Cloud solutions are extremely popular among modern businesses, whether they rely on public cloud resources or maintain their own in-house private cloud. Some businesses, however, elect to take the middle ground and use a “hybrid” cloud solution. Let’s take a few moments to determine if your business could benefit from this approach.
First, let’s examine what makes a cloud solution a “hybrid” one.
What is a Hybrid Cloud Solution?
As Peter Mell and Timothy Grance defined in Special Publication 800-145 from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the hybrid cloud deployment model is defined with the following excerpt:
“The cloud infrastructure is a composition of two or more distinct cloud infrastructures (private, community, or public) that remain unique entities, but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability (e.g., cloud bursting for load balancing between clouds).”
Or in other words, two different cloud models that function separately, but are both used for regular business operations. Some businesses elect to run their operations and applications on a private cloud solution, but use public cloud platforms for their backup and disaster recovery needs.
Benefits and Challenges of a Hybrid Cloud Approach
There are quite a few benefits that a hybrid cloud approach has to offer, including:
- Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery: You have the option to focus the hybrid cloud exclusively on your continuity strategy. With a backup in both a public cloud and private cloud, your chances of not having access to your data when you need it are effectively eliminated.
- Better Control-to-Need Ratio: Combining private and public cloud solutions together allows you to ensure you have the control over some elements of your business, while the public cloud allows you to better scale to meet your needs.
- Cost Benefits: There is no denying that some projects are too big to efficiently run on a private cloud. A hybrid cloud approach allows you to both keep your data secure while accessing the processing power a public cloud platform can provide.
However, the hybrid cloud does have some inherent challenges that could prohibit you from benefiting from its use.
- Lack of Visibility: In a hybrid cloud system, it can be difficult to keep track of where your data is being stored, and whether you are investing more than you need in one of its parts. This can have detrimental effects on your budget.
- Complicated Security: Even though your cloud vendors are putting forth their best efforts, the security of your data is your responsibility, and the marriage between public and private clouds introduces additional risks.
- Bottleneck Concerns: When data moves between public and private clouds, there could easily be a bottleneck somewhere in your network, creating severely negative impacts.