With the proliferation of large scale internet connectivity there has been massive increase in the use of cloud platforms by businesses to provide services. Gartner estimates that most businesses will be using some form of hybrid cloud technology by 2020. The hybrid cloud approach is facing significant tailwinds. At Aspioneer, we think this development is welcome and long overdue.
Hybrid cloud technologies promise to improve flexibility and performance scalability, features that most small to big businesses have long craved for. At the same time hybrid cloud technologies promise to reduce IT infrastructure costs.
Tell me Aspioneer, what exactly is a hybrid cloud?
The term ‘Hybrid Cloud’ is actually little misleading. Whenever any business starts using some sort of cloud service, they become part of a hybrid cloud. In purely technical terms using a hybrid cloud means you are using different hosting models to deliver your services to your customers. There are many benefits to using a hybrid cloud strategy to run your business.
Before you get overly excited, there some points which businesses need to remember.
- Hybrid cloud can reduce your costs: The biggest benefit of using a hybrid cloud is that it provides a flexible pay-as-you-go model, which allows a business to easily increase their computing pool and storage, based on their application requirements. As soon your work is done you can scale back, thus saving on valuable costs. This allows businesses to divide their operations in two different steps- Run core operations using on-site hardware and then use the cloud for backup, SaaS, DR or for other new scenarios. This allows businesses to choose only the best platform they want. For example: An application where workload spikes are common can be shifted to the cloud, while any application supporting critical operations can be deployed using on-site hardware. Large scale cloud providers like Microsoft are very adept in managing scalability, freeing you from worrying about technical management. This allows businesses to focus on their core strengths.
- Using hybrid cloud can improve your backup strategies: All businesses, big or small need to make periodic backups of their data. This is important since failure can occur at the most sensitive times, as they often do. Having a hybrid cloud backup system in place increases the number of recovery points for a systems administrator. Hybrid cloud can therefore be used for making local and cloud backups. Furthermore Cloud storage is cheaper than buying equivalent SAN storage. DR also benefits greatly from cloud systems. Business critical servers can be replicated in form of dedicated VMs. This allows businesses to recover mission critical services in the event of a failure. Going further, using DR in cloud can also provide a incremental realtime backup solution. This allows administrators to easily roll back to stable states in the event of a problem.
- Identity management is easier: When using a hybrid cloud users need to verify their cloud as well as local identities. To ensure uninterrupted access across a number of platforms, it is necessary to maintain a common identity. Therefore a single sign-on facility is necessary. Services like Azure AD allows local signing identities to be extended to the cloud.
- Hybrid cloud security and compliance: Businesses need to remember few key points when dealing with specialised data like PCI DSS or HIPPA. This type of data is governed by specialised policies which forbid its transfer to the cloud and vice versa. Businesses need to ensure that the data being moved between your local infrastructure and the cloud is well protected. Businesses also need to remember that in some nations, data needs to be stored locally within their national borders. Services like Azure allows businesses to be compliant with these modern laws.
The use of hybrid cloud in your business strategy can lead to many tangible benefits. In spite of this it is important to remember that businesses should develop their own strategies in tune with their requirements when dealing with hybrid clouds.