Harnessing the Benefits of Hybrid Cloud Computing
Cloud computing has moved beyond the hype stage that comes with technological innovation and into the status of an indispensable business capability. The evolution is unsurprising, as the need for using web-based computing resources to store and protect data applies across all industries, adding value through increased accessibility, easier collaboration, lowered storage costs, and more scalable capacity.
However, despite the many benefits, businesses that handle extremely sensitive data are often hesitant to move all their file storage and computing over to public cloud services for a variety of data security, operations and compliance reasons. That’s where hybrid cloud computing comes in.
What is hybrid cloud computing?
In hybrid cloud computing, businesses use a mixture of public and private cloud storage along with on-premises infrastructure, linking the two together through an encrypted connection that allows data to flow seamlessly between them. That means the same applications and management platforms can spin drives, pull files, and push out reports, no matter where the utilized data is hosted.
Hybrid cloud computing’s increased adoption reflects the maturity of cloud platforms and is a natural byproduct of companies phasing out legacy on-premise applications.
Why do companies choose hybrid cloud systems?
Many recent high-profile data breaches have demonstrated that even large enterprises have data security challenges that render them vulnerable. To address this, companies need to have clear policies on the types of data that can be stored on public cloud computing services. By using a hybrid cloud, companies can connect their internal systems, SAAS vendors, and platform technologies for scalable computational resources while their data stays safe throughout transfer and computing, since it is hosted internally and accessed through encrypted means with end-to-end data security.
Cost savings are another key driver of hybrid cloud computing. By having a cloud strategy that is tailored to their business needs, companies can start moving some of their computing needs to the cloud. This reduces the cost of building massive internal infrastructures, employing low-level maintenance staff, and managing both resources. The simple monthly fee structure associated with external cloud computing services tends to be much more cost-efficient. This fee structure allows businesses to adjust the size of their external cloud services as needed, in response to customer demand or changes in organization size—a far preferable option to the fixed costs associated with maintaining an in-house system.
The flexibility of external cloud computing services with the additional option of using internal infrastructure opens up a world of possibilities for hybrid cloud users.
Seasonal businesses, like holiday-sensitive retailers, can provide additional services for part of the year without saddling their company with a year-round cost. Businesses can define varying tiers of sensitivity or access requirements for remote users and opt to store this information externally.
External cloud capacities can also be used to run applications, rather than simply storing files. Because both external and internal cloud services are readily available to an organization, it’s fairly easy for them to adapt their strategy based on use-cases and evolving needs.
Despite all the advantages, companies need to be cautious and think their needs through carefully before they go all-in with any hybrid cloud solution. A hybrid cloud means multiple infrastructure environments, with their own technical specifications and proprietary applications and controls. Companies will need to have experienced cloud computing professionals on their side, helping them navigate both environments fluidly and make the most of their set-up.
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