A hybrid cloud is a combination of two or more computing environments, including private clouds, public clouds and on-premises data centers, orchestrated as a unified, distributed computing environment. Hybrid clouds exist in many permutations, including:
When the cloud was first conceived, it was distinctly separate from on-premises data centers. You either worked on-premise or accessed online applications, such as Google apps, Amazon Web Services or Salesforce through a browser. The flexibility and easy scalability of the cloud meant it wasn't long before organizations also developed standalone cloud-based applications alongside their existing on-premises data centers. The need for system integration led to the development of virtual platforms that acted as a bridge between on-premises servers and the cloud. These platforms allowed users to shift workloads more freely to the cloud, while addressing security, privacy and compliance concerns. This became known as a hybrid cloud.
Common terms associated with the hybrid cloud include:
The hybrid cloud comprises a collection of private, public and on-premises data centers operating as a single environment using a cloud management platform. This platform typically automates processes, such as resource management, services, governance and security. Users can interconnect hybrid cloud components in several ways:
The three primary architectural features of a hybrid cloud infrastructure are on-premises data centers, a private cloud and a public cloud.
Organizations use hybrid clouds for different purposes. Typical applications include:
The hybrid cloud consists of several layers. At the bottom sits the hybrid cloud infrastructure layer that consists 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.
A hybrid cloud is an excellent way for companies to optimize workload resources and easily scale operations. Specific benefits of hybrid cloud include:
Despite many benefits, the hybrid cloud may not be the best solution, and you should be aware of and consider all the factors when choosing what is right for your business or enterprise.
As with any major change, it's essential to develop a comprehensive business plan that carefully considers what you intend to achieve and the best way to proceed. This should take account of your business needs, your capabilities and whether you need outside assistance.
The hybrid cloud is increasingly attractive for companies that need the benefits of scalability, data security and high system availability. Business use cases for the hybrid cloud include:
While growth in the public cloud seems to be declining, the hybrid cloud is still growing strongly. Although public clouds are highly scalable and readily accessible, large-scale use can become expensive, especially if there is no fallback to alternative strategies. The hybrid cloud ameliorates this problem, allowing IT to deploy workloads most efficiently and economically. The effectiveness of this approach is seen in industry forecasts that predict the hybrid cloud market will triple in size to $262 billion by 2027.
The adoption of standardized hybrid cloud architectures like Kubernetes and containers that run across multiple clouds simplifies hybrid cloud development and facilitates workload portability. Edge computing is fast becoming part and parcel of hybrid computing, with its ability to reduce latency, operate with reduced bandwidth and increase resiliency. The hybrid cloud allows organizations to create unified applications that can run anywhere.
The hybrid cloud provides greater resilience and stability, although the operation of on-premises data centers together with private and public clouds significantly increases system complexity. Data is more widely distributed and managing replication, backups and disaster recovery strategies is more difficult. You need a hybrid cloud backup solution that controls, protects and manages your data no matter where it is. Veeam's hybrid cloud backup provides native backups in all software environments. It has centralized management capabilities allowing full visibility, ownership and control of your data. To find out more, contact one of our cloud experts.