If you create, use, store or retrieve data, you're almost certainly already using a hybrid cloud. If you're not, you should probably give it serious consideration.
The task can be as simple as managing emails on a variety of smartphones (yes, that’s a cloud application), or as complex as overhauling and relaunching your organization's network infrastructure.
And it’s not just businesses that use cloud computing. For example, you could be an Army Colonel carrying out a sensitive order while logged on to the Pentagon network.
It may sound like an odd example, but years ago the Department of Defense embraced the hybrid cloud as part of a "data center consolidation plan" meant to help shrink its IT budget. In 2020, Bloomberg reports 100% of the budget will be spent on contracts.1,2
Whether it's in the Pentagon or the private sector, cost-cutting is among benefits explored in this article.
A hybrid cloud combines different clouds—onsite and offsite, private and public. The combination can include a couple or mix of several of these options. In fact, most clouds are hybrid clouds as they unite three powerful solutions: leverage, security, and flexibility.
Let's consider each.
The notion of cost-cutting usually appeals to executives but is often painful in practice. The mere appearance of the words "cost-cutting" in a company-wide email can make an entire IT department worry about job security.
In contrast, management and employees alike understand that the idea of leverage can help to open a path to greater productivity and growth.
Leverage is a core benefit in deploying a hybrid cloud. And the enterprise-wide advantages that follow are less about the pain of reduced payroll and/or increased workload on IT employees, and more about the efficient use of company resources.
For example, we deliver the scale of infrastructure and capacity that companies require during occasional or uncommon peaks in traffic—such as holidays, product launches, or widely distributed live video streams. The difference is, as a company you pay for no more capacity and time than you need.
A hybrid cloud is not unlike renting a car: you only do so when and where you need one.
In a word, yes—because the hybrid cloud model does not equate to more open windows and doors. If anything, it amounts to better bodyguards.
For instance, when a company's public internet connects through a hosted cloud that's equipped to manage more bandwidth and traffic than its onsite servers can, the company enjoys the more robust protections of the host cloud's firewall, monitoring, and load balancers.
Meanwhile, those onsite servers remain dedicated to the company's own IT needs—including its internal networks, plus vital enterprise data such as proprietary and client records, and customer databases. Hybrid cloud providers expect to have to accommodate company-specific compliance and residency requirements.
The hybrid cloud model—and cloud computing in general—succeeded because it adopted the robust security tools and industry best practices of the traditional in-house IT environment.
Nobody likes either/or choices, especially when it comes to IT decisions. Deploying a hybrid cloud solution eliminates having to choose onsite versus offsite operations. It's the best of both worlds.
Enterprise users can run development and test workloads in the hybrid cloud, via configurable pay-as-you-use machines. We can create a test infrastructure to match the scale of your test—and just as quickly shutdown when testing is complete, yet without the facilities and management (etc.) that accompany an actual infrastructure.
Not-so-large enterprises breathe easier knowing that decisions to add onsite capacity need not be made in haste—it's not a "crisis" every time the IT department faces an unexpected increase in the need for backup, storage and processing speed. A managed hybrid cloud takes care of that for you.
The hybrid cloud does include one particular challenge:
It's not always easy to juggle in an infrastructure that includes a mix of onsite and offsite, plus public and private. Yet, as with any important IT decision, you need to:
We recommend you think of it this way – don't better opportunities (in this case technologies) always come with some initial challenges? Of course, they do, but the benefits and value of making the change outweigh not making the change.
If a hybrid cloud sounds like it might be a solution for you, we can help you navigate the challenges so your organization can realize the opportunities—quickly and affordably.