What is a hybrid cloud? Pros and cons

The hybrid cloud market is one fastest growing on the IT infrastructure solutions market. According to a study by Mordor Intelligence, this market is expected to grow from $129.43 billion to $348.53 billion by 2028. In this article, we will explore what hybrid clouds are and why more and more companies choose these solutions.

Hybrid cloud market

How does a hybrid cloud work?

A hybrid cloud is a type of IT infrastructure that combines multiple types of computing platforms. For example, such a solution might consist of a public cloud and a local server infrastructure, or it could involve multiple clouds. In a hybrid infrastructure, these platforms are part of an integrated system.

Multicloud and hybrid cloud are similar terms but not synonyms. Multicloud always involve the integration of platforms and services from different providers. Any multicloud can be called hybrid, but not the other way around.

Each infrastructure platform has its advantages - public clouds make it easy to adapt resources to current workloads, private clouds offer data security, and local solutions provide maximal control over data and hardware. A hybrid cloud is a way to enjoy all of these advantages at the same time.

In a hybrid cloud, it's easy to move data and balance workloads between different platforms. For example, you can develop an app in your local infrastructure and test it in the cloud, or you can migrate a large project to a platform with more available resources. Doing this with separate infrastructures would require a complex migration process.

How hybrid clouds work

Full migration to the cloud is just one way to modernize your IT infrastructure. Hybrid clouds are gaining popularity, while traditional outsourcing is becoming less common. If your company’s local infrastructure is still relevant and does its job, there is no need to abandon it. You can expand the system by integrating it with other platforms. This approach not only adds computing power but also expands the available functionality.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a factor in the growing popularity of hybrid clouds. Many U.S. businesses are taking the experience of operating during lockdowns into account in their cloud strategies.

The flexibility of hybrid infrastructure is another significant factor in the popularity of this solution. In practice, this means the ability to choose the optimal environment for any task, scale resources, and strategically develop the infrastructure. The ability to instantly deploy virtual machines for urgent tasks eliminates the need to purchase equipment for local infrastructure. This way, you can invest in your own servers only when it is justified by actual business development.

The question of security and data control motivates some companies to refrain from outsourcing their IT infrastructure. In such cases, these same companies miss out on several advantages offered by professional service providers. Hybrid infrastructure allows businesses to implement cloud solutions without becoming completely dependent on the service provider.

The IT infrastructure of a modern company is a tool that must solve a wide range of tasks. This system should protect data, quickly adapt to new workloads, ensure stable access to products and business apps, and so on. The more processes and workloads, the more sense it makes to distribute them among different solutions.

The popularity of hybrid clouds

You work with legacy systems

There are cases where businesses refrain from migrating to the cloud because they work software that is incompatible with cloud solutions. To reap the benefits of the cloud, you'd have to give up critical tools and find replacements. Meanwhile, you might benefit from using a public cloud, especially if you need flexibility. A hybrid cloud allows you to integrate existing tools with a new platform, expanding your IT infrastructure rather than replacing it.

You work with unpredictable workloads

In cases of sudden traffic spikes, a lot of temporary projects, or a large-scale task, you will need additional computing power. Expanding your local infrastructure isn't the most cost-effective solution, as these needs are temporary. The public cloud can easily adapt to these conditions, but any company has internal processes with predictable workloads; it makes more sense to deploy them locally. In a hybrid cloud, you can choose the most suitable platform for each of these tasks without overpaying or sacrificing performance.

You deal with sensitive data

Companies need to protect customer data and systems that are vital to business operations. Private clouds offer the best environment for these data due to complete hardware isolation and multi-level security systems. However, storing all data in a private cloud isn't always cost-effective. Less sensitive data can be stored in the public cloud, where rental costs are proportional to actual resource usage.

You develop and test apps

If your company's processes revolve around the development cycle, it's worth considering separating platforms for product development and testing. The performance of the rest of the system won't affect the operation of your app, making sure that the test is reliable. Additionally, you can allocate as many resources as you need for testing in the public cloud without sacrificing the performance of your main infrastructure. You can also use this feature to test apps on various configurations to simulate their performance in real-world conditions.

You need to ensure data integrity

To ensure continuous business operations and prevent data loss from hardware failures, you need to store backups and deploy mirrored copies of your system. However, this requires additional hardware – for local infrastructure, you would need to purchase new servers, allocate space for them, and spend more on maintenance. The hybrid cloud is a more cost-effective and reliable solution for data integrity. Backups can be stored in the public cloud, while the main systems remain in your local data center. There's no need to purchase and maintain new hardware, and your backups are hosted on a completely separate infrastructure.

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid cloud

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What Are the Disadvantages of a Hybrid Cloud?

Hybrid infrastructure is a system that combines the best qualities and features of multiple infrastructure platforms. However, it's also a technologically complex solution that requires significant resource investment. To implement and maintain such a system, you need time, a budget, and a team of specialists to handle day-to-day administration.

Choosing a hybrid cloud is a cost-effective decision for medium and large enterprises for which these resource investments are justified. Before opting for a hybrid infrastructure, it's important to assess the actual workload of your business and its growth prospects. In the early stages of a company's development, one solution like a public or private cloud can likely handle the workloads.

How does SIM-Networks build hybrid clouds?

A hybrid infrastructure is always a custom solution that needs to be built based on the specific needs of the business. The choice of platforms and equipment, the level of automation, the functionality, and more depend on the company’s actual tasks. This way, the business can work with a system that efficiently solves everyday tasks and fosters long-term growth.

Unique infrastructure projects are SIM-Networks' specialization. We create IT infrastructures for companies based on client requests, analytics, and the experience of our specialists. The key to the success of such a project is communication. We are always ready to consult and help you choose the optimal solution or implement your project. If you're interested in a hybrid cloud for your business, describe your expectations or ask any questions – we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

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