Hybrid cloud

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What is hybrid cloud?

Hybrid cloud combines storage, compute, and networking resources across on-premises, private cloud, and public cloud environments, to protect and provide access to data and other resources. Today’s hybrid clouds involve running production applications (e.g., traditional, SaaS, and cloud-native) across multiple on-prem platforms, private clouds, and public clouds as well as edge devices.

Modern hybrid cloud environments also manage connectivity and communication as well as protect and secure the data, workloads, and applications with cloud backup solutions that take advantage of these various deployment and consumption models.

The mix of on-prem infrastructure and private and public clouds in hybrid cloud environments vary considerably based on the individual business needs.

What are some advantages of hybrid cloud?

Hybrid cloud adoption in enterprise IT continues to increase and it is driving how modern organizations architect, manage, and protect their enterprise storage, networking, and computing environments. Today’s hybrid cloud model is both flexible and secure, and is growing in popularity because it gives organizations the freedom to choose where their workloads run to optimize costs, maximize performance, and satisfy compliance needs—while providing a cost-effective, secure, and reliable way to protect their data and applications.

Hybrid cloud advantages include:

  • Data and application mobility — With hybrid cloud, organizations can mobilize their data, workloads, and applications between on-prem, edge, and public cloud environments to accommodate rapidly changing business priorities, industry regulations, and business continuity needs.
  • Enhanced agility — The ability to adapt and change direction quickly is a core principle of digital businesses. With hybrid cloud, organizations can swiftly adapt the mix of on-premises environments, private clouds, and public clouds to seize opportunities and gain a competitive advantage.
  • Greater innovation — The flexibility to deploy and run applications across on-prem and multicloud platforms unlocks new ways to provide value to the business while empowering organizations to more easily use best-in-breed cloud services to manage, secure, and do more with their enterprise data.
  • Lower operational costs — Teams can keep their most critical workloads on-prem while offloading less-sensitive workloads and data to more cost-effective public clouds. Scaling is more cost-effective, too. Because a public cloud doesn’t require any upfront capital investment, organizations can more quickly stand up applications and workloads in the cloud and manage and protect those alongside applications and workloads running on-prem.
  • Increased speed — Hybrid cloud supports both branch and edge computing, which can increase speed by locating critical services closer to the people or systems that need them.
  • Unlimited scalability — Organizations can easily deploy, seamlessly expand, and rapidly access data and application resources on-demand with modern hybrid cloud capabilities.
  • Greater reliability — By distributing applications and other services across multiple data centers, including remote sites, branch offices, and cloud locations, hybrid cloud provides organizations with high availability for their workloads to minimize their risk of failure and disruption to the business.
  • A competitive edge — As data becomes fragmented across locations, it becomes increasingly challenging for organizations to manage, protect, gain insights into, or innovate with their data to extract additional value from it. Teams embracing a hybrid cloud architecture thus look for modern data security and management solutions that offer hybrid cloud backup capabilities and also provide unified visibility to their data no matter where it resides to ensure it is secure, protected, and available.

How are some industries using hybrid cloud?

Around the world, industries are increasingly embracing hybrid cloud strategies with many accelerating their use during the recent pandemic. Here’s what some industries are doing with hybrid cloud:

Healthcare — During the pandemic, providers rapidly accelerated telehealth practices using a variety of applications and services across clouds. For example, scheduling and billing services ran in public clouds while protected health information (PHI) remained secure in a private cloud.

Government — Federal, national, state, and local agencies are increasingly choosing hybrid cloud infrastructure to improve constituent services and lower costs. Case workers, for example, use apps in public clouds to file reports, while the reports remain protected with hybrid cloud backups for safekeeping and long-term retention.

Financial services — Hybrid cloud is helping banks and other financial firms improve customer experiences 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 secure sensitive customer data.

Retail — Seasonal events like back-to-school promotions and Black Friday sales have retailers embracing hybrid clouds to dynamically spin up more compute, network, and storage resources during peak activities. Having the ability to automatically spin down resources during off-peak times allows retailers to mitigate costs without having to deploy and manage additional administrative and infrastructure resources that could potentially sit idle for months at a time unused between spikes of activity.

