What is Hybrid Cloud?

hybrid cloud

Everything You Need to Know About Hybrid Cloud Computing

Hybrid cloud services are a lot more popular now than they used to be. Not so long ago, your primary option was to physically install, configure and maintain networking and computing resources on a local physical server.  Now, options commonly include putting computing resources in the cloud or a combination of local and cloud computing.  

To learn more about what hybrid cloud computing is and why it has become so popular, we first must explore what “cloud computing” means. 

Read on to find out all about hybrid and other types of cloud computing.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing uses the internet to gain on-demand access to computing resources rather than having to install and maintain those resources at your own physical location. 

These resources can include but aren’t limited to apps, data storage, development tools, networking or Servers. 

These resources may be hosted and managed by a Cloud Service Provider (CSP), who then makes them available to the broader public for either a subscription fee or pay-per-use billing.

Other options include private clouds where resources are customized and dedicated to each customer.

Compared to traditional Information Technology, cloud computing offers the following benefits:

  • Lower costs. Cloud computing can, in some cases, allow you to scale down some of your IT costs, as well as the effort involved in installing and managing your own IT infrastructure.
  • Greater elasticity. Your capacity can be scaled up or down as needed rather than having extra capacity sitting unused during slower periods.  If more capacity is needed in busy times or as your business expands, this can be added quickly and easily.  
  • Better security.  The security protections and redundancy measures that your CSP provides will most likely far exceed those you have at your own office. Your Server and data will be safer than ever before.

The 3 Types of Cloud Computing

There are 3 types of cloud computing: private, public and hybrid. 

Here is what each type means:

Public: The public cloud refers to computing services that are offered by CSPs over the internet and that are typically available for purchase by anyone who wishes to use them, although some public cloud elements may be free. Paid public services are sold on-demand to customers who  may pay for the storage and bandwidth they use or may pay a license fee per user

Private: Private cloud refers to computing services that are provided over the internet or through an internal network that is only available to select users. Because of this select membership, a private cloud is sometimes referred to as an internal or corporate cloud. 

A private cloud offers businesses the same benefits as a public cloud, except that it also allows extra control and greater potential for customization.    

Private clouds can be fully managed by the CSP or can simply offer dedicated resources that are managed by a company’s own IT people.

Hybrid: So, what is a hybrid cloud? As you might infer from the name, hybrid clouds are a mixture of solutions, which could include public cloud, private cloud and/or local on-premises computing.  These resources are configured to work together in the most efficient manner possible.  

Hybrid cloud infrastructure allows a business or organization to use cloud services where they work best while keeping certain operations in an on-premises network. 

What are the Security Issues with Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing does come with its share of potential security issues:

  • Data transmission security. When data flows over the Internet, it can lead to a kind of eavesdropping. That is, outside individuals may be able to see—and thus use—this data. By using strong encryption, you can prevent this kind of security risk from occurring. 
  • Data Access. Access to your data needs to be strictly controlled with layers of protection.  These could include only allowing access through a VPN, requiring multi-factor authentication and only allowing user access from certain locations. Other restrictions could be that only properly maintained corporate computers can connect, excluding personal use computers. 
  • Supply Chain. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, so the saying goes. If you are allowing customers or vendors certain access into your corporate cloud network, it is important to ensure that those parties are themselves following the rules and protocols you have set out in order to keep your data safe.  If they themselves are breached at some point, you don’t want their access to become a door into your network.  

Migrating to Hybrid Cloud Platforms

Just like when you are moving to a new house or a new office building, there are some things you need to consider when migrating to a hybrid cloud:

  • What portion of your workload is going to be in the cloud? When migrating to a hybrid model, you will need to think about how much of the workload will be in the cloud versus on your local infrastructure  A certain number of your business applications may need to run locally based on how they are designed.  The cost will of course also be a factor.  Some applications may require considerable resources which become cost prohibitive in the cloud.  
  • Are there data residency requirements? Different countries often have regulations that limit the amount and type of data that can leave the country.
  • What are the regulatory compliance requirements? Different CSPs may have different standards of operation in place. It is up to you to ensure that your business remains compliant with those standards. 

If you want to explore whether a hybrid cloud solution might improve your business efficiencies and need some advice, BSC Solutions Group can help. With over 30 years of experience in minimizing the stress, risk and expense of managing computer systems for small to medium-sized organizations across the greater Toronto area, we can offer the expert help you need.

Contact us today and let’s start the conversation.