What is Hybrid Cloud?
Hybrid cloud is an application environment that relies on a combination of public cloud (such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform), private cloud, and on-premises (traditional data center) infrastructure. The public cloud and private infrastructure, which operate independently of each other, communicate over an encrypted connection, using technology that allows for the portability of data and applications. The public and private clouds (or infrastructure) in a hybrid cloud arrangement are distinct and independent elements.
Benefits of Hybrid Cloud
With the hybrid cloud model, IT decision makers have more control over both the private and public components than using a prepackaged public cloud platform. There are several scenarios where hybrid cloud is beneficial:
- Cost control: Offers the ability to pay for extra compute time only when these resources are needed. For example, for businesses that have milestones throughout the year where an exceptional amount of compute time is needed (such as tax season for accounting firms), extending to the public cloud is a cheaper proposition than building out a private infrastructure that sits idle for most of the year. It provides the ability to have on-premises computational infrastructure that can support the average workload for your business, while retaining the ability to leverage the public cloud for failover circumstances in which the workload exceeds the computational power of the private cloud component.
- Regulatory compliance: If your data is subject to stringent privacy requirements, you can extend front-end interfaces to the public cloud while maintaining the back-end data on premises. This way, you only need to encrypt the data in transit without ceding control to the public cloud’s shared security model. This allows organizations to store protected or privileged data on a private cloud, while retaining the ability to leverage computational resources from the public cloud to run applications that rely on this data, minimizing data exposure because they’re not storing sensitive data long term in the public cloud.
- Simplified deployment: Certain services or components within an application may be more complicated to migrate to the public cloud than others. For example, if your application requires very high transaction speeds and the public cloud cannot support those SLAs without a significant rearchitecture or rewrite, you many want to keep that portion on premises. Similarly, if your application uses a stable legacy mainframe back end, you may want to extend the front end to the public cloud while leaving the back end in place. Or, if your application generates massive volumes of data that you need to access frequently, you may want to keep that data on premises to prevent expensive data access charges and vendor lock-in.
Suggested Reading and Related Topics
- Multi-cloud: Understand multi-cloud and how it differs from hybrid cloud.
- Cloud migration: Read about cloud migration, including different cloud migration approaches such as rearchitecting and refactoring, as well as challenges to avoid.
- Cloud providers and cloud native services: Learn about cloud service providers and their role in hybrid cloud deployments, as well as the services that take advantage of the cloud environment.
- Cloud cost management: Explore the ins and outs of keeping your cloud costs under control.