud migration persist, hybrid cloud infrastructure addresses many immediate concerns. These typically include the confidentiality of information, issues with existing architecture and the perceived loss of control of data and processes.
These concerns fuel a hybrid cloud market that is predicted to grow by $97.6 billion by the end of 2023.
The original idea behind hybrid cloud is simple enough: combine the security and control of a private cloud with the scale, flexibility and lower cost of public clouds. This delivers the best of both worlds as businesses look to take control of the data that will fuel their performance and growth.
However, thinking has evolved. Amidst the presence of so many options between on-premise private or public clouds, forward-thinking businesses have seized on the possibility of even greater benefits.
Why hybrid, part 2: managing growth
With multiple options comes the idea of the right (or better) clouds for specific workloads. For example, public options such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure are ideal for application testing and development. By comparison, private clouds are better suited to deployment or storage.
But multiple options also means management – not only to ensure smooth operation of multiple clouds, but to ensure a strategic and harmonious evolution, based on optimisation. It is at this point that we enter the realms of orchestration.
Orchestration is more than just putting the right workload into the right cloud. It is a comprehensive breakdown of a given process, usually expressed as a series of discrete steps that lead to a desired outcome.
Orchestration tools ensure that a given process occurs consistently each time with minimum human intervention. This enables the process to be iterated to cut costs. By reducing the possibility of human error, orchestration also enhances security, reduces time spent troubleshooting and improves compliance related to IT activities. It means not only is the right workload put in the right place, but it is done so in the right way.
Where hybrid can go
This hints at the strategic impact that hybrid cloud can have upon a business. The potential disadvantages of less control and higher opex that arise from public cloud, are covered by the lower long-term costs and greater customisation of the private cloud.
Likewise, the threatened negatives of a private cloud – the cost, responsibility and potential lack of flexibility, are met with the scalability and reduced capex of public cloud.
All of this demands a proactive approach from businesses, where the use of a hybrid architecture is continually maximised. Awareness and separation of workloads is critical, but this is a small price to pay for the optimised performance, cost and control that a next-generation, hybrid cloud strategy and architecture can deliver.
Don't forget to check back for part 2 of our mini-series "Engineering tomorrow, today: hybrid cloud at the edge"
In the meantime, click below to find out more about the benefits of hybrid cloud.