More and more, businesses are seeing the advantages of investing in the Cloud. However, there are still some limits in terms of commercial interest. These include worries about speed and latency, security, compliance and data portability.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a single Cloud model that fits every organisation. There are two main types of Cloud: public and private. Some companies benefit from the simple economy and convenience of a public Cloud, whilst others require the extra security and customisation of a private Cloud. There are also many businesses that need to go to the public Cloud with non-sensitive data, but still require a secure solution for their critical systems and information, or because their regulatory environment needs a private Cloud. This article explains what the hybrid Cloud is, and how to successfully deploy a hybrid Cloud solution.
What is a hybrid Cloud?
A hybrid Cloud is an integrated Cloud service which uses both private and public Clouds to execute certain functions within the same organisation. Usually in a hybrid solution, public Cloud services are employed for all non-sensitive operations, but use the private Cloud where necessary. With this, an organisation can make sure their platforms are seamlessly integrated, and maximise the efficiency of their business processes.
Hybrid Cloud models can be set up in a few different ways:
- Separate Cloud providers combine to offer both private and public services as an integrated solution
- Individual Cloud providers offer a comprehensive hybrid package
- Businesses who handle their private Clouds themselves sign up to a public Cloud service which they can then integrate into their infrastructure.
With a hybrid Cloud, there is no need to use Cloud-hosted storage for all, or indeed any, of your data. Instead, data can exist on-site, in a private Cloud or a public Cloud, depending on your performance requirements, the relevant economics, regulatory compliance, and your risk assessment. Such an approach permits companies to reap the benefits of Cloud storage without exposing mission-critical data.
What are the benefits of hybrid Cloud storage?
- Scalability – Though private Clouds can offer a certain amount of scalability depending on their configurations, public Clouds can offer scalability with fewer boundaries as resources are taken from the larger Cloud infrastructure. By transferring as many non-sensitive functions as possible to the public Cloud, your business can profit from public Cloud scalability whilst easing the demands of the private Cloud.
- Cost efficiency – As public Clouds can provide better economies of scale, such as centralised management, than private Clouds, so too can they provide improved cost efficiency. Therefore, hybrid Clouds can let businesses access these savings for as many business functions as possible whilst ensuring sensitive business processes remain secure.
- Security – The private Cloud component of the hybrid Cloud model delivers security for sensitive business processes, as well as satisfying regulatory obligations for data handling and storage.
- Flexibility – the availability of both secure resources and scalable cost-effective private resources allow businesses to benefit from different operational approaches.
How to set up a successful hybrid Cloud
Hybrid Clouds are more complex than a purely public or private system because consideration needs to be put into which workloads specifically will be handled publicly or privately. As a result, there is a lot to consider when implementing a hybrid solution in order to acquire the most cost-effective system without compromising on scalability and security.
It's near impossible to find your perfect solution without understanding what exactly you need from it. In order to find this out, it’s vital to undertake a comprehensive assessment of your needs. So if your business would benefit from a solution that has a service provider handle the software needed to run certain applications such as email, HR software or marketing apps, then you can ensure your hybrid Cloud is equipped to deal with this.
You may also need to think about whether or not moving applications and data storage to the Cloud would significantly loosen the workload of your IT department. The Cloud can deal with some of the more troublesome aspects of IT, such as maintenance and fixing crashed systems, which frees your team up to work on more important aspects of the business, or gives them more time to be creative in terms of helping to organisation to succeed.
Another consideration is whether you build your own Cloud environment or lease private Cloud space on a third-party service from a provider like Microsoft or Amazon. This frees up the need to design and handle a single-tenant Cloud environment, which will be taken care of by another company.
Does your company have specialists that can implement a hybrid Cloud, or will you need assistance from Cloud consultants and other specialists? If your organisation is relatively small, then you may need more help to transition to a Cloud environment.
Once you have assessed your requirements, you then need to look at the applications that you’re thinking about moving into the Cloud and work out how sensitive or important it is to core business. There are a lot of different configurations of a hybrid solution you could go with, with different mixes of public and private Cloud. You also want to be sure that the system’s security capabilities match, or surpass, your current practices and what you will need in the future.
Cloud Services are fast becoming the norm for any modern business. However, there are so many solutions available that spending time finding the right system for you can cost your business a significant amount of time and money, and runs the risk of you implementing a solution that isn’t ideal.
Software Advisory Service can help you find the right Cloud service for your needs. We offer expert, non-chargeable buying advice to help find the right system for you, and can provide a shortlist of potential vendors depending on your specific requirements. Complete the form here so that we can find the solution you need today!