To understand the hybrid cloud, it’s important to first understand what is meant by the term “cloud.” Cloud computing refers to a virtual network of servers that are used to fulfill various functions including applications, infrastructure, and data storage. The phrase “as a service” is frequently appended to cloud products, for example, SaaS for software and IaaS for infrastructure, because cloud providers offer cloud services on a contract, where firms are charged recurring fees to host their data in the cloud.
Reasons for the Popularity of the Cloud
The cloud model has gained popularity in recent years due to a variety of benefits, including scalability, control, and cost efficiency. The shift from the up-front capital expenditures associated with software licenses and hardware costs to the more controllable operational expenditures of monthly and annual contracts provides predictability from a financial perspective.
Defining the Hybrid Cloud
The hybrid cloud is a technology environment in which some IT resources are hosted on the organization’s premises and others are hosted off-site, in public or private clouds, allowing organizations to make full use of the cloud’s benefits while leveraging the speed and direct physical control provided by on-site infrastructure. Because the hybrid cloud allows for the integration of public and private clouds, organizations can also pick and choose where specific applications are hosted.
Best of Both Worlds
Hybrid clouds enable firms to take advantage of the features of both public and private cloud environments. Public cloud environments are provided through outsourced providers that enable clients to pay a low monthly fee to secure a shared hosting environment, making it more scalable and cost effective. Private clouds, in comparison, which can be built by an outsourced provider or internally, enable firms to access to their own private virtual data center, providing a higher level of control. With the hybrid cloud, organizations can leverage facets of both private and public cloud infrastructures depending on their needs. The hybrid cloud also provides advantages when internet connection speed is an issue because it does not require uninterrupted internet access to function. Many firms plan to move their operations to a hybrid cloud model over the next few years, due to the fact that these solutions align strongly with business needs while also delivering organizational efficiency and alleviating fears over security and compliance.
Range of Providers and Services
In addition to opening up opportunity within firms, the movement towards hybrid cloud solutions will also open up possibilities for a wide range of service providers, allowing them to offer tailored cloud solutions that meet the exact needs of their clients.