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Understanding Hybrid Cloud, with Examples

Editorial Team
by Atlantic.Net (263 posts) under Ashburn Data Center

As businesses tried to determine whether they should continue to keep their IT on-site or process it with third-party cloud hosts, many ended up choosing a compromise: hybrid cloud.

  • The Hybrid Cloud: What is it?
  • Why do Some Companies Choose Hybrid?
  • Hybrid Doesn’t Always Make Sense
  • Examples of Hybrid Cloud Use
  • Strong Hosting Partner for Your Hybrid Cloud

For the first few years that cloud was becoming prominent, it was praised by IT and finance professionals. However, those who were working with extremely sensitive or mission-critical systems remained reluctant about the technology. What enterprises started to do was strike a balance and adopt the hybrid model, rather than going all-in with either in-house or public systems.

The Hybrid Cloud: What is it?

A hybrid cloud mixes together public cloud hosting from an infrastructure-as-a-service vendor (a company that provides cloud servers) with a private cloud set up internally. In other words, the public and private cloud systems are distinct and established in separate locations, each with their own data centers and specifications. They interact through an encrypted connection which allows apps and information to flow between the two.

It’s critical to understand that hybrid is not one cloud with public and private aspects but two completely different clouds joined together, notes James Sanders of ZDNet. “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,” he says.

To be clear, you don’t create a hybrid cloud just by connecting a server to a public cloud. The equation is public cloud + private cloud = hybrid cloud. The private system has to be set up as a cloud, using software such as NemakiWare or Joyent SmartDataCenter.

Why do Some Companies Choose Hybrid?

Many businesses decide to set up a hybrid cloud for workloads that rise and fall throughout the year. For instance, the demand for a system that processes transactions could greatly increase in November and December, making hybrid a potential strategy. In this situation, the business might set up a private cloud and then burst to public cloud to be able to avoid reliability problems when demand surges. In order for the private and public clouds to work seamlessly, the hybrid cloud would then be adopted.

Another scenario in which a business might set up a hybrid cloud is when they are working with big data, notes Stephen J. Bigelow in TechTarget. “A company, for example, could use hybrid cloud storage to retain its accumulated business, sales, test and other data,” he says, “and then run analytical queries in the public cloud, which can scale to support demanding distributed computing tasks.”

The incredible adaptability and scalability of public cloud mean that a business does not have to spend a huge amount of money in order to be prepared for temporary rises in demand. The resources are available immediately from the public cloud host, with the business only having to pay for what it uses.

Hybrid Doesn’t Always Make Sense

One of the primary advantages of public cloud is that it’s inexpensive. Companies that don’t have a lot of money to spend on computing aren’t going to be interested in the hybrid variety, explains Sanders. “The upfront cost of the servers on the private end of the spectrum is — as one might expect of racks of server hardware — a substantial one,” he says, “and the needs of smaller businesses likely to have small IT budgets can likely be served adequately using the services of a public cloud provider.”

Examples of Hybrid Cloud Use

Often a hybrid cloud is used within finance. The private cloud is used for trade orders, while the public cloud is used for trade analytics. By setting up the system in this way, firms are able to significantly reduce their space requirements.

The hybrid model is also often used within healthcare. In that case, a chief IT concern is transferring patient data between healthcare facilities and insurance providers, which requires HIPAA-compliant hosting.

Another scenario is which hybrid is often used is law. The public component serves as a place to store encrypted data off-site. Connecting public cloud with their own private cloud to create a hybrid allows law firms “to safeguard against the potential for loss,” says Sanders, “due to theft, hardware failure, or a natural disaster such as a hurricane destroying the original documentation or evidence.”

A final industry that is one of the big users of hybrid cloud is retail. The public cloud component is helpful for those companies because processing sales data and analytics can be extremely resource-intensive.

Thank you for reading this article, check out more about hybrid hosting in our article Hybrid Hosting – One size does not fit all or read some of the other related posts below.

Strong Hosting Partner for Your Hybrid Cloud

Are you considering the hybrid model and need a secure and powerful public cloud host? At Atlantic.Net, our data centers are AICPA SOC 1 and SOC 2 certified, and our Cloud Servers are powered by enterprise solid state drives (SSDs). Choose us for cloud server hosting based on 20+ years of experience and our Ashburn, Virginia hosting data center.

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