When should you use hybrid cloud backup?

Organizations should consider hybrid cloud backup strategies to better protect and simplify management of data and applications across on-prem, public, and private clouds. Hybrid cloud solutions offer tremendous flexibility and accelerated recoveries from outages related to cyberthreats like ransomware and other disasters.

Some examples of hybrid cloud backup environments could include:

  • A private cloud and multiple public clouds
  • On-prem infrastructure and a public cloud
  • On-prem infrastructure, a public cloud, and a private cloud

Hybrid cloud backup services are particularly useful for businesses relying on edge computing, in which storage and compute resources are located closest to the location where they are required. Hybrid cloud backup is becoming popular in edge computing as organizations look to boost the performance of backup and recovery operations.

What is a hybrid cloud backup solution?

A hybrid cloud backup solution can help organizations protect and recover data and applications across on-prem, private, and public cloud locations from a single unified platform.

A hybrid cloud backup solution can be run on-prem as self-managed software or as a fully managed service in the cloud (also called backup as a service, or BaaS). But no matter what type of deployment model is used, a hybrid cloud backup solution can protect workloads across all on-prem and edge environments as well as clouds.

This approach eliminates the multiple point products, complex operations, and services required by many traditional and legacy siloed backup solutions. Instead, a single software platform manages all data and applications, no matter what type or location.

What are some differences between hybrid cloud backup and traditional backup?

Traditional backup or local backup generally consists of onsite data capacity, typically disk-based hardware, manually replicated by the underlying IT infrastructure. This imposes scaling limitations and management complexity and requires running multiple point solutions to holistically protect all enterprise data running across on-prem and cloud locations. In contrast, hybrid cloud backup solutions can protect and replicate data across both on-prem and cloud locations providing organizations with greater operational efficiency while reducing CapEx and administrative costs.

What is the difference between cloud backup and hybrid cloud backup?

Cloud backup is used to securely store data, applications, and files with a cloud service provider. This protects data from loss, outages, and disasters by backing up to a secure location in the cloud.

Hybrid cloud backup combines the advantages of both on-premises and cloud-based backup solutions. It can backup and recover data across on-premises, public cloud, private cloud, and edge locations. This approach provides greater flexibility, faster data recovery, and offers high availability and data redundancy for optimal data protection and business continuity.

In summary, while cloud backup mainly stores data in remote cloud locations, hybrid cloud backup stores data both locally and in the cloud to boost data resilience and improve accessibility.

How does hybrid cloud work?

Hybrid cloud encompasses infrastructure and services from on-prem, private, public clouds, and edge computing environments while unifying management and providing protection for all data and applications running in the environment. Deciding whether to use on-prem, public cloud, edge devices, or a combination of these platforms depends on the requirements of individual applications or workloads. Such requirements may center on performance, security, compliance, or the need for special capabilities such as artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) or high-speed processing.

Here’s how hybrid cloud typically works:

  1. On-prem data centers consist of infrastructure (compute, storage, and networking resources) and a variety of applications that run on that infrastructure. Edge devices are also increasingly becoming an important aspect of IT infrastructures.
  2. Private cloud infrastructure can also be used to handle compute, storage, and networking needs for supporting business data and applications.
  3. Public clouds can provide additional compute, storage, and networking resources—such as extra compute nodes, storage capacity, or or specialized services for taking advantage of innovative cloud capabilities.
  4. The on-prem resources, edge devices, and public clouds are connected through a secure network.
  5. Data and applications (traditional, SaaS, cloud) can be managed and seamlessly moved between the environments, allowing the organization to take advantage of the unique benefits of on-prem, public cloud, and edge resources.
  6. This hybrid cloud environment also unifies management and offers backup capabilities designed to easily backup and rapidly recover critical applications and data that reside within it.
  7. Hybrid cloud allows organizations to use a combination of on-prem and cloud-based resources, giving them more flexibility in how they manage their overall IT environment.

Hybrid cloud is particularly useful for companies that have varying computing needs, as it allows them to easily scale up or down as needed without having to make significant investments in additional on-prem infrastructure. It also provides levels of security, control, and protection of sensitive data that may not be possible when using any of the options alone (on-prem, public cloud, private cloud, edge).

