The term Hybrid Cloud is a current buzzword. Simply put, it brings together two infrastructures: Private Cloud and Public Cloud. This allows you to take advantage of the best of both worlds.
Hybrid is an opportunity for all types of companies and associated challenges.
Find out why!
The Hybrid Cloud: Definition
As you have understood, the hybrid is situated between a Private Cloud infrastructure and a Public Cloud. In order to understand the interest of this, let us first recall what differentiates the two infrastructures.
The Private Cloud can be defined in two ways. First of all, a company can own its own datacentres or computer rooms and keep its data on site (“on premise”).
A company can also call on a Cloud expert to provide storage space in a dedicated environment. In this case, the company is a customer and does not own the datacentres, so it accesses its data through the Internet, or through a secure connection provided by an operator.
The strategic advantage in both cases is that the company can choose where its data is stored and how it wishes to configure its environments (network architecture, hardware, technologies and choice of components).
The Public Cloud is characterised as the whole range of computing services offered by third party providers (Amazon, Microsoft, Google are the main ones) on the public Internet, available to anyone who wishes to use or to buy them*.
Although in this case, we are talking more about available resources or services, these are still servers.
The main advantage is the ease of compilation and modification offered by Public Cloud platforms. The goal is to be able to adapt, as needed, the provision of resources and related costs (on the public cloud, we only pay for what we use). Being their core business, cloud providers are responsible for the services provided and therefore for managing the obsolescence of servers and all of the components necessary for their proper functioning. The amount invoiced is monthly and may vary, as mentioned above. So be careful to monitor consumption and train yourself to use the cloud for specific interests, i.e. those that will allow you to optimise your costs.
Note: you can even pre-book sessions to get better rates.
The hybrid cloud therefore consists of adopting an IT infrastructure that relies partly on its own hardware or on its private cloud provider, and partly on on-demand resources made available by third-party providers from the Internet. The final choice of resource disposition is made by the customer and is based on selection criteria: criticality of data, services to be used (messaging, Content Delivery Network),.
Why Adopt the Hybrid?
Adopting a hybrid infrastructure makes sense and the hybridisation may be used at different levels. Indeed, not all companies have the desire or the need to opt for a 100% public infrastructure. The choice of the Hybrid Cloud is therefore a measured and reasonable alternative. This intermediate step allows us to take advantage of the best of both worlds.
Let’s say you need a collaborative tool like Office 365: you can have your messaging on the Microsoft Public Cloud and the rest of your infrastructure on the Private Cloud. This allows you to keep your more sensitive data in an environment that is not publicly exposed.
Note: if we approach the problem from the ground up and encrypt the data correctly, it can be secured wherever it is located.
Hybridisation can also be a good alternative for pure web environments, such as e-commerce sites.
Indeed, the implementation of a CDN (Content Delivery Network), for example, is only done through public cloud providers. This is useful if your site is present abroad, as it allows you to bring your content closer to the end user, thus reducing the loading time of your site’s pages. So you can still host your sensitive data on a private cloud and the rest of your data on your CDN.
Finally, keep in mind that a successful transition to an hybrid service complies with good practices, especially when it comes to security!
Hybrid Cloud: How to Take the Plunge?
Before considering migration, it is important to establish your security criteria and thus protect your infrastructure.
First, you can restrict access to your corporate network by filtering IP addresses. To increase the level of protection, you can also implement a VPN. This is a secure access tunnel between your cloud (public or private) and yourself.
This solution offers a more optimal protection. Thus, the VPN will be used to link your two environments.
Once you’ve made sure your infrastructure is secure, the possibilities are endless thanks to the public cloud and your cloud expert. In case you still have your own (on-premise) servers, once they are obsolete, consider hiring a cloud expert to move your data to a public or private cloud.
Indeed, for VSEs or SMEs with a limited budget, the costs of investment and installation in new datacentres (on site), will certainly be too high.
You can also opt for a different strategy and transfer your data gradually. Nevertheless, be precautionary and evaluate beforehand the extent of the data to be migrated. This evaluation will allow you to make an informed choice about what types of data will be transferred onto each infrastructure.
So when your needs exceed the resources available in your on-premise private cloud, you can easily operate in the public cloud. In addition, since you pay on the basis of consumption, you can use these additional resources exclusively over a given period of time. The Hybrid Cloud is the right alternative for controlling your IT expenses.
The Hybrid service thus allows you to benefit from a flexibility which allows you to face variations in your needs, linked to external factors. The interest for SMEs and VSEs to move towards the hybrid cloud is the same as for large enterprises. Indeed, there is no anticipated investment cost in moving to the public cloud, so small businesses don’t have to make too big of an investment.
There is no specific method to follow to move to the hybrid cloud, just follow good security practices essential for your business and your image.
As you can see, the hybrid is a good way to move gradually to the cloud while limiting risks and IT investments!
We live in a world where everything changes very quickly. The easiest way to make sure you make the right choice is to rely on experts. Choose a certified partner who will give you the benefit of their experience and allow you to make the right decision by taking into account all your criteria and needs.