Kurt Marko with InformationWeek recently joked; hybrid cloud is more popular than a Prius on Earth Day because it promises “an optimal mix of the best features from competing technologies [public and private cloud]”.
Most of us are familiar with public cloud. If you’ve used online applications like Gmail, Dropbox, etc., you’ve experienced public cloud. Public cloud has the advantage of being able to be implemented quickly. For companies or services that don’t have regulatory challenges, public cloud may be a good option.
Public cloud has the advantage of a monthly fee with little to no capital expense (hardware, software, networking, etc.).
Private cloud is an infrastructure that is deployed to one organization. It can be managed by a third party or managed internally. Unlike public cloud, private cloud requires a significant amount of work for initial set up, requiring collaboration between management and IT.
The advantages to public cloud are:
better security than public cloud
the potential for better fault tolerance
the potential for higher availability
Private cloud frequently requires a significant investment in hardware and software in the beginning.
“Although a private cloud is indeed a solid and viable architectural option, it's typically overused. Enterprises that want to maintain control of their hardware and software see the private cloud as an option to help them kick the cloud can farther down the road. They can claim to have a cloud, but that cloud looks like the other systems lying around the data center. Moreover, the cost is about the same or more than traditional systems”, said David Linthicum at InfoWorld.
Hybrid cloud gives your company the advantages of internal private and external public cloud services.
A good example would be an application that normally runs in private cloud but can use public cloud to handle additional spikes in usage.
Another good example is an e-commerce business that fluctuates in sales depending upon daily and seasonal cycles. Order processing can be handled on the more elastic public side while personal and payment information can be stored using on premise private cloud.
Hybrid cloud is perfect for mission-critical applications where businesses have security and regulatory compliance considerations where they don’t want to put their entire application in the cloud. It also allows them to scale the application with cheaper public cloud solutions.
Hybrid cloud allows you to optimize your IT spending while lowering operational expenses with secure, scalable public cloud for non-mission critical parts of your application.
“Hybrid promises the best of both worlds: the security, control, predictability, and easy access to large legacy data sets of a private cloud closely linked to legacy infrastructure, plus the convenience, scalability, performance, cost, mobility, and collaboration benefits of public, multitenant services.”, says Kurt Marko with InformationWeek.
When managed properly, hybrid cloud has the potential of reducing some of the initial costs of private cloud while still offering security, flexibility, and optimization to companies. With hybrid cloud, you don’t have to replace all of your legacy technology. It many cases, it allows companies to interconnect old and new systems to save money instead of having to replace everything at once.
According to James Sanders with ZDnet, “And while the upfront cost of server hardware for the private component of the hybrid cloud is high, the control that IT departments can wield over hardware selection and system design for the private component offers an invaluable way of properly tailoring resources to the needs of the organization. Assembling a private cloud to handle a standard workload, with burst compute offloaded to the public cloud, can be a long-term budget-friendly arrangement.”
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