Is a full public cloud option not quite something your company’s able to get on board? Meanwhile, a full private cloud wouldn’t be flexible enough to actually be worth it? Well, you’ve got the whole middle chunk of the cloud spectrum to explore: your ideal solution may be a hybrid cloud model.
Public Versus Private Cloud
A public cloud solution would mean you operate your cloud capabilities on a remote basis. This is the common understanding of the “cloud” idea. A third-party cloud service provider, such as Microsoft, Amazon, or Google, offers you some service that you connect to remotely. An Azure VM that removes the need for on-premises equipment, or Amazon cloud storage that you can connect to through your laptop as long as you have an internet connection.
Then there are private cloud solutions. If you need the cloud model, but you don’t or can’t rely on remote CSPs, perhaps for security and compliance reasons, you can still organize your on-premises infrastructure along the same lines as a public cloud. An office could connect to internal VMs, for instance, managed in a central location within the company’s IT department.
Let’s say industry regulations require that you store some data according to strict protocols that you can’t trust CSPs to abide by. You can keep that data storage on a private cloud model — but you might still want the flexibility and scale of other technologies only available through the public cloud — and the regulations that affect one part of your business may not apply here.
That’s the hybrid cloud approach, and it’s not so much one “model” as it is a custom deployment according to an organization’s specific needs.
Advantages of the Different Cloud Models
Finding the right model for you is a matter of balancing various factors. A public cloud model will give you scalable resources, a lower capital expense, and incredible reliability. This means quick deployments, flexibility in adapting to market conditions, and while you have less control over security and reliability, with the right partner you are likely to be able to operate at a level you’re unable to achieve anyhow.
The private cloud model is more expensive upfront and makes the deployment process more complex. You’re also responsible for a lot more, will need to maintain your infrastructure, and will have a harder time scaling up or down. The payoff is you’re directly in control of everything rather than relying on a CSP — and if you know you’ll need to operate at very high levels, you may find the operational expense low enough that the capital expense is worth it.
When to Go Hybrid Cloud
There are many situations where a business might decide that a hybrid approach is the way to go. It depends on your needs and the balance you’re willing to strike. If you’re cautious about the cloud, you can move incrementally with a hybrid model, stopping if you reach a point that something’s just not working for you.
If uncertain demand means you need to be able to scale up and down on an as-needed basis, but you’re handling sensitive data and need the assurance that it’s safe, that’s a good reason to explore hybrid cloud possibilities.
The Good News About the Hybrid Cloud
Big cloud providers take hybrid models seriously. Microsoft, for example, provides the powerful Office 365 and Azure service — that integrates with the on-premise infrastructure like the Exchange and Skype for Business hybrid for Office 365, Intune and Operations Management Suite for System center and Azure hosted VMs and Networks for hybrid datacenters. If your needs are split between public and private, you’re able to use both simultaneously, giving your users a consistent experience whether they’re on the public or private side of your operation.
Learn More About Cloud Deployment
We’re big believers in cloud solutions, public, private, or hybrid — and we want you to be too! That’s why we developed an eBook all about the transformative effect the cloud can have on businesses. It’s called The Transformative Cloud, and it’s available right here.
Looking to implement a digital transformation in your business? CIOs should start here.