Hybrid cloud infrastructures represent a strategic blend of on-premises and cloud-based resources, offering organizations the flexibility to optimize their IT environments for various workloads and business needs. This approach enables businesses to modernize, harnessing the scalability, agility and cost-efficiency of the cloud without deprecating on-premises investments.
While many didn’t “plan” or “strategize” to have hybrid cloud architectures, they have become indispensable in the modern business landscape. Many organizations require agility and scalability to quickly adapt to changing market conditions, handle fluctuating workloads and accelerate innovation. As a cost center, IT often faces blockers to experimentation and development, getting trapped in break/fix and “keeping the light on” activities. But offloading many infrastructure-management tasks to cloud providers enables organizations to then pick up cutting-edge cloud services, such as AI, machine learning and big-data analytics. This fosters collaboration and agility, allowing cross-functional teams to access resources and collaborate on projects more efficiently. Moreover, the ability to quickly spin up and tear down cloud-based resources lowers the barriers to entry for innovative projects, promoting a culture of experimentation and entrepreneurship within the organization. As a result, modern businesses can leverage the hybrid cloud’s innovation-enabling capabilities to develop and deploy new products and services faster, gaining a competitive edge in today’s fast-paced digital landscape.
Now that you are properly convinced of the benefits of hybrid cloud investments, let’s break down how to wrangle the wild mess of on-premises and cloud-based infrastructures so you can realize benefits, keep costs down and maintain security.
Understanding Hybrid Cloud
Definition and Key Characteristics of a Hybrid Cloud
In the simplest terms, hybrid cloud is a combination of two or more computing environments, including private clouds, public clouds and on-premises data centers, all orchestrated as a unified and distributed computing environment. Some key characteristics are:
- An on-premises data center and at least one private or public cloud
- A combination of two or more private clouds
- A grouping of private and public clouds
The hybrid cloud consists of several layers. At the bottom sits the hybrid cloud infrastructure layer we mentioned earlier, consisting of the public and private cloud infrastructure as well as on-premises data centers. Sitting above that is a hybrid cloud platform that spans the cloud and on-premises environment. The next layer contains the hybrid cloud software layer, where applications run. The final layer is an observation layer that acts as a window to provide an overview of all applications running in the hybrid cloud.
Importance of Hybrid Cloud in the Enterprise
As enterprises look to expand and scale to and from the cloud, having a hybrid cloud environment gives you the flexibility to repatriate workloads back on premises if needed for compliance or data retention needs, or to re-deploy into the cloud to balance storage costs and flexibility for growth. A hybrid cloud is an excellent way for enterprises to optimize workload resources and easily scale operations. The importance can’t be understated:
- Increased flexibility: Flexibility to work in the environment most suited to the application, such as running public-facing workloads in the cloud and keeping critical data on premises or in a private cloud.
- Workload portability: When working with a unified platform and supported by containers, it is easy to move workloads around the hybrid cloud.
- Support for innovation: The hybrid cloud supports innovation, allowing developers to easily experiment with different solutions without the need to invest in additional hardware and facilities.
Advantages of Hybrid Cloud
By having a combination of on-premises and public clouds for your data, enterprises can deploy robust security to protect against ransomware and implement cost-efficient best practices, all while scaling their environments to keep business continuity.
Cost efficiency in the cloud typically surpasses on-premises solutions due to factors like reduced capital expenditures, lower operational costs and greater scalability. With the cloud, businesses eliminate the need to invest in expensive hardware and data center infrastructure upfront. Cloud providers can leverage economies of scale to provide cost-effective services, and organizations can scale resources up or down as needed, avoiding overprovisioning.
However, users simply need to see one “shocking” cloud bill to realize that the cloud is not a utopia. Misconfigurations, over-zealous development and other common mistakes can result in significant overspend in the cloud. The control of on-premises infrastructure mitigates those risks. IT organizations need to find the best-fit infrastructure type to ensure costs stay under control.
The scalability of the cloud is one of its standout features, allowing businesses to easily adjust their computing resources up or down based on demand. With cloud services, organizations can rapidly scale their infrastructure to accommodate traffic spikes or growing workloads, ensuring optimal performance and responsiveness. Whether it’s adding more virtual servers, storage or network capacity, the cloud’s scalability empowers businesses to adapt swiftly to changing requirements, making it a vital asset for modern, growth-oriented organizations.
Five years ago, security would not be showing up on a list of “advantages” of hybrid cloud architectures. But cloud providers invest heavily in state-of-the-art security measures, including data encryption, access controls and robust infrastructure protection, often exceeding what many organizations can achieve on their own.
Of course, security in the cloud is a shared responsibility, with customers responsible for securing their data and applications. Properly configured and managed cloud resources, strong authentication and access controls, regular security audits, and compliance adherence are essential for safeguarding data and applications in the cloud. This is why, for some highly sensitive data, it may still be best suited for on-premises infrastructures.
But by working in tandem with cloud providers and adhering to best practices, businesses can achieve a high level of security and ensure that their data remains protected in cloud environments.
Business continuity and disaster recovery are often entry use cases for organizations looking to leverage the cloud. For on-premises infrastructures, cloud hosting can offer off-site data hosting for restore back on premises, or even failover directly into the cloud.
