As a company grows, it runs the risk of running out of available computing capacity. However, expanding private computing capabilities can come at a costly fee. If a company’s in-house resources are incapable of accommodating operational demands, then adopting a hybrid cloud strategy can help drive expansion by implementing innovative and cost-effective solutions.

What exactly is a hybrid cloud?

A hybrid cloud is a virtual environment created by connecting public and private cloud platforms with on-premise systems. Hybrid cloud infrastructure combines various computing, storage, and service solutions while taking advantage of a data center’s architecture.

What is a hybrid cloud used for?

Hybrid clouds are used to improve the flexibility of a business or organization’s digital information. When stored in a hybrid cloud, data can be easily classified and transferred between the on-premise cloud and the third-party cloud provider. This allows organizations to enjoy both private and public cloud models.

How do hybrid clouds work?

Hybrid clouds work by interconnecting public cloud infrastructures, such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS), with a customer’s internal resources, including private clouds and on-premise components. This connectivity leads hybrid clouds to effectively operate as a single environment.

Hybrid cloud architecture

The three main elements that make up a hybrid cloud’s architecture are a public cloud, private computing resources (private clouds and other internal solutions), and a network architecture that can facilitate their connection.

Public clouds

Public clouds are the most common cloud computing method. A public cloud’s hardware, software, and all other infrastructure are owned by a third party. The users of a public cloud have no direct control over it and must adapt their tech to be compatible with the cloud’s resources, services, and application programming interfaces (API). Access to public cloud services requires an Internet connection.

Users of a public cloud share the services’ hardware, storage, and network devices. Common uses of public cloud deployments are providing web-based mail, online apps, and storage solutions. Furthermore, a public cloud is an effective development environment for testing.

Private computing resources

A hybrid cloud platform makes use of both private clouds and the servers on a company’s data center. The cloud computing resources that constitute a private cloud have a single owner. Private clouds can be hosted inside the data servers of a business or on a third-party server. A business may also adapt its data servers to work on hybrid cloud environments independently from a private cloud.

Hybrid cloud network architecture

A strong network connection is the glue that holds hybrid clouds together. A wide area network is the most common solution for this purpose, but those who invest in dedicated networking services benefit from enhanced security measures.

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Hybrid cloud benefits

Here are key benefits of a hybrid cloud benefits:
1. Minimize capital expenditures
2. Keep sensitive data safe
3. Create a dynamic workflow
4. Expand IT competency
5. Increase deployment
6. Big data management
7. Reduce risk

1. Minimize capital expenditures

Capital expenditures (CAPEX) are the funds a company uses to run and expand its operations. Companies need to pay capital expenditures when acquiring and upgrading their properties, technology, and equipment, or when running maintenance on those assets. By taking advantage of public cloud resources and infrastructure, hybrid clouds use another company’s resources.

2. Keep sensitive data safe

Many customers find public cloud infrastructures appealing because of the lower operational costs. The trade-off, however, is that data hosted on public clouds is less secure. Sensitive information like Intellectual Property (IP) or financial data is very valuable to businesses and placing it carelessly on a public cloud can compromise it.
A hybrid cloud’s security measures allow companies to keep their most valuable data safe within a private cloud or a data center. Back-up data and other less critical resources that would otherwise take up private cloud space can be left to a public cloud, leading to more efficient use of storage space and resources.

3. Create a dynamic workflow

Working with public and private cloud platforms in tandem eliminates the necessity of building data centers to support private cloud operations. Businesses implementing hybrid cloud computing can scale their capacity up and down, depending on the particular needs of the moment.

On-premise resources can reach their peak capacity because of a busy holiday season or other events. In those cases, expanding operations to public clouds can rapidly increase the size of a business’s overall capacity. Once the demand for computing resources is reduced then businesses can scale down their public cloud capacity to accommodate.

4. Expand IT competency

A business experiencing rapid development can potentially face stagnation if IT staff and resources can’t keep up with the expansion. If a company is in dire need of IT resources but can’t fulfill that need with on-premise infrastructure, then it can rely on public clouds to find a cost-effective solution.
Public cloud services already comprise professional teams with proven experience in hybrid cloud management. Working with public clouds is akin to partnering up with a knowledgeable IT crew who can provide technical support and help strengthen an internal IT staff’s efforts.

5. Increase deployment speed

When a business is developing a new IP, it may wish to rely on the privacy and security of a private cloud to minimize risk. Nonetheless, testing and other less sensitive development activities are more conveniently performed on public cloud infrastructures, which can take the role of virtual machines.

