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Hybrid cloud – the ‘middle man’ of cloud computing

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hybrid_cloud_middle_manIf you haven’t yet ventured into cloud computing, they are very real options to consider and the hybrid option could be the way to “dip your toe in the water”.

Hybrid services are part public and part private - each catering for specific services and business needs.  Usually the public cloud will support non-sensitive operations, while the private cloud hosts your e-commerce, intellectual property and/or client data – anything where security is a serious concern.

All types of cloud computing can be hosted externally i.e. outsourced and can be implemented in various ways, such as—

  • Separate cloud providers for the private and public services but as an integrated service
  • Individual cloud providers with a complete hybrid solution
  • Organisations managing their private clouds but using a public cloud service externally which is integrated into their operations

Any of these solutions should result in savings, in varying degrees both in cost and scalability.  The public cloud generally, is likely to be more cost efficient and scalable because of the large scale infrastructure available and the centralised management of hardware, software and services.  So it makes sense to move as many non-sensitive functions as possible to a public cloud.

A private cloud should be used for data and services where the data is sensitive, is governed by regulations and where there are compliance issues, such as in finance and health.  The private cloud is placed behind a firewall not accessible for public use.

Hybrid Services

A hybrid cloud combines a private cloud with the use of public cloud services with integration between the environments.  Ideally the aim is to combine data with services such as customer data in the private cloud and business intelligence tools from public cloud services.

Hybrid services is the emerging corporate computing direction.  A hybrid cloud is —

  • a combination of a public cloud provider such as Google Cloud with a private cloud and which is used by a single organization,
  • where both have a separate infrastructure operating independently of each other, and
  • they communicate over an encrypted connection.

Companies are realizing they need different types of cloud services to meet a variety of customer needs.  Economics and speed are the two greatest issues driving the need for this change.

A private cloud facilitates accessibility to hardware which is “in-house” such as printers, scanners and fax machines which is not easily done via a public cloud, this also applies to in-house applications such as a CRM and internal messaging.

According to Forbes contributor, Gene Marks, the Hybrid Cloud is the joining of the cloud and the on-premise office.  It enables users to save and then access their information, be it files, databases, spreadsheets or documents from either a cloud based hosted system or their own internal servers - whichever is faster.  It’s the same information, simultaneously stored in multiple places and designed to be served up immediately to the user depending on where the user is.

Hybrid cloud, and by extension hybrid IT appears to be here to stay.  Few companies will only invest in public or private cloud computing, and there is a very real opportunity to leverage both depending on your business size and individual needs.  
A hybrid of private and public cloud, non-cloud, and multiple public cloud services has the ability to serve the needs of more companies than any one cloud model alone.

If you have any questions about this article, or would like to discuss cloud computing for your business, you can call us on 02 4254 5444 or get in touch by email.

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