Hybrid Cloud

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What Is Hybrid Cloud?

Hybrid cloud is a computing environment that combines public and private cloud services while managing communication between them. The exact mix of public and private cloud services in a hybrid cloud environment can vary considerably based on the needs of the business. Hybrid cloud gives businesses more flexibility to shift applications and data between different clouds as their needs—operations and costs—change.

Advantages of Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid cloud is increasingly an enterprise IT reality, with applications and data leading how organizations architect and manage their cloud strategies.

A flexible model, hybrid cloud is growing in popularity because it gives organizations the best of both public and private cloud benefits.

  • Enhanced agility – The need to adapt and change direction quickly is a core principle of a digital business. Organizations can leverage different proportions of public clouds and private clouds for competitive advantage.
  • Data and application mobility – With hybrid cloud, organizations can shift data and applications from one cloud to another to cope with quickly changing workloads, business strategies, and prices.
  • Lower operational costs – Organizations can keep their most business-critical workloads on private, on-prem servers while offloading less sensitive apps and data to the less-costly public clouds.
  • Increased speed – Hybrid cloud supports branch and edge computing, which can increase speed by locating critical services closer to the people or systems that need them.
  • Low startup costs – Because a public cloud doesn’t require any upfront capital investment, organizations can more quickly stand up applications and workloads offsite and manage those alongside applications and workloads in private clouds.
  • Unlimited scalability – Organizations can rapidly access more resources and quickly increase operational capacity with public cloud.
  • Greater reliability – By distributing applications and other services across multiple data centers onsite and offsite, organizations minimize their risk of an operations-impacting failure.

Yet if data becomes too fragmented across locations, it can be challenging for your organization to gain visibility into, manage, and make best use of it for business insights and competitive edge. That’s why teams embracing hybrid clouds are turning to modern data management solutions that eliminate data silos.

What Is a Hybrid Cloud Example?

Around the world, organizations across industries are embracing hybrid cloud strategies with many accelerating their use during the pandemic. Here’s what some industries are doing with hybrid cloud infrastructure and hybrid cloud services:

  • Healthcare – During the pandemic, providers rapidly accelerated telehealth practices using a variety of applications and services across clouds, for example, scheduling and billing services from public clouds while retaining protected health information (PHI) in a private cloud.
  • Government – Federal, national, state, and local agencies are increasingly choosing hybrid cloud infrastructure, such as ​​hybrid cloud with AWS, hybrid cloud with Azure, or hybrid cloud with Google Cloud, to improve constituent services and lower costs. Case workers, for example, can use virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) hosted in public clouds to access applications such as reports from anywhere, then submit fully completed reports to the private cloud for safekeeping onsite.
  • Financial services – Hybrid cloud is helping banks and other financial firms improve customer experience while keeping costs down. For example, retail banks can rely on public cloud services to cost-effectively store lobby video footage while using private clouds for online banking applications that safeguard customer data.
  • Retail – Regular seasonal events—from back-to-school promotions to Black Friday sales—have retailers embracing hybrid clouds to quickly add capacity from public clouds (then rapidly tear it down) without having to incur the cost of standing up and managing additional private cloud infrastructure onsite that could sit idle for months at a time between spikes.

What Is Hybrid Cloud and How Does It Work?

The hybrid cloud definition spans IT strategy and implementation. It combines infrastructure and services from public and private clouds—or onsite internal resources and off-site cloud service providers—while enabling them to communicate. The choice to use a private or public cloud often depends on application or workload needs. Those requirements may include performance, security, compliance, or special capabilities such as artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) or high-speed processing.

What Are the Benefits of Hybrid Cloud?

Organizations choose hybrid cloud computing for a variety of operational and financial reasons (see advantage list above). This best-of-all-worlds hybrid cloud strategy approach, allowing teams to place workloads where they will run most optimally, is popular with teams that want or need to:

  • Expand services quickly with public clouds but keep maximum control of the most highly sensitive data onsite
  • Manage hybrid cloud architecture—hybrid cloud management, operations, and costs—consistently on-prem, then burst to public cloud services during the busiest of seasons or when high-performing compute resources are required
  • Maintain data sovereignty, which keeps data in certain locations to meet compliance requirements

More recently, increasing threats such as ransomware have today’s IT teams looking to public clouds to help them keep their defenses better up to date despite hybrid cloud security once being a top reason for businesses to keep data out of public clouds.

