The revolution that cloud computing has brought really needs no introduction. Pooling together resources and space over a network connection has worked wonders for both personal computing (regardless of brand, your smartphone is probably by default storing all your photos and data on a cloud) and, especially, professional IT needs. Your business is surely already employing cloud services of some kind, but if you are looking for ways to optimize what cloud computing can do for you, look no further: hybrid cloud is the latest development that more and more businesses are turning to.
Hybrid Cloud: The Best of Both Worlds
Hybrid cloud seems to be steadily securing its foothold in the business world. In its sixth annual State of the Cloud Survey of the latest cloud computing trends published in February 2017, RightScale identified hybrid cloud as the preferred enterprise strategy. Its survey concluded that 85% of businesses with over 1,000 employees opt for multiple clouds, of which a 58% prefer hybrid cloud. It is estimated that by 2020, 90% of organizations will adopt hybrid clouds.
Hybrid cloud is unique in the sense that it unites the advantages of both private and public clouds. A public cloud is one that is provided by a third party, typically over the internet, while a private cloud is managed by an enterprise’s in-house IT team or a private host. As explained in the definition provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a hybrid cloud combines a set of private and public clouds, independent from each other, in order to perform different functions on each platform. This means that the same organization can move and coordinate workloads between private and public clouds in a manner tailored to its needs.
The Advantages of Hybrid Cloud
In the past, businesses dealing with sensitive data have been hesitant to use public clouds, because of increased vulnerability to security breaches due to easier accessibility. Hybrid cloud offers what seems the ideal solution to this: a company may use its private, more secure cloud to store highly sensitive or critical data, but move to the public cloud to perform operations based in this data.
This way, the sensitive information is not stored long term on a public cloud, keeping exposure to a minimum and also, depending on the case, allowing companies to comply with regulatory requirements with regard to the handling of personal data.
Hybrid cloud solutions typically combine public cloud services offered by major contenders in the field (for example the wide range of Amazon Web Services) with a private cloud, or even comprehensive hybrid cloud services like Microsoft Azure.
But there is still a lot of fine-tuning to do to ensure that your hybrid cloud works properly – for example, you might want to look a service such as a load balancer, which distributes workloads across multiple resources within a network, ensuring that workload allocation across your private and public clouds will run smoothly and avoiding over-reliance on any given resource. In particular, global server load balancing best serves the needs of organizations operating hybrid cloud environments, as it can reroute workload globally either based on best performance or on user geo-location.
It seems that hybrid cloud is the future regarding cloud computing for the business sector in particular: a more flexible, more scalable, less costly solution for enterprise cloud needs. Until the next best thing comes about, hybrid cloud is the best the industry has to offer – so get informed and get started today!