Migrating to the cloud can be a significant undertaking that will affect how your business operates moving forwards. As a result, businesses who have not yet moved to off-premises infrastructure may find it overwhelming to make the shift to a full off-site cloud setup straight away.
That’s where ‘hybrid cloud’ comes in. Did you know that hybrid cloud setups are a possibility that allow you to make the transition more gradual, whilst still taking advantage of some of cloud computing’s best features? You might not have heard of hybrid cloud before, or you might be looking to see if it’s the right choice for you, so we have covered it all in this guide!
What Is ‘Hybrid Cloud’?
Hybrid cloud infrastructure or a hybrid cloud system is an environment in which both private and public clouds are used to operate applications and store data. In other words, it uses a combination of your existing on-site infrastructure and off-site, public cloud resources to give you one single, flexible computing environment.
How Exactly Does It Work?
Hybrid cloud systems work by connecting two separate environments so that they can seamlessly operate together. This can be done wirelessly via virtual private network, or physically using ethernet and fibre-optic cables.
In order for a hybrid cloud to work effectively, applications and data must be virtualised so that they can run consistently across all devices and environments, and can move seamlessly form the private cloud and public cloud.
When setting up a hybrid cloud system, on-site infrastructure will be assessed to establish what is there already and what can be added via public cloud networks to meet the future needs of the business. Once the on-premises infrastructure has been assessed and setup to deliver what the business needs, a public cloud network will be established to provide the business with additional functionality. These are then connected and managed using a hybrid cloud management system that will allow workloads and data to move seamlessly between the two environments.
The Advantages of a Hybrid Cloud System For Your Business?
If you are considering upgrading your infrastructure to better suit your business’s needs for the future, it’s worth noting some of the benefits of choosing hybrid cloud.
A hybrid cloud system allows your business to become more scalable, as the use of cloud applications gives you the ability to add and remove resources as and when is needed. This makes it considerably easier for your IT systems to adapt rapidly to changes to your business.
Hybrid systems give you the option to host different workloads in different environments to make them more secure or more easily accessible. For example, you may choose to keep highly sensitive data and workloads on your private cloud, for close security and access control. You may also choose to host frequent, non-sensitive workloads in the public cloud so that they’re easily accessible and transferrable.
You can also save costs by choosing to upgrade to a hybrid cloud infrastructure as it enables you to optimise the use of resources effectively. Only pay for what you need, when you need it and don’t get stuck with additional fixed costs after you stop using certain tools or hardware.
The addition of a public cloud is ideal for disaster recovery too. In the case of an outage or disaster, the public cloud can still provide you with access to critical applications and can be used to back-up your data to prevent unnecessary loss.
The Disadvantages of Hybrid Cloud When Compared To A Full Cloud Infrastructure
Whilst a hybrid cloud is in almost all cases better than an entirely on-premises infrastructure, it does have a few drawbacks when compared to choosing a full cloud infrastructure.
A hybrid cloud system is typically more complex than a full cloud infrastructure because it involves managing two separate environments, which must be able to integrate perfectly with one another. This can require additional expertise and resources when compared to a full cloud system.
Reliance on Connectivity
A hybrid cloud system relies on the connectivity between the private and public clouds. If you experience any connectivity issues or disruptions, it can impact the performance and availability of the system, which could create delays and problems across your business.
When compared to a full cloud infrastructure, hybrid cloud systems can also be more expensive because they involve managing two separate environments, along with the need for on-site hardware and software. The more complex nature of a hybrid cloud means that managing it requires more time, and additional hardware or software may need to be set up and managed for the private cloud environment.
Hybrid cloud systems are an effective way to upgrade your infrastructure if you still rely entirely on on-premises systems. They give you the ability to become more flexible, scalable, and cost-effective whilst taking advantage of IT innovations that strengthen your business for the future. Whilst they aren’t as beneficial as full cloud systems for the most part, they can create an easier, more gradual transformation that gets you closer to moving entirely to the cloud.
If you have any other questions about hybrid cloud systems or want to know what might be the best option for your business and goals, speak to one of our advisors for free today!
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