Hybrid Cloud – is it the answer for your organisation?

Blog post by member Mach 5 IT Solutions:

Hybrid cloudWe’ve discussed Cloud Computing a number of times in the past and it’s clear that many businesses have adopted the Cloud to a lesser or greater extent.  Some organisations are fully committed to their entire IT operation being hosted in the Cloud, while others have, for a variety of reasons, taken a more measured approach to what goes into the Cloud and what stays in-house.  Both groups, when assessing their commitment to and usage of Cloud computing may be interested in a rising phenomenon within Cloud services – Hybrid Cloud.

Hybrid Cloud has been defined by Gartner, Inc. as “a cloud computing service composed of some combination of private, public and community cloud services, from different service providers”.  This crossover of boundaries between different service providers prevents simple categorisation in a single type – private, public, or community cloud service.  Instead, it enables exploitation of the power and resources available from operating in combination with other cloud services.

Dan Kobialka published a recent article in Talkin’ Cloud indicating that “28 percent of IT decision-makers say they plan to use hybrid in the next few years”.  Drawing on independent research by an Internet Service Provider (ISP) suggesting that the rate of adoption of hybrid cloud solutions is likely to triple in the next three years, the article argues that it is primarily economic factors driving the decision-making.

So, what are the perceived benefits of hybrid cloud in comparison with pure cloud?  Security may be at the top of the list as it’s often cited as a primary concern among many businesses reluctant to adopt any form of cloud computing.  The fear is that some, or all, of an organisation’s data and other resources will be ‘beyond their control’ and exposed to greater threat than if held within onsite infrastructure.

Hybrid Cloud can help alleviate this principal concern by combining an on-premises ‘private cloud’ with a third-party ‘public cloud’ in day-to-day operation.  Sensitive data and critical applications can be maintained within the private cloud; while development, testing and other less significant areas of the workload could operate within a public cloud, taking advantage of the scalability of this model.  Specialist software packages exist to connect the various public, private and community clouds together for ease of use.

Any organisation utilising a private cloud and concerned about missing out on the scalability built-in to private cloud solutions, should be aware of the concept of ‘cloud bursting’.  This model runs in a private cloud or other in-house infrastructure and bursts into a public cloud whenever there is an upsurge in activity; it is considered ideal for “high performance, non-critical applications handling non-sensitive information” operating as standalone systems.  The application is deployed locally and only bursts into the cloud to meet peak demand.  Security remains the prime concern for any business considering cloud bursting technology and it is imperative to ensure any public cloud selected offers the required level of protection for sensitive data.

If you’ve any queries on how your business might benefit from adopting Hybrid Cloud, now or in the future, give us a call here at Mach5 IT Solutions – we’re happy to help.

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