What Are the Disadvantages of Hybrid Cloud?

To be most operationally efficient and agile, enterprises need unified hybrid cloud operations. Yet getting there can be challenging when teams are running workloads both on-premises and in many clouds. 

Legacy data management products force teams to maintain data management operations at each location—for example, in the data center, in the cloud, or consumed as a service. This introduces unnecessary complexity. Additionally, most teams have been forced by legacy product vendors to install one point product per location that they have to manage—a product on-premises, another for the cloud, and another as SaaS—all with different features and interfaces that require specialists to manage. These hybrid cloud practices keep data fragmented, making all data harder to manage.

So among the disadvantages of hybrid cloud with a legacy vendor are:

  • Difficulty managing operations between clouds
  • Higher costs due to installing individual solutions
  • Incomplete data visibility because of highly fragmented data

Who Uses Hybrid Cloud?

More than 80% of enterprises on cloud journeys today have a hybrid cloud strategy, according to the 2021 State of Cloud report. Recent analyst reports also reveal enterprise IT leaders agree on-premises infrastructure will continue to be important to their operations. 

The reason for hybrid cloud’s popularity is this: not all enterprise data has the same level of importance to an organization. Some data is seen as needing more protection. Some data must reside in certain locations for compliance reasons. Some data is mission-critical to the business and some is simply not. How important a piece of data is to the organization helps determine cloud strategy.

Which Are the Most Common Uses of Hybrid Clouds?

Hybrid cloud computing use cases are wide-ranging and growing quickly as organizations accelerate cloud strategies. Common hybrid cloud uses include:

  • Disaster recovery
  • Long-term data retention
  • Data isolation and vaulting
  • Capacity bursting/hybrid cloud storage  
  • Data center modernization initiatives 
  • Development and testing
  • High-performance data processing
  • And more

Teams can choose hybrid cloud infrastructure from a variety of providers, including:

  • Hybrid cloud Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Hybrid cloud Microsoft Azure 
  • Hybrid cloud VMware Cloud
  • Mixed using multiple providers
  • And more

How Do I Set Up a Hybrid Cloud?

Enterprises seeking to operationalize a hybrid cloud strategy should adopt and choose partners that adopt flexible infrastructure that supports data mobility and operational consistency between onsite and off-site clouds.

Hybrid Cloud and Cohesity

The hybrid cloud era requires a new approach to data management to combat data silos and deliver a consistent experience for users and administrators, no matter the location. This is why Cohesity consolidates data from both on-prem and multiclouds on a unified, hyperscale platform with complete visibility through a single UI across the environment. By delivering solutions to help enterprises identify the right workloads and data to manage no matter where they are running, Cohesity empowers organizations to leverage their data for maximum impact at the lowest cost.

The converged, cloud-native Cohesity platform eliminates mass data fragmentation and offers an array of public and private cloud integrations that make it easy to shift resources from private to public cloud and back again when it makes sense.

With advanced Data Management as a Service (DMaaS) offerings available now and coming soon that provide backup, disaster recovery, data isolation, data governance and more, Cohesity delivers a data management solution complete with universal APIs to integrate with other hybrid cloud solutions. A single data platform and user interface enables tight integration between environments and infrastructure so that companies can take advantage of multicloud and edge computing.

Cohesity’s cloud-agnostic design supports all major public cloud platforms (e.g., AWS, Azure, GCP) and features a distributed file system that manages on-prem and cloud data, regardless of where it resides.

Moreover, Cohesity empowers teams to save time and budget with unified hybrid cloud operations. This means, regardless of where data runs (e.g., on-premises, in the cloud, or at an edge location) and the deployment model an organization chooses (e.g, self-managed, partner-managed, or SaaS), it can rely on one Cohesity next-gen data management platform and manage everything through it. 

The benefits are:

  • Simplified operations and greater efficiency due to a consistent management experience over all deployment locations and data sources.
  • Elimination of IT complexity, cost, risk and resource burdens present with multiple silos, tools, and user interfaces.
  • Optimized operations from the ideal deployment at the ideal place for the right use cases; for example, one UI and policy-based workflows for fast on-premises backup and recovery of on-prem databases and BaaS for SaaS data.

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