What is hybrid cloud?
Hybrid cloud occurs when an organization migrates a significant amount of their data to public and private cloud services while maintaining the rest of their corporate information within their own data center. Some organizations choose to migrate their applications and data to the cloud slowly over time. Others have made strategic choices to migrate data back to their own data centers due to the threat of a cyber attack on their cloud provider's infrastructure, or when a cyber breach actually happens.
Organizations often leverage cloud services for backup and recovery purposes, so if their primary infrastructure should fail, they can access redundant information resources to minimize business disruption. In other cases, international businesses with employees, partners, and customers worldwide leverage cloud computing resources mirrored from their primary data center to accelerate localized data transfer.
How does hybrid cloud work?
Whether an organization runs multiple cloud services or a blend of on-premises and cloud infrastructure, hybrid cloud runs in separate environments. Still, they are orchestrated and monitored by a central control application, such as Unisys Cloud Forte Cloud Management. These applications can assist with data migration to and from cloud platforms and ongoing performance monitoring. In cases where digital workflows need to pass from an application in one cloud to another, middleware technologies (when properly set up) can ensure data transport between multiple applications as efficiently as if they were in the same data center environment.
Service providers like Unisys also build alliances with multiple cloud providers and application vendors like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and VMWare. These vendor and service provider relationships enable companies like Unisys to train, hire, and certify technical professionals so they can implement and configure cloud management services for their customers.
Who uses hybrid cloud?
It is common for organizations in industries like banking, healthcare, government, and retail to adopt hybrid cloud services. However, businesses in all industries can take advantage of them. Businesses in these industries have their own unique reasons for adopting hybrid cloud.
For example, banks generally adopt hybrid cloud to ensure the highest level of security for valuable customer financial data from a private cloud or on-premises data center with the highest level of encryption and security safeguards.
What are the benefits of hybrid cloud?
In some cases, industry regulatory compliance requirements demands that businesses retain a certain percentage of their data on their own physical and virtual server infrastructure. Other organizations choose to store their data on multiple clouds for other reasons, such as security, flexibility, scalability, cost control, and data processing power. These benefits are explained in more detail in the following paragraphs.
Banks and government organizations are constant targets from foreign and domestic cybercriminals. Hybrid cloud services enable these organizations to host and secure their most vulnerable data assets in one environment, as described above. Less vulnerable or exploitable data can be stored on public cloud platforms with standard security protocols.
Many companies diversify their cloud services contracts to avoid vendor lock-in and ensure redundant services should one service fail. Others may use one cloud service for application development and other services for production. Some services offer various testing and development tools, while others have strong cloud performance reporting dashboards.
In some organizations, developers may prefer different cloud services than what IT operators like to manage in production. Hybrid cloud models enable organizations to have the best of both worlds.
Scalability and Elasticity
Organizations in industries like retail have peaks and valleys in traffic and resource utilization. Should a retailer's e-commerce website experience a spike in traffic and transactions during the holiday season, they can host their website content, inventory management system, and shopping cart modules on individual servers configured based on demand.
Computing resources can be increased or dialed back according to demand, enabling the retailer to only pay for the resources they need when they need them. Instead of paying for months of top-tier services around the clock, they can be more proactive around scaling and descaling based on actual consumption. This retailer can also choose to host their back-office systems in their data center and host public-facing content and applications in the public cloud.
Hybrid clouds allow organizations to integrate enterprise system data from their applications in their data center with applications running on the public cloud and leverage public cloud data processing resources and storage.
For example, organizations can generate actionable insights by integrating the data from their private environment with a public cloud or apply edge analytics on devices in the public cloud.