A Hybrid Cloud Strategy: What Businesses Need to Know
When you’re running a business, much of your important organizational and customer data is stored and used via tech. Thus, it’s obviously important to have a big focus on security. You need to find the best strategy for your specific venture’s needs — one that works according to your size, budget and the type of information that flows in and out.
One phrase that’s becoming increasingly used these days is the “hybrid cloud.” Read on for the lowdown on this term and how you can utilize a hybrid cloud workload in your business successfully this year.
What Is a Hybrid Cloud?
The term hybrid cloud refers to a tech solution based around a hybrid model, as the name indicates. Basically, it is a combination of computing and storage products used via public cloud providers (e.g. Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services) and private infrastructures (the hardware and services which are usually on-premises).
In this type of setup, the public and private tech can operate effectively quite independently of each other. In addition, they can communicate using an encrypted connection, such as one organized through a private dedicated link.
The ways in which each business arranges their hybrid cloud will vary, depending on an organization’s needs and priorities. You’ll have to find the right balance between public and private for your venture, based on things such as what kind of infrastructure you already have on site, which operations have to be handled, migration potential, uptime guarantees, security concerns, and legal and regulatory compliance issues.
Why It’s Popular Right Now
Hybrid cloud setups have gained momentum because they combine the best of both worlds. They leverage advantages of public cloud offerings, such as usage-based billing and the provisioning of rapid resources, with the helpful speed and reliability that often comes from good private cloud systems.
Business continuity is another key reason why so many ventures are now going down the hybrid cloud route. To continue to do business during a disaster or some sort of tech or other failure, you need for your company’s data to remain accessible with little or preferably no downtime. Hybrid cloud solutions help with this because critical information can be replicated and stored in the cloud, away from on-site primary systems, for access in case of emergency.
Other pluses from choosing a hybrid cloud set up include:
- More opportunities for innovation, since concepts can be tested and prototyped in a cloud environment and then quickly deployed and measured for success.
- Scalability, as businesses scale out to the cloud as needs and demands change.
- Risk management, for businesses who want to move to a mostly cloud environment eventually but who want to test the capability of particular workloads and providers first.
Tips for Successfully Using a Hybrid Cloud Setup
When you’re ready to move to a hybrid cloud system, start by assessing your firm’s needs. Work out what you need out of the cloud, such as money savings, automation, data storage, security and so on. Determine whether you want to have access to outside assistance from experienced consultants in the cloud arena and other specialists. If you run a small company and don’t have a dedicated IT manager, you’re more likely to require outside help.
Next, it’s important to separate your organization’s information and applications into different category types, depending on where data will need to sit in the cloud. Analyze what you potentially want to move to the cloud, and decide how sensitive the data is and if it’s a strategic move or not to upload it to the cloud. There will be some things you want to have stored only on-site or in private clouds.
Of course, when it comes to using service providers, always do your research. Find out about any potential hidden fees, so you’re comparing costs effectively. Consider choosing companies that have support available, so if you get stuck you have somewhere to turn, and learn about how much scalability will be possible as your business grows.