6. Big data management

Every action a business takes can generate potentially useful data. Information from customers, sales, finances, and any other aspect of a business can be analyzed and used to improve operations, reach new markets, accelerate the digital transformation of a business, and create new strategies for success.
A report published by Seagate reveals that most of the data available to businesses is not put to good use. Only 32% of the data available to enterprises is put to work, with the remaining 68% being unleveraged (source). These numbers may look discouraging, but through them, we can see the hidden potential behind proper data management solutions.
Public clouds connected to a hybrid cloud infrastructure can be used to perform distributive computing tasks. This means that one can store valuable data on a private cloud and then use public cloud capabilities to run an analysis on it. By using this approach, a business can keep data safe while also using it to develop new strategies.
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7. Reduce risk

Data backups are extremely important, as they are the only way to guarantee that a single event is not going to wipe out critical information. Even the most advanced cybersecurity measures in the world can’t stop a burst pipe from starting a basement flood and destroying a data center.
As famously stated by aerospace engineer Edward A. Murphy, “anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. Accidents can happen at a customer’s location as well as on the public cloud providers’ side, and the best way to go around this issue is through prevention. Many data management experts recommend that a business keeps at least 3 backups of their data in separate locations for maximum risk aversion.

Public cloud: Pros and cons

Advantages of public clouds

Lower costs: There is no need to invest in software or hardware when using a public cloud. The only costs are those related to the public cloud services.
No maintenance: Improvement and maintenance of public clouds are performed by the third parties who run the cloud services.
Saving time: Public cloud users don’t need to keep the cloud up and running, as that task is delegated to public cloud providers.
Scalability: Taking advantage of nearly limitless scalability potential, public cloud users can scale the size of their operations on demand.
Uptime: Public cloud infrastructures are designed to remain active 24/7.
Free IT talent: The public cloud provider provides IT support for its service allowing
companies to focus on revenue-generating activities.

Disadvantages of public clouds

Diminished security: The downside of easy access to data is that public cloud users don’t have total certainty of who is allowed to access it.
Lack of options: Public clouds follow a one-fits-all approach. There is no chance of customizing public clouds to satisfy a business’s particular needs.
Uncontrollable environment: Public clouds are a third-party service so a company using this infrastructure doesn’t have a say on how the system is configured.

Private cloud: Pros and cons

Advantages of private clouds

Flexibility: Private clouds can be customized to fulfill the requirements of the business that owns them.
Security: A business using a private cloud enjoys an extra layer of security by hosting the cloud itself and being able to choose who accesses it. A private cloud’s security can be improved by being located behind a firewall.
Control: Private clouds are built to cater to the needs of their owner, who can also monitor the cloud’s activity.
Performance: A private cloud is not shared with other users so 100% of its capacity and computing power belong to its owner.
H3: Disadvantages of private clouds
Cost: Building and running a private cloud requires a bigger investment than using a public option.
Maintenance: The owner of a private cloud must spend time and resources performing regular maintenance operations.
Deployment: Deploying a hybrid cloud is a very complicated task and requires close supervision by IT professionals.
Limited access: Even if it is useful as a security method, the privacy factor causes data to be harder to access. This can be particularly inconvenient when working with mobile devices.

How is a hybrid cloud managed?

Management of hybrid cloud environments can be quite complex. One may need to develop tools to manage public clouds with the same ease as private clouds. Providers of cloud services may not provide the most comprehensive documentation to aid in their implementation, leaving an IT team to figure things out on their own.

Enable access to management

To properly manage a hybrid cloud system, those responsible for the efficiency of the cloud must have access to all environments. The success of hybrid cloud deployment relies heavily on the skills of IT professionals who build, maintain, and improve the system.


On-premise management tools must be integrated into the hybrid cloud. This can be done by adapting them. Another possible option is to start anew by implementing new management tools that provide better functionality in a hybrid cloud model. A business must also integrate the right application programming interfaces, which are intermediary software solutions that help applications communicate.

Is a hybrid cloud right for you?

Hybrid clouds benefit from the advantages of both public and private clouds in addition to the architecture of a data center. Key research and development data can be kept on a private cloud while QA and testing happens on a public cloud.
A company adopting a hybrid cloud model can develop several projects at the same time, using the practically unlimited capacity of a public cloud to support large volumes of data. If a company desires to have cloud architecture that can grow alongside other operations and keep large volumes of data in a secure environment, then a hybrid cloud is the best solution.

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