Public cloud or private cloud? That has been conundrum facing IT shops as they seek the best way to address privacy, cost and security issues related to cloud computing. Rather than being forced into an “either-or” position, more and more organizations are finding that a hybrid cloud will ultimately be the end game. According to a TechTarget Cloud Pulse Survey, 39 percent of organizations are using a hybrid cloud – about the same as the 40 percent using a public cloud and far ahead of the 22 percent using a private cloud.
A hybrid cloud uses a combination of private cloud and public cloud services, all of which are connected and orchestrated to enable the seamless movement of workloads between these environments according to need. This is especially valuable for organizations that have highly dynamic workloads and spikes in demand. A hybrid cloud eliminates the need to overprovision computing power to account for peak demand periods.
Essentially, a hybrid cloud combines the scalability, flexibility and low maintenance of a public cloud with the security and control of a private cloud. For example, an organization could use an on-premises, private cloud to maintain control over mission-critical applications and sensitive data, while leveraging public cloud scalability and flexibility for archival, big data processing, and application development and testing.
While the appeal of cloud computing initially focused on capital cost savings and operational efficiency, the emphasis is shifting to strategic business value and innovation. When properly deployed and managed, a hybrid cloud enables organizations to test new ideas, products and technology with minimal risk. Although a hybrid cloud can still reduce costs, the primary advantage lies in its ability to transform an organization by improving capabilities and creating new revenue streams.
The growing complexity of IT environments makes a hybrid cloud solution the best option in most cases. Existing technology investments can be used in conjunction with, not instead of, a hybrid cloud. Organizations that have security and regulatory compliance concerns can better manage their data and applications. Shifting to any cloud model can require a major cultural change, and a hybrid cloud allows organizations to take advantage of cloud flexibility and scalability without sacrificing control.
In the next post, we’ll discuss technologies that enable a hybrid cloud model and improve the management, performance and availability of cloud services.