What is Hybrid Cloud?
A hybrid cloud is a computing environment that combines a public cloud and a private cloud by allowing data and applications to be shared between them. A hybrid cloud incorporates the best parts of the security of a private cloud with the scalability of a public cloud. Different companies use hybrid clouds in different ways. For instance, some uses a private cloud for internal services and a public cloud for customers, while others only use public clouds for high-traffic periods to supplement their private cloud. Furthermore, Hybrid clouds are preferred by many for their greater functionality, flexibility, and scalability for companies that have dynamic and changing needs.
What is a Public Cloud?
A public cloud is the most common form of cloud computing. For instance, third-party company operators such as Microsoft or Google, offers resources like cloud services and cloud storage, to multiple customers from remote servers accessed over the internet. As the resource is offered and maintained by an outside provider, public clouds save companies the time and money needed to purchase, manage, maintain, and scale the on-site infrastructure needed for cloud computing.
What is a Private Cloud?
A private cloud is a cloud service only available to a single organization (or small number of organizations). This cloud can be located inside of a company with on-site infrastructure, or managed remotely by a third party and accessed over the internet. Furthermore, private clouds is often preferred by organizations with high security standards because the restrictiveness is inherently more secure than public cloud computing.
Advantages of the Hybrid Cloud
- Control — allows companies who handle sensitive consumer data, such as financial or personal information, to keep data safe within their secure and tightly-controlled private cloud. Organizations then uses their public cloud to operate the rest of their applications, or as a dedicated server for consumers.
- Flexibility — companies can take advantage of any additional server space or public resources when they are needed. A hybrid cloud is easier to switch away from, as a company can either pull back into a purely private cloud, or push forward entirely towards a public cloud when their services are already distributed across both possibilities.
- Meet Demands — companies can use a public cloud to handle any spikes in traffic or workload while running the bulk of its everyday business processes in a secure private cloud. This prevents any major slowdown in operations or server hiccups for both employees and customers.
- Crash Resistant — a hybrid cloud can prevent complete business-wide crashes, as if one cloud breaks, the second cloud can continue to operate. This avoids service interruptions and helps preserve customer and business goodwill.
- Cost Savings — companies who have on-site private cloud infrastructure in place, switching to a hybrid cloud can help shift operating load onto cheaper public servers. This can cut down on the bandwidth costs by distributing it across two clouds. Additionally it removes the strain on a private and individually-funded system. Furthermore, an organization only needs to access a supplementary public cloud when needed, meaning they will only pay for the computing power they need.
Disadvantages of the Hybrid Cloud
- Vulnerability — hybrid cloud can offer greater customization in where your secure data is located. This offers ample bandwidth for customer demands and complexity in infrastructure where there is a greater surface area for attack. A single, secure, private cloud can have strong security measures. However, an online ecosystem spread out across multiple clouds and multiple providers can be infiltrated and exploited in a number of places. Companies essentially have to trust that the third-party providers they use have robust security systems in place to protect their data.
- Complexity — the steps needed to set up and connect each component are crucial and complicated.
- Barrier to Entry — the initial start-up costs for an organization with a small IT budget may keep the private cloud portion of hybrid cloud computing out of reach. Therefore, if a company is unable to handle the costs associated with maintaining their own cloud servers, a solely public cloud-based operation may be the better investment.
Cloud computing has a wide variety of options to match the individual needs of any company. Learn more about cloud computing here: