Enterprises migrating to the cloud are often faced with the dilemma of choosing between public or private cloud. The right way forward is to choose the one that best suits your organization's workloads, and that could be public, private or even a mix of both.
According to the RightScale State of the Cloud Report, 2019:
- 58% of respondents stated that hybrid cloud is their preferred approach
- 17% opted for multiple public clouds
- Just 10% opted for a single public cloud provider.
So what exactly is a hybrid cloud?
It is the combination of both public and private cloud solutions, where the resources are typically orchestrated as an integrated infrastructure environment. This allows the movement of app and data workloads between private and public clouds in a flexible way as demands, needs, and costs change, giving businesses greater flexibility and more options for data deployment and use.
We take a look at why hybrid cloud is often considered the best strategy, and when should enterprises go for it.
Why go for a Hybrid Cloud strategy
A hybrid cloud strategy brings both public and private cloud environments together, giving enterprises the benefits of combining the best of both worlds:
The presence of a public cloud environment ensures:
- Cost-effectiveness and scalability, which are often a primary reason for deploying the cloud
- Instant provisioning for compute and storage resources on demand, making it easy to handle rapid and seasonal growth
- Delivery of AI powered services exclusively through the cloud
A private cloud environment offers:
- Quick delivery of information, using an on-premise server. Thus a disruption to internet connectivity does not bring business operations to a standstill
- High levels of customization and compliance regulations.
The combined deployment of these approaches, with a hybrid cloud, provides extended benefit to enterprises in the form of:
Hybrid cloud solution offers each business the flexibility to choose what pertains to their needs in any specific scenario.oSO depending on their requirements, businesses can deploy the best in-class hardware, software, or services for their use.
Additionally, since there is no vendor lock-in constraints, businesses don’t need to compromise on their IT solution quality. Further, the hybrid approach allows for a flexible policy-driven deployment, that enables the distribution of workloads across public and private infrastructure environments based on security, performance and cost requirements.
For scalability in services or accounts, public cloud solution is the best route. But this brings with it the inherent risks of exposing sensitive IT workloads across the inexpensive public cloud infrastructure.
The private cloud component on the other hand, provides the lowest latency and the best security for sensitive information.
A hybrid cloud strategy thus comes to the rescue, providing the scalability of public cloud, and security of the private cloud environment.
The use of a private cloud infrastructure provides dedicated resources to IT workloads, improving their security status. A hybrid approach thus addresses the needs of businesses who not only require the fast and flexible development options that cloud-based solutions provide, but also the security and control of keeping certain solutions on-premises.
According to reports, 64% of enterprises report cost savings to be a major objective of the cloud program in 2019. However, respondents also state that 27% of their cloud spend is wasted.
A hybrid cloud approach can bring in cost savings as they occur in both public and private cloud setups.
The use of a private cloud allows you to stick to the pay-as-you-go model. Here, you can purchase hardware, networking infrastructure, and software licenses as needed, and layout costs for staff to maintain and manage the entire solution. Additionally, you can provide adequate security, and pay for power consumption to run and cool the system.
Public cloud deployment allows you to provide cost-effective IT resources in times of demand spikes, without incurring capital expenses and labor costs. IT professionals can help determine the best configuration, service provider, and location for each service, matching your resources and requirements to demand, while offering cost savings at the same time.
So with the hybrid cloud strategy, you can save on costs while running your workloads in a private cloud in an optimized manner, while you only utilize the public cloud for extra capacity during peak demand seasons.
Hybrid cloud enables you to choose the best IT infrastructure for your specific needs. And by combining the two cloud environments, you will be able to run your business more efficiently, while also delivering a variety of products and services to customers. This brings high reliability, better customer engagement, and ability for businesses to diversify their spend and skills by picking vendors as per their capabilities, and not just to avoid vendor lock-ins.
When to go for Hybrid Cloud
Despite the advantages that a hybrid cloud brings, it may not be the best choice for every business. For example, in smaller organizations with a strict IT budget, their interests will be best served by a purely public cloud approach. The public cloud would be more adequate for them when weighed against the upfront costs of private servers, maintenance, time investment, etc. In such cases, it doesn’t make sense to go for a hybrid cloud strategy.
Other limitations of the hybrid cloud include:
- Hybrid clouds can create a larger attack surface and data traversing cloud networks, making it susceptible to security risks
- Data shuffling back and forth between private and public aspects of hybrid cloud can create latency, hence latency sensitive applications should not go for hybrid cloud
- There's some complexity involved in setting up and managing an efficient hybrid cloud as there is one right way to interconnect the public and private cloud environments
- Applications that require high speed are not suitable for hybrid cloud
Thus between public, private and hybrid clouds, it is often a choice between what an organization needs, and what are their limitations. As for hybrid cloud, they are considered most suitable when:
- Organizations serving multiple verticals face different IT security, regulatory and performance requirements
- Businesses are willing to optimize their cloud investments without compromising on the value proposition of either public or private cloud technologies
- Staff have a good understanding of IT workloads and their essential characteristics that can make the complex hybrid solution work
- Securing their cloud solutions is a priority, and businesses are willing to deploy secure private networks
If your organization is willing to make such changes and optimal investments in cloud solutions, hybrid cloud is the right strategy for you. Its custom cloud solution designed by keeping in mind your organization’s history, current state and future provides a more practical approach to addressing your current needs, as well as adapting quickly to the changing demands of the business.
Hybrid cloud can function as a catalyst in bringing about a digital transformation in businesses, saving you from the “one size fits all” approach to cloud infrastructure. And such businesses which are willing to adapt quickly to the changing market demands, will definitely stay ahead of the curve.
Srijan is aiding global enterprises in their platform modernization process with highly nuanced cloud migration solutions. As an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner with certified teams, Srijan has extensive experience in working with AWS cloud solutions, along with building cloud-native applications.
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