What is a Hybrid Cloud?
Hybrid Cloud is the term given a mix of two or more infrastructures out of: on-premise servers, self-hosted private cloud and public cloud. It is important to note that Public Cloud in this context does not necessarily mean a publicly-accessible solution.
Hybrid cloud solutions have many positive features when considering a migration from traditional data-centre solutions. A hybrid cloud could be described as being a combination of services stored in public hosted clouds as well as private hosted clouds and/or your self-hosted data-centre, with data transferring seamlessly between them, and services designed to span both private and public facing environments.
Depending on the size and complexity of the application and existing infrastructure, some of the clear benefits of a hybrid cloud adoption include:
- Better responsiveness for staff working on particularly network-intensive applications by hosting those services more locally in self-hosted private cloud
- Lower baseline usage (and costs) in public cloud services
- Simpler security domain to manage (by retaining sensitive or regulated data inside an owned datacentre)
- Less costly by leveraging existing hardware investment and infrastructure
Hybrid Cloud solutions can be seen as a logical next step when moving from a self-hosted or legacy virtualisation infrastructure. Your decision to adopt a Hybrid Cloud solution will require some planning, but options are available to allow you to tailor the solution to your individual requirements.
You may want to avoid targeting a hybrid cloud solution if any of the following apply to your situation:
- Monolithic custom core business software without cloud integration capabilities
- Low throughput, High Latency or Limited bandwidth internet connectivity from retained self-hosted infrastructure
Migrating to a Hybrid Cloud
Companies adopting a hybrid cloud solution might consider a high-level implementation plan along these lines:
- Select a public/private hosted cloud provider (e.g. Amazon AWS, Google Cloud Compute, Microsoft Azure etc)
- Select a self-hosted cloud solution (e.g. OpenStack, VMWare VCloud, Microsoft Hyper-V etc)
- Source and implement appropriate connectivity between data-centre and cloud hosting provider
- Migrate applications identified as suitable to the appropriate public/private hosted cloud
- Replace or convert in-place released hardware into support self-hosted cloud service or retire and recycle or dispose of unnecessary additional hardware
- Migrate remaining data-centre applications to appropriately selected self-hosted or public/private cloud service