What is a Hybrid Cloud?


bigstock-cloud-computing-98707493One of the most important tools in the modern business world is cloud computing. It allows you to store files and conduct business digitally without straining your in-house computing hardware. Cloud computing has become ingrained in the modern business communication world, and it’s vital for business leaders to understand how the cloud really works.

Of all the countless cloud computing solutions available, one of the most comprehensive and flexible options is a hybrid cloud. In order to understand the hybrid cloud system, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the various options available for cloud computing. Every hybrid cloud system is unique to the enterprise that develops it, so consider the following information as you develop your own strategy to capitalize on hybrid cloud technology.

Defining the Cloud

Cloud computing rose to prominence as the value of data grew. Companies started to realize how much value there was in consumer data and began developing new strategies and methods to gather data and drive their business decisions. As the need for data increased, so did the demand for storage.

Cloud computing companies rose to meet this demand and began offering offsite data storage and computing for other companies. This presented a cost-effective way to capitalize on data analytics without needing to invest in expensive computing hardware. Today, there are several options available for companies that are looking for cloud computing solutions.

Private Vs. Public Clouds

Cloud computing generally falls into two main categories:

  • Private cloud. In a private cloud environment, your company’s data is the only data in the environment. This often is the preferred choice, because it’s simply more secure. Companies invest in cloud computing hardware that they keep on premises or at remote sites the company controls.
  • Public cloud. A public cloud environment typically houses files from several different organizations. While these platforms are typically cheaper, they are inherently less secure than private cloud environments. If one company unknowingly allows malicious programs into its cloud files, it compromises all of the other companies’ data as well.

Developing Hybrid Clouds

A hybrid cloud computing system is a blend of public, third-party cloud systems, and private onsite cloud computing. Due to the nature of public and private clouds, many companies started to realize the potential of using both methods in different ways. There are several benefits to pursuing a hybrid solution:

  • Better security. When companies choose a hybrid cloud solution, they will typically opt to host their most sensitive data – such as employee and customer information, proprietary files, and internal correspondence – on a private cloud server. Other computing functions then go to the public cloud platform.

    As the value of data has dramatically increased, the demand for robust and reliable cyber security has risen as well. A hybrid cloud solution helps keep your company data more secure.
  • Managing workloads. If you house all your computing power in a single system, fluctuating demand could slow down your entire organization’s processes. A hybrid cloud solution allows you to designate business-critical tasks to your private server while allocating your less-critical processes to the public cloud.
  • Big data analytics. The value of data isn’t in the data itself, but rather the trends and insights a business might glean from careful analysis. Analyzing data accurately on a large scale requires immense computing power, and a hybrid cloud helps lighten the load on your systems.

Hybrid cloud computing is one of the most flexible configurations possible for large-scale enterprise computing, but the benefits are relevant to smaller companies as well. It’s important to remember that despite the clear benefits of hybrid cloud systems, they are dependent on strong network connections. Your on-premises system will need to access and interact with your public provider.

Take the time to consult with your IT experts and find a reliable, trustworthy public cloud service to start developing a hybrid solution for your enterprise. While a hybrid system is complicated, and there are some risks inherent in hosting your data on a public cloud server, the benefits eclipse the potential drawbacks if you develop a comprehensive hybrid cloud strategy.