For workloads hosted in the cloud, high-availability architectures offer a level of uptime generally unattainable from on-premises infrastructures. However, just as security is a shared responsibility, so too is data management. Third-party backup tools, like Veeam, integrate natively with the cloud, unlocking portability of backups across subscriptions, availability zones and even out of the cloud provider entirely for true resiliency.
Key Components of a Hybrid Cloud Strategy
To avoid a “hodge podge” approach to infrastructure, some critical tools are needed to bridge the divide between on-premises and cloud-based workloads. Many third-party tools now offer extensive compatibility across hypervisors, databases, cloud services and more to deliver cohesive outputs across heterogenous environments.
Hybrid cloud networking tools are essential for creating and managing the connectivity between on-premises data centers and cloud resources. These tools enable organizations to establish secure and reliable network connections, such as virtual private networks (VPNs) or direct interconnects, ensuring seamless communication between their local infrastructure and the cloud. Additionally, they often include features for traffic optimization, load balancing and network monitoring, helping businesses maintain optimal performance and latency across their hybrid cloud deployments.
Security and Compliance Tools
Security and compliance tools for hybrid cloud are vital components for safeguarding sensitive data and ensuring adherence to regulatory requirements. They typically offer features such as advanced threat detection, encryption, and identity and access management to bolster security across both on-premises and cloud environments. These tools also help organizations automate compliance assessments and audits, ensuring that they meet industry-specific or regional compliance standards, which is crucial for maintaining data integrity and trust in a hybrid cloud infrastructure.
Data Protection and Backup
Data protection tools for hybrid cloud environments play a critical role in maintaining the availability and integrity of data — regardless of where it resides. They often provide capabilities like backup, disaster recovery and data encryption to safeguard data across on-premises and cloud-based storage locations. These tools enable businesses to implement data retention policies, ensure business continuity and adhere to data privacy regulations, fostering confidence in the security and resilience of their hybrid cloud data assets.
Implementing a Hybrid Cloud Strategy
Steps To Implement a Hybrid Cloud Strategy With Veeam
Implementing a hybrid cloud backup strategy with Veeam is easy. The first thing you will want to do is set up a cloud consultation with our experts. We’ll take it from there. This will allow you to ask the pertinent questions you need to ask and will allow us to learn more about you and the workloads and environments you are looking to protect. From there our experts will provide you with all the necessary information to start putting together a comprehensive hybrid cloud backup data protection strategy with Veeam.
Each environment and situation is unique, so the steps to implementation could vary depending on how many workloads you are looking to protect and in which environments you want to protect them. One good rule of thumb is the 3-2-1-1 Rule. Specifically, in an on-premises case, data stored locally should have multiple copies backed up and at least one copy stored offsite. You need protection that is flexible and able to encompass your VMware, Windows Server, Oracle DB and more, and provides the centralized management needed to protect edge devices with ease. The ability to send backups between the cloud, an on-premises data center or the edge is critical — and having a backup solution that makes that process seamless ensures you have the most robust data protection strategy.
How Veeam Supports Hybrid Cloud Environments
Whether you are in a hybrid or multi-cloud environment, Veeam supports both by giving you the flexibility to move your data freely between on premises and the cloud, between multiple clouds or multiple data centers. Whether it’s leveraging universal licensing to backup cloud data or software to backup and protect on-premises data, the ease of the Veeam Data Platform’s centralized management, layered security and hybrid and multi-cloud-ready approach creates a unified support system that integrates seamlessly with your environment, giving you the flexibility, cost savings and peace of mind to use the cloud confidently.
Veeam Case Studies of Successful Implementations
Looking for success stories from Veeam customers on their hybrid and multi-cloud successes implementing the Veeam Data Platform? Look no further! Check out our NEW Hybrid Cloud Customer Success Guide for stories from Veeam customers all over the world as they share their challenges, solutions and outcomes implementing the Veeam Data Platform for their hybrid and multi-cloud data protection needs.
For more success stories, visit our Veeam Success Stories Library.
Future Trends in Hybrid Cloud
The trend around fluid movement between hybrid and mult-cloud storage strategies has escalated, especially considering the growing adoption of cloud-powered tools and services. Based on this multi-faceted approach, organizations have reached a point where long-term retention is playing a larger role in IT strategy. It is an especially sensitive point involving data protection specific to data loss prevention.
Many organizations started with self-managed backup using cloud storage but later switched to a managed service provider (MSP) to further leverage expertise around capabilities. These shifts are seen as having a prolific impact due to increased optimism around hybrid cloud, multi cloud and the importance of a comprehensive data protection strategy. Our report, “Cloud Protection Trends for 2023: The future of cloud data protection,” provides more of this perspective, along with statistics and future trends from a survey of 1,700 unbiased organizations on their use of cloud-based production and cloud-powered protection services.
To wrap things up, it is important to understand that your cloud data will not protect itself — and snapshots are just not going to cut it. But that’s okay! As we learned, implementing a backup solution like Veeam into your hybrid cloud strategy offers:
- End-to-end security
- Fast, reliable recovery
- And more!
These core benefits will give you the confidence to backup and recover your data in and out of the cloud, no matter where it resides. Having complete ownership of your data across all of your environments can’t be understated. It is paramount to your hybrid cloud strategy and the insurance that you have a sound data protection strategy in the event of a ransomware attack. If you’re looking for more information download our “#1 Hybrid Cloud Backup Guide,” the ultimate guide for owning your data on any cloud.