A hybrid cloud combines public cloud services, private cloud services, and traditional IT infrastructure connected through technologies such as the Internet. Hybrid clouds can also be combined with on-premises data centers and other clouds to create a multi-cloud strategy that allows workloads to move between platforms.
Hybrid clouds are used for a variety of applications. For example, many companies use hybrid clouds to take advantage of the benefits of both public and private clouds. A company may host non-critical workloads in the public cloud while maintaining sensitive or highly regulated workloads on-premises with greater control over their security and privacy.
Hybrid cloud pros and cons
There are many pros and cons of hybrid clouds. Here is the comprehensive breakdown of advantages and disadvantages of hybrid cloud:
Advantages of hybrid cloud
Easy integration with on-premise resources
There are many ways to connect to on-premise resources from your cloud hybrid environment. In AWS, for example, you can use AWS Direct Connect or a VPN connection to integrate your cloud environment with your company’s data center. After connecting, both sides would be able to communicate as if they were on the same LAN.
There are also ways of creating hybrid applications without integration: you can write an application that calls web services or other APIs exposed by existing applications (this is common for decomposing monolithic applications).
Flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness
Flexibility: The right hybrid cloud automation approach gives you the flexibility to provision resources on-demand, providing maximum scalability and resilience.
Scalability: A hybrid cloud model reduces the need to buy expensive hardware that is only needed for short periods. It also reduces the need to hire more IT personnel to manage the hardware in your data center.
Cost-Effective: This pay as you go, model, means you’ll pay only for the public cloud resources you use when you need them. You can also independently scale each cloud environment based on your own needs and requirements, rather than having to keep pace with a single provider’s platform.
The hybrid cloud has become an important part of disaster recovery plans for many organizations. The ability to failover applications and data from on-premises infrastructure to the public cloud in outages or disasters can help businesses stay up and running while minimizing downtime.
Hybrid clouds allow companies to offload some workloads to cloud environments when it’s cost-effective while retaining other workloads on-premises. This provides the flexibility to scale up as needed but minimizes costs by allowing customers to keep non-critical workloads on-premises and only pay for dynamic cloud usage as needed.
Hybrid clouds lower IT costs in three main ways:
1. Reduced capital expenditures (CapEx): With a hybrid cloud, you can use the public cloud to scale more easily and eliminate the need for large upfront purchases of the infrastructure needed to support peak traffic.
2. Lower operating expenditures (OpEx): Through a hybrid cloud, you can reduce the overall cost of IT operations. For example, many organizations need to pay for the maintenance of their data centers. Still, they can shift that cost onto a public cloud provider by utilizing its services and infrastructure.
3. Greater productivity: If a business has more resources at its disposal and can gain access to them promptly, it will most likely produce more output with less effort and cost.
Using multiple datacenters enables an organization to globalize its IT operations more easily. In addition, the ability to run applications locally can help reduce latency for users in remote locations.
Disadvantages of hybrid cloud
Vendor lock-in risk
Cloud providers may prevent you from moving data to another cloud provider. This can be costly and time-consuming, especially if you want to move a large amount of data. Vendor lock-in is a greater risk with a hybrid cloud than with a private cloud.
Lack of transparency between cloud platforms
A hybrid cloud is extremely difficult to manage. Since the data resides outside of your private network, you may not be able to manage all of the elements across both clouds seamlessly. For example, you could find yourself lacking transparency between both platforms. This can make it more difficult to track usage and monitor system performance.
A hybrid cloud requires an abundance of resources to run efficiently. You need people who are well versed with multiple types of technologies (public and private clouds), but you also need enough time and energy to troubleshoot problems whenever they arise. If not properly staffed, it can become increasingly difficult for your IT department to keep up with the demands made on them by your company’s hybrid model.
Many companies fear that using a hybrid cloud model will leave them more vulnerable since there are two points at which security breaches could occur; on-premises or in the public cloud environment. Further, suppose data governance is being handled by multiple departments. It becomes far more challenging for an organization to maintain control over their critical data assets and ensure compliance with industry regulations like HIPAA or PCI DSS, which call for strict data security measures.
Vulnerability to a single point of failure
A single point of failure is an architecture that contains a single component responsible for ensuring the success of the entire system. If there is a breach in this component, it could significantly lose or hinder your business.
In a hybrid cloud architecture with one public cloud provider, the provider’s data center becomes your single point of failure. This can become especially problematic in the case of a disaster or if internet connectivity fails due to high traffic volume during peak season.
Once your business has grown beyond what you can host locally, it is recommended to use at least two public clouds and private storage to avoid relying on any cloud solution for your data and workload hosting needs.
Managing multiple cloud environments
Managing multiple cloud environments is a challenging and time-consuming task that requires a broad skill set. It’s an expensive endeavor, as your organization will have to hire administrators who can manage each environment.
Furthermore, you may need to work with different teams for each cloud environment since different teams are responsible for managing the private and public cloud environments.
Hybrid cloud deployments can introduce complexity and potential bottlenecks because data moves between the private and public clouds. The more complex the hybrid deployment, the more this will be an issue.
How can Cloudify help manage and maximize value from hybrid cloud?
Cloudify is an open-source orchestration platform that enables IT teams, to manage complex multi-cloud environments by providing end-to-end visibility into application and infrastructure performance metrics.
Managing a hybrid cloud is challenging in terms of managing a heterogeneous environment. Cloudify helps orchestrate and manage this complexity with a simplified, unified view of your entire cloud infrastructure.
This includes configuration management across different clouds, multi-cloud automation, and easy monitoring and logging across public and private clouds. In addition, Cloudify bolsters networking security across multiply clouds, which is important for organizations looking to gain more visibility into their environment.
It also facilitates hybrid cloud implementations, which use on-premise private clouds and public clouds from different vendors, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
Cloudify is the best cloud orchestration platform that supports hybrid multi-cloud deployments.