What are the main reasons organizations choose hybrid cloud?

More than 72% of enterprises on cloud journeys today have a hybrid cloud strategy, according to the 2023 State of Cloud report from Flexera. Recent analyst reports also reveal enterprise IT leaders agree on-premises infrastructure will continue to be important to their operations.

Organizations with the following requirements are more likely to use hybrid cloud:

  1. Scalability — Teams that require the ability to rapidly scale up or down compute, storage, and networking resources can benefit from a hybrid cloud strategy. The public cloud can be used to handle sudden spikes in demand while the private cloud can be used for more predictable workloads.
  2. Security and compliance — Businesses that deal with sensitive data, such as healthcare or finance, often require strict security and compliance measures. A hybrid cloud strategy can provide a secure private cloud for sensitive or more-active data and a public cloud for less sensitive or less-active data.
  3. Data storage and management — Businesses that require high rates of capacity and access can benefit from a hybrid cloud strategy by using the public cloud for low-cost, high-capacity storage, and use a private cloud for faster access to critical data.
  4. Disaster recovery — A hybrid cloud strategy can be used for disaster recovery by storing critical data in a private cloud and replicating it to a public cloud for backup and recovery in the event of a disaster.
  5. Geographic distribution — Businesses that have operations in multiple geographic locations can benefit from a hybrid cloud strategy by using the public cloud for remote access and collaboration while maintaining local private clouds for low-latency and sensitive data needs.

Since not all enterprise data has the same level of importance to an organization, hybrid cloud provides a great deal of flexibility for organizations to manage and secure their data. Some data may require being protected and retained for longer periods of time. Some data must reside in certain locations for compliance reasons. Some data is mission-critical to the business, and some is simply not. These, and other factors determine how data must be managed and secured, and whether hybrid cloud is a good match for it.

Which are the most common uses of hybrid clouds?

Hybrid cloud use cases are wide-ranging and growing quickly as organizations accelerate cloud strategies and look for solutions that can help them stay ahead of emerging cyber threats like ransomware.

Common hybrid cloud use cases include:

There are many cloud provides that can support a hybrid cloud strategy, including

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

What data is stored in the hybrid cloud?

Data maintained in a hybrid cloud varies by organization and industry, yet it typically includes data from virtual machines (VMs), physical servers, databases, files, containers, cloud-based and cloud-native applications, software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps, primary storage, and mainframes.

Hybrid cloud backup and Cohesity

The hybrid cloud era requires a new approach to data security and data management that boosts cyber resilience while eliminating data silos and delivering a consistent experience, no matter the location of data, workloads, and applications.

Cohesity delivers the optimal hybrid cloud backup solution. It consolidates data from data centers, private clouds, and multiple public clouds on a single data security and management platform that can be self-managed or as a fully-managed BaaS solution with complete visibility across the environment through a single UI.

With Cohesity, enterprises can optimally backup and protect data and apps (traditional, SaaS, and cloud) in a hybrid cloud to maximize the value of that data while lowering costs. Moreover, Cohesity enhances the security of enterprise data by reducing the attack surface while simultaneously decreasing deployment, management, and operational costs by adjusting the capacity of services on demand, making costs more predictable and businesses more agile.

Cohesity Cloud Services, including BaaS, boosts cyber resilience and lowers total cost of ownership, helping organizations get the most from their hybrid cloud and hybrid cloud backup strategies:

  • Backup as a service — Secure cloud backup for on-prem, edge, and cloud data in a single backup service with subscription pricing
  • Cyber vaulting as a service — SaaS data isolation and recovery solution that improves cyber resiliency with an immutable copy of data in a Cohesity-managed cloud vault via a virtual air gap
  • Threat defense as a service — All-in-one threat protection and scanning, cyber vaulting, and machine-learning (ML)-powered data classification service to proactively identify personally identifiable information (PII) and other security and compliance risks in your enterprise data sets.
  • Disaster recovery as a service — Cloud-based orchestration for automated disaster recovery failover and failback

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