Hybrid Cloud Architecture and Examples (How Does the Architecture Work)

The hybrid cloud is a very hot topic in the enterprise IT world. But what exactly is hybrid cloud architecture? How does it work? What kind of technologies does it utilize? 

What Is Hybrid Cloud Architecture?

Hybrid cloud architecture is a combination of the public cloud and private cloud. This is an architecture where workloads are run on cloud and on-premise environments. The goal is to reap the benefits of both worlds – the security and performance of private cloud and scalability/cost savings from public clouds. Hybrid clouds also allow for more workload portability allowing you to move applications between public, private, or on-premise, depending on your business needs.

Different Types of Hybrid Cloud Architectures, Explained

So, what are the different types of hybrid cloud architectures?

There are three main types:

Public-Private Hybrid Cloud Architecture. This is the simplest and most common type of hybrid cloud architecture example. A public-private hybrid cloud consists of a private cloud that connects to one or more public clouds. This allows you to extend your data center resources by hosting some applications on the public cloud while keeping other applications in the private cloud.

Intercloud Hybrid Cloud Architecture. This type of architecture has recently become popular to create a large, global unified IT system out of multiple interconnected clouds. Inter clouds link together two or more private clouds, two or more public clouds, or some combination thereof. 

The result is an interconnected IT infrastructure that can span multiple locations and multiple providers, allowing you to use different services from different vendors based on your specific needs for each application or service. You can also deploy new business services and scale them across multiple data centers for increased availability and performance based on hybrid cloud automation.

Multi Cloud Architecture. Hybrid multi cloud architecture consist solely of public clouds from multiple providers that work together—usually via APIs—to integrate data from several sources into one application environment that can be managed as one unit instead of as individual silos.

How Does Hybrid Cloud Architecture Work?

The hybrid cloud architecture combines private and public clouds through the Internet or any other private network. In this type of architecture, your data gets stored on a private cloud with full control, but you can also access data from your public cloud if required. Hence, an organization can run its critical workloads on-premises while deploying less sensitive workloads to the public cloud.

A hybrid cloud allows you to combine services (IaaS) and applications (PaaS). With IaaS architecture, you can store your data securely, scalable, and cost-effective on both private and public cloud servers. Also, it allows you to extend your existing database system or platform by integrating PaaS.

What Does Hybrid Cloud Architecture Look Like?

Hybrid cloud architecture results from a private cloud and one or more public clouds being joined by technology that allows data and applications to be shared between them. The infrastructure is built on standardized hardware, which means it can run on-premises or in a third-party data center. It’s based on virtualization software, so resources get pooled together to create an abstraction layer that allocates these resources.

It works like this: your application servers reside in an on-premise private cloud but are connected to the public cloud by a network connection. This connection can be temporary (for example, when you need to scale up during peak times) or permanent (when you want to run certain workloads off-site).

Your application server needs access to storage provided by the public cloud provider, so your IT managers either set this up with their provider or use software that can do it relatively painlessly.

Here’s an example of setting this up with Cloudify, our open-source cloud automation platform: first, you need two blueprints for two different applications. One blueprint will be for AWS EC2, and one will be for your private Open stack environment. Both blueprints have been stored in GitHub and made available under the same repository name; they share common parameters such as node names and IP addresses but have different values assigned to them because each runs in a different environment.

How are Hybrid Clouds Connected?

The two primary ways for connecting hybrid clouds are through VPN and WAP. A virtual private network (VPN) requires minimal setup but is inappropriate for all situations. A web application proxy (WAP) is more sophisticated and can be set up to meet a wider range of business needs and may require additional hardware, software, or configuration.

Another way of connecting hybrid clouds is using an API, typically a software-based connection between two applications or platforms. For example, an enterprise might use a Software-as-a-Service product that connects to its on-premises ERP system via an API to pull data from the ERP into the cloud service without IT having to move or migrate any data or resources. This also ensures that sensitive information, such as payroll data, doesn’t leave the company’s premises.”

Best Practices for Hybrid Cloud Architecture and Migration

To migrate your applications to a hybrid cloud, you need to choose a migration strategy. There are several different strategies for migrating to the hybrid cloud model, but there are some best practices that can help you achieve success regardless of which you choose.

When deciding on the best strategy for your business, first consider how long the migration will take and any possible downtime caused during this period. Then determine how much effort is required when it comes to modifying your application and which resources are available in-house — whether people or technology. 

Finally, if moving an application requires rearchitecting it, it’s better not to move it at all. If a large amount of modification is required just so an application can work with a new infrastructure environment, then sometimes it’s better for the organization’s bottom line if you don’t make that move and leave the app where it is.

Cloudify’s Role with Hybrid Cloud Architecture

Cloudify orchestrates your infrastructure, applications, and services to create a flexible and scalable hybrid cloud environment. With Cloudify, you can also monitor and manage your entire IT stack from a single dashboard.

Orchestration: Hybrid cloud orchestration is the key to managing, automating, and tracking multiple workloads across different platforms. Cloudify provides a single platform for managing applications across hybrid clouds by allowing organizations to leverage their existing assets in the cloud to deliver business services while understanding which assets are being used.

Monitoring: Cloudify helps companies monitor, track and audit all changes made to their cloud, as well as third-party, public clouds. It supports multi-cloud monitoring and management, so companies can easily observe and streamline their cloud operations.

Automation: Cloudify automates the entire application delivery process, from building new apps and migrating existing ones to deploying and upgrading them in a live environment. Its automation capabilities also help companies scale up or down seamlessly while maintaining high levels of efficiency with minimal support from IT teams.

In a Nutshell

The benefits of hybrid cloud architecture are integral for shifting IT infrastructure to the next level. It helps manage the infrastructure and systems, ultimately reducing the cost to the enterprise. Having a hybrid cloud architecture enables businesses to have a space to use the flexibility of on-premise and off-premise components while enjoying continuous integration with public cloud services.

You may be interested in reading about:

Hybrid Cloud Models

Advantages and disadvantages of hybrid cloud

Hybrid cloud automation – Terraform and Kubernetes


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