What is hybrid cloud
An application environment that relies on a combination of public cloud, private cloud, and on-premises infrastructure. Forrester offers the following working definition – “One or more public clouds connected to something in my data center. That thing could be a private cloud, that thing could just be traditional data center infrastructure.” Under this definition, hybrid cloud is the combination of one or more public cloud providers (such as Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud Platform) with a private cloud platform — one that’s designed for use by a single organization — or private IT 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. 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. This keeps data exposure to a bare minimum because they’re not storing sensitive data long-term on the public cloud. Some people claim that a key benefit is a single management plane. If an organization has its storage on one cloud, and its compute on another, but its admins have to make the two work together manually, that isn’t necessarily a true hybrid cloud. In actuality, real hybrid clouds are rare.
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. This provides the added benefit of paying for the extra compute time only when these resources are needed.
- Accordingly, for businesses that have milestones throughout the year where an exceptional amount of compute time is needed (tax season, perhaps), extending to the public cloud is a cheaper proposition than building out a private infrastructure that sits idle for most of the year.
- 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.
Creating a hybrid cloud strategy
To see more detailed examples and key components for success, read our guide to creating a successful hybrid cloud strategy.