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The Best of Both Worlds – Hybrid Cloud 101

Get an introduction to Hybrid Cloud, its pros and cons, and why it could be the solution to bring your IT infrastructure into the future. 

2022 will most likely be a great year for Hybrid Cloud solutions, that have seen a momentous surge in popularity during the pandemic years. A Gartner report on Cloud infrastructure from August 2021 found that in 2021 every “major provider has introduced a hybrid cloud offering”. Gartner also predicted that Cloud spending will rise from 9% in 2020 to 14,2% of global enterprise IT spending in 2024 and further, that 40% of enterprises will be deployed by CIPS (Cloud Infrastructure and Platform Services) by 2023.  

This is in tune with a general understanding that Hybrid Cloud provides access to the benefits of the Cloud for companies who are hesitant to take the leap and move all of their IT solutions to the Cloud – and some even see Hybrid Cloud as the ‘best of both worlds’.  

Hybrid future-proofing gives a leg up on the competition 

At they describe the movement towards Hybrid as a more realistic take on Cloud in the IT landscape as it currently is: “[the previous Cloud] view is sometimes too narrowly focused on the public cloud, though – and it doesn’t completely capture the hybrid reality of most organizations and their actual IT portfolios, which include a mix of on-premises and cloud infrastructure”. The article also quotes Emily Brand, chief architect of Red Hat, saying that customers who have already jumped on the Hybrid and Multi-Cloud trends might have a leg up on their competitors because the major Cloud providers now support and encourage those approaches as much as the Cloud native ones.  

Maybe your company or workplace already uses Cloud solutions for some of its IT infrastructure? Or maybe all your IT infrastructure is still on-premise, because you feel it is safer and more familiar for the IT department. Maybe you have already dipped your toes in a Hybrid Cloud solution – or you think doing so might help future-proof your business? No matter what, we hope that this article will enlighten you and help you make your IT and business decisions on an informed basis. 

Below you can read our introduction to Hybrid Cloud and get a sense of if it is the solution for you and your business! 

So, what is Hybrid Cloud? 

In short, Hybrid Cloud is an environment that connects an on-premise IT solution, or ‘private Cloud’, with a public Cloud that is often provided by an external provider such as Microsoft Azure, AWS or Google Cloud. 

Often, companies will choose a Hybrid Cloud solution because they want the benefits of a Cloud solution but have reasons to want to keep some applications on-premise in their own datacenter. Among the Cloud benefits are scalability, flexibility, the option to use more than one external Cloud provider, and the possibility to automate and organize applications and systems. In this way, Cloud technology can present both a solution to the practical challenges of an on-premise datacenter and contribute making systems and applications more innovative and effective using existing Cloud technologies. 

Hybrid Cloud is not to be mistaken for Multi-Cloud which is describing the use of more than one public Cloud or Cloud provider at the same time. An example of a Multi-Cloud solution could be a company wanting to replicate the same workload on multiple public Clouds (for instance AWS and Azure) to ensure that their application is always running consistently and without fluctuations. As such, a Hybrid Cloud solution can also consist of a Multi-Cloud Solution that is connected to an on-premises environment.  

 Private CloudPublic CloudHybrid CloudMulti Cloud
DescriptionYour own separate or virtual datacenter. A closed and secure system.Cloud environments/ capacity is leased from public Cloud providers like Microsoft Azure, AWS, or Google Cloud.You keep your on-premise environment or your private Cloud environment but connect it to one or more public Cloud environments.The use of several different public Cloud providers for stability and flexibility
StakeholderYour company and other relevant stakeholders that are given accessEverybody can lease space and capacity in a public CloudMixture of private and publicDepends on the individual solution
Ownership/ financeOutsourced or ownedOwned by providers like AWS, Microsoft, and Google and leased to the publicDepends on the individual solutionDepends on the individual solution
ProsSecure, closed system, and familiar to work with.Highly agile and scalable. Whenever your applications see a surge in use, you have the option to expand capacity on demandGives you the choice between private and public Cloud and helps provide connection and continuity between the twoNo downtime, scalable, and with lots of possibilities for using the services that different Cloud providers offer
ConsInflexible, dependent on on-site server capacity and continuous maintenance.  Not always possible to fulfill compliance demandsNeeds specialized knowledge and a solid Hybrid Cloud strategy to ensure continuityRequires a greater specialized knowledge of individual options and financial models

Is Hybrid Cloud for me and my company? 

To quote our own Chief Innovation Officer, Ronnie Bachmann, a Hybrid Cloud solution allows you to “Maintain cloud velocity while staying in control of your data in your own datacenter”. ‘Cloud velocity’ means, among other things, that your organization can scale their computing resources on demand and thereby eliminate the need for massive payments when there are short-term spikes in demand. The local resources in your own datacenter can also be freed up to handle more sensitive data, making Hybrid Cloud very low-risk when it comes to data exposure.  

This makes Hybrid Cloud the right solution for business leaders who:

  1. Seek to protect their critical data
  2. Want the flexibility and scalability of the Cloud 
  3. Want to learn how to leverage the cost-saving capabilities of the Cloud 
  4. Are future-proofing their business and want to be able to compete with industry leaders 
  5. Have implemented Cloud-based solutions over the course of the pandemic and want a streamlined connection between on-premise and Cloud environments 
  6. Might need to keep some of their on-premise environment for compliance reasons, but are interested in all of the organizing, tagging, and automation potential offered by Cloud providers like Microsoft Azure, AWS, and Google.  
  7. Want to relocate resources in datacenter maintenance to more innovative and future forward purposes.