A hybrid cloud lets you build your infrastructure across multiple environments, ranging from onsite servers to private and public clouds. This flexibility and interoperability has made hybrid cloud solutions a popular choice for businesses.
Cloud is at the heart of most digital transformation efforts. However, it’s almost never easy for a company to fully migrate their infrastructure to a single cloud platform. There may be legacy applications that don’t work well in the cloud, there may be multiple clients with different platform preferences, and there may be compliance and/or compatibility challenges. This is why a vast majority of enterprises (82%) choose to build hybrid cloud infrastructures.
With hybrid cloud, you get the best of both worlds – or as many worlds as you want. You can store all your sensitive customer data inside a local server while all your customer-facing applications run on a public cloud platform. If ever a cloud application needs to access customer data, it can use a secure API to do so. You can also connect your onsite hardware or public cloud with a private cloud platform. In a well-architected hybrid cloud, cross-platform integrations and communication are not a problem.
“Cloud” typically represents a single platform where all your infrastructure and services are hosted. E.g. you may use various offerings of Amazon Web Services (AWS), like Lambda, S3 buckets, and API gateways, etc. to build your entire infrastructure.
Conversely, in a hybrid cloud, you don’t (or can’t) rely on just one platform. E.g. some of your applications/servers run on AWS, while others run on Google Cloud Platform (GCP), or a private cloud. A proprietary software enables you to orchestrate and integrate across these various environments seamlessly.
In a public cloud, you can provision infrastructure that’s managed by a third-party provider, e.g. AWS, GCP etc. Public clouds are typically multi-tenant platforms, where large resource pools are shared by multiple customers.
On the other hand, private clouds are typically single-tenant platforms. A company may build and manage a private cloud itself or outsource it to a third-party. In both cases, private clouds provide dedicated resources for the company, and are present within the organization’s firewall. Openstack is a convenient and feature-rich platform for building private clouds.
A hybrid cloud solution lets you work with different public and private clouds at the same time. Not only that, you can also orchestrate standalone onsite servers via a hybrid cloud solution.
A properly architected and integrated hybrid cloud is just as secure as an in-house data center. You can argue that hybrid clouds typically have a larger attack surface and are intrinsically more complex, but with the right security and management policies in place, you can keep malicious actors at bay.
A huge security advantage with hybrid clouds is the absence of a single point of failure. A compromise in a public cloud platform won’t (or shouldn’t) propagate to your local data center. Moreover, with hybrid clouds, you get to store your security-critical data inside local servers, which are far less exposed than public clouds.
The hybrid cloud market is booming. The main reason is that more and more companies are easing into digital transformation. If you want to start building cloud-native applications, which can integrate with legacy software running on onsite hardware, investing in a hybrid cloud solution is a prudent choice. We expect hybrid cloud adoption to increase even more in the years to come.
We also expect hybrid cloud management to become a lot easier in the future. As more sophisticated orchestration and integration platforms continue to emerge, companies will feel even more confident in using hybrid clouds.