If you’re wondering what the hybrid cloud is and whether it’s for your business, here’s everything you need to know.

What is a hybrid cloud?

A hybrid cloud is a cloud computing environment that uses a mix of on-premises, private cloud, and third-party, public cloud services with orchestration between the two platforms.

By allowing workloads to move between private and public clouds as computing needs and costs change, a hybrid cloud gives businesses greater flexibility and more data deployment options.

Hybrid cloud can also mean the ability to connect colocation, managed services, and/or dedicated server services with a public cloud.

Hybrid clouds allow data and apps to be shared between multiple clouds (private, community, or public) that use different architectures and are operated by different enterprises or service providers.

This lets you optimize your resources across all platforms. Organizations often use hybrid clouds for a combination of scale, performance, and cost optimization.

How does Hybrid cloud work?

At its core, Hybrid cloud is a computing environment that uses both on-premises infrastructure and one or more public cloud services to deliver and manage applications. The goal is to create a unified, automated, and secure IT environment that spans both on-premises and public cloud.

A hybrid cloud can take many forms. For example:

  • A hybrid multi-cloud system uses multiple cloud providers—for example, AWS for hosting web apps and Google Cloud Platform for machine learning.
  • A hybrid private/public system runs certain workloads in a private data center while placing others in the AWS or Azure clouds.
  • A hybrid infrastructure as a service (IaaS) / platform as a service (PaaS) configuration hosts hardware infrastructure in an on-premises data center while using PaaS software in the public cloud.

Hybrid cloud benefits

The hybrid cloud model offers a number of benefits—especially compared to the previous standard, which was an on-premise data center. Combining public and private clouds means your business can enjoy:

Cost savings

Companies are able to reduce their capital expenditures by shifting major workloads out of the data center to the public cloud, while retaining control over critical applications and workloads that need to remain internal.

Increased scalability

Cloud providers have virtually limitless capacity, so you can scale at will without having to build costly new infrastructure or go through a time-consuming procurement process for additional hardware resources in the data center.

This makes it simple for organizations with seasonal spikes in demand (such as retailers at Christmastime) or with unpredictable needs (such as news organizations when covering a breaking story) to adjust their services accordingly.

Increased flexibility and agility

Because you’re not tied down to hosting everything within your own IT environment, you can make changes more quickly and efficiently in response to changing business objectives—for example, if you want to upgrade an application for improved performance or incorporate new technology into an existing service.

You also have more options for how you allocate resources and manage your IT staff—and that means a better overall experience for users within your organization.

How do I get started with hybrid cloud?

You can get started with a hybrid cloud in just a few simple steps.

Discuss your goals, workloads, and business needs with a team of people dedicated to finding solutions that work for you – more probably it would be with your IT Team.

If your IT team is confused or overwhelmed with a ton of options, you can consult with a cloud consultant.

Finally, take advantage of all the resources available to help you along your way—including free trials from multiple providers so that you can experience each platform firsthand.

Conclusion

Hybrid cloud is all about getting the best of both worlds. It’s the best of public cloud (scalable, pay-as-you-go services) and it’s the best of private cloud (managing data center and network resources without third-party services).

Hybrid cloud allows you to use the public as well as on-premises systems in conjunction, leveraging each type of system for its particular strengths.

Doing this offers several benefits over simply choosing public or private: You get to scale quickly, you get to leverage proprietary enterprise software and hardware, and you get to use the pricing model that best fits your business activities.

As a result, hybrid clouds are a good option for business agility and economic sustainability.