By Apoorva Kasam - September 28, 2023 6 Mins Read
The increasing demand for scalable, agile, and cost-effective computing has necessitated the adoption of hybrid cloud architecture. It helps bridge the gap between business operations and IT to help firms deliver IT resources efficiently.
IBM defines Hybrid Cloud as:
“Hybrid cloud combines and unifies public cloud, private cloud and on-premises infrastructure to create a single, flexible, cost-optimal IT infrastructure.”
As per a recent report by Flexera, “2023 State of the Cloud Report,” 72% of the firms embrace hybrid cloud environment. The hybrid model helps migrate and manage workloads between multiple cloud environments on-premises, private or public clouds.
Moreover, they offer high flexibility with various deployment options. This is a viable option for firms as it cuts costs and risks and helps them extend their existing capabilities to support digital transformation.
Cost is an essential factor when migrating to the cloud. A hybrid cloud is ideal for companies needing more data control and security but at lower costs. Effective strategies will help them scale the operations to meet the demands and attain long-term growth.
Firms can also house their business and sensitive data on private and on-premise data centers. This way, they can offload less sensitive data and apps on the public cloud. Moreover, they can prevent capital costs to expand their infrastructure and pay only for the used resources.
The ability to respond to ever-changing demands is essential for innovation. A hybrid cloud strategy increases the company’s speed to market by optimizing IT performance and offering the needed agility to align with the changing demands.
Moreover, companies can seamlessly expand their workload on the cloud and launch new products. At the same time, the cloud facilitates automation. It allows companies to adjust their cloud settings to fulfill the demand by optimizing performance and efficiency.
While the hybrid cloud solution enables firms to obtain better visibility over their data, it also helps minimize data exposure, enhancing cloud security.
It lets security teams standardize redundant cloud storage and house their data and workloads as per compliance, policy, and security conditions. Moreover, its centralized management also simplifies implementing encryption, automation, and endpoint security.
Public cloud service providers focus on making the public cloud a more secure option for storing sensitive data. But, many companies use on-premises or a private cloud to store high-risk data to prevent the risks of it being available to other cloud users.
A hybrid model provides the needed security by helping firms to meet the required audit needs. Such tight protection offers firms a greater ability to address compliance requirements.
A hybrid model allows firms to support their remote employees with easy data access. It allows them to move any vital data to their private on-premise servers.
Amidst this, they can make critical apps and services available on the public cloud. This allows the user to access the data with the right credentials from any location.
Hybrid models support greater standardization in IT management practices. But, companies need help to create that uniformity in real-time.
With public cloud providers embracing hybrid cloud management, companies don’t have to build a complete environment- top to bottom. They can extend the virtualized data center into familiar services in the cloud.
While the hybrid cloud offers numerous benefits, companies might need more budget, expertise, and business priorities to implement it.
Hybrid cloud capabilities are hard to configure and secure. Also, implementing and managing authentication and security for private workloads and data is hard. Firms must adopt a comprehensive authentication and access control for public cloud resources and services.
Security processes must remain consistent and complementary for both cloud environments—lack of uniformity results in errors that expose vital data.
While cloud environments are complex, dividing the computing environments across clouds is challenging. It makes it hard for companies to visualize their overall cloud environment.
It limits visibility into systems, processes, applications, and platforms. A lack of understanding of the existing architecture can put companies on the wrong side of compliance regulations.
Issues in a hybrid model are hard to detect and mitigate as firms must rely on detailed logs and tools to determine matters.
But, the troubleshooting tasks vary between private systems and public clouds. Efficient troubleshooting demands the services of expert administrators and cloud engineers.
Designing and adopting a hybrid cloud requires an expert cloud architect. While the underlying hardware is simple, the private infrastructure software stack is hard to manage.
Firms must build, align, and interoperate the resources and services within the private tech stack. This task requires efficient change management and software stack patches and upgrades.
One of the benefits of a hybrid cloud is its flexibility and the level of control and customization it offers. But, these benefits come with additional hardware costs. The model demands investments in on-premise hardware to handle the firm’s private cloud computing needs.
Moreover, as the public cloud operations offset the hardware costs, they must consider the computing needs and cloud resources allocation. Firms must weigh flexibility and control against the extra expenses needed to maintain their computing infrastructure.
Companies can adopt various strategies to mitigate the hybrid cloud model challenges.
Training the team to implement configuration and security best practices is vital. Firms must invest significantly to hire expertise to ensure a secure public and private clouds. Moreover, they must document and manage the security to maintain compliance to ensure the configurations work together.
Private, public, and hybrid clouds use automation to implement services uniformly and consistently. While firms cannot control the cloud manually, automation helps them handle tasks with minimal or no human intervention.
Not all workloads align with each cloud type. At the same time, business and regulatory concerns might demand retention of the workloads in a local data center. Hence, firms must strategically deploy workloads by considering the above factors.
Hybrid cloud architecture embodies multiple environments and components, making its management challenging. Firms must implement strategies and tools to address the complexities and establish a streamlined approach across environments.
Implementing solid management practices to maximize control of the environment leads to a consistent, unified approach across components in the hybrid architecture. Centralized control of on-premises and cloud-based resources with hybrid cloud management cuts costs and maximizes performance monitoring, security, reporting, and analytics.
Apoorva Kasam is a Global News Correspondent with OnDot Media. She has done her master's in Bioinformatics and has 18 months of experience in clinical and preclinical data management. She is a content-writing enthusiast, and this is her first stint writing articles on business technology. She specializes in Blockchain, data governance, and supply chain management. Her ideal and digestible writing style displays the current trends, efficiencies, challenges, and relevant mitigation strategies businesses can look forward to. She is looking forward to exploring more technology insights in-depth.
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