For over a decade, cloud hosting has gained traction in the business community due to its cost and scalability benefits. However, as it's become popular, many companies have realized that relying on a solely cloud-based infrastructure can be inefficient and, at times, ineffective. Companies must keep client data secure to maintain governmental compliance. Site performance must remain stable during daily and seasonal web traffic spikes. These needs, among others, have given rise to a Hybrid Cloud architecture that allows companies to securely maintain its core operations and handle any unusual traffic or processing needs.
Hybrid Cloud: Defined
A Hybrid Cloud is a network that combines privately hosted infrastructure with one or more public clouds like Amazon Web Service (AWS) or Google Cloud. Because a “Hybrid Cloud” can have multiple configurations, confusion has spread within the industry. For example, all of these can be considered a hybrid cloud:
- Private cloud servers integrated with public cloud servers
- Dedicated servers integrated with public cloud servers
- Dedicated servers integrated with public cloud storage
No matter the implementation, the key component to remember is that “hybrid” defines the joining of public and private networks. The configuration / types of servers do not play into the definition.
However, seamless integration between both private and public components needs to be established in order to achieve the truest form of a hybrid cloud. A single management pane should be used to avoid manual configuration of both sides of the hybrid cloud. Without this integration, a company would simply be managing multiple individual networks and not a true hybrid.
Why Use a Hybrid Cloud?
One of the fundamental benefits of a cloud server (as explained in our Dedicated vs. Cloud Servers article) is its ability to instantly provision resources to scale to increased demand. Product launches, promotions, seasonal surges, or even peak hours of the day are all potential reasons for these spikes.
Traffic is monitored and evaluated within a hybrid cloud to determine the resources necessary for executing the requests. Requests that would overwhelm the private infrastructure's resources are segregated and sent to the public component. This is called cloud bursting. Cloud bursting can be set up to guide standard requests to the public cloud while directing latency-dependent or sensitive information to the private infrastructure for fast and secure processing.
With a hybrid cloud, companies can also quickly extend their processing power for specific uses. The private network can retain the mission-critical tasks while sending larger analytical or processor-intensive tasks to the public cloud. In the example of big data firms, accumulated business and sales info can be maintained privately while computational analysis tasks can be sent to the public cloud for processing. This allows the processing power to be scaled according to need.
By using a public cloud only when needed, companies only pay for server resources that are used. Significant capital expenditures on additional IT infrastructure would be needed to handle short-term peak loads. The servers would then lay idle until the next surge in traffic or processing is required. This could cost firms thousands of dollars for idle servers and unneeded resources. Since clients are billed for only the cloud resources that are used, organizations eliminate the waste of underutilized servers.
At Adaptive Data Networks, we can assist you in both implementing and maintaining your hybrid cloud. Our networking professionals have years of experience working with public cloud providers. As a result, Adaptive Data Networks can engineer your hybrid cloud to work with with AWS, Azure, or any other public cloud to achieve your goals.
Hybrid Cloud Use Cases
A hybrid cloud can be effectively applied to a number of development, application, and recovery efforts. Moving these tasks to a hybrid cloud can prove to be a cost-effective alternative to scaled infrastructure which may only be required for brief periods.
Development and Testing
Near the end of a product's development, teams will require a dynamic environment to fully test their product. Using hybrid cloud resources allows for a controlled landscape that can isolate any issues that arise during the process. Additionally, the pay-per-use nature of the resources will make development costs easier to separate from normal operating costs.
Existing Applications Expansions
Migrating applications that are currently within your private infrastructure can make resources available for other needs. By offloading these to the public cloud, additional processing, sensitive data storage, or higher-value applications can be hosted locally. Furthermore, using a public cloud system that is compatible with your data center will eliminate the need for any reconfiguration.
Modernize Enterprise Workflow
Multi-tiered applications can utilize public cloud processing for the non-sensitive portions of its requests. The sensitive client or sales data would be kept secure within your internal infrastructure. Virtual desktops can also be hosted to provide staffing scalability that comes along with seasonal needs or product launches.
A hybrid cloud allows technology-dependent applications to be built within a relevant environment. Current frameworks such as Ruby on Rails or Spring can be deployed for their development. These applications can then be accessed from any device in any location. This allows your teams in Mumbai, St. Petersburg, and Chicago to access a single development environment and avoid development conflicts. Building the application within this perfectly simulated environment, ensures products will perform as planned when they launch and not suffer from migration issues.
Public cloud storage integrated into a hybrid cloud can function as a secondary archival backup. Offsite backups have had a longstanding place in an IT professional's tool belt. Recent natural disasters have reiterated the need for their use. Public cloud backups avoid the expense of full production environments and can provide a synchronized, low-cost alternative.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Hybrid Cloud
A hybrid cloud capitalizes on many key benefits of traditional cloud hosting. However, there are no existing “one size fits all” options for hosting. Hybrid cloud hosting addresses many of the weaknesses that come with using solely dedicated hosing or solely cloud hosting. However, there are still drawbacks that need to be considered prior to implementation.
On-demand cloud resources ensure constantly accessibility. Providers such as AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud Platform deliver virtually limitless expandability to handle volatile traffic demands. Using on-demand resources provides the additional benefit of paying only for what is used, and reduces the server's operating costs.
The private infrastructure component of a hybrid cloud will allow your company to limit the exposure of sensitive data. It will also reduce latency for the mission-critical processes that are executed within the private infrastructure.
Additionally, providers usually have managed support, such as Adaptive Data Networks's Adaptive Support, that is available to help IT professionals with managing their hybrid cloud.
Hybrid cloud hosting does present its own challenges. The planning and implementation of a hybrid cloud may prove difficult due to the varying technologies and protocols used within the different environments. These differences may also make it challenging to implement a single integrated management pane. Thus, a highly-skilled network team is mandatory.
Setup costs can be significant depending on your current infrastructure and your network goals. If your organization has only used public cloud services, the entire private component will need to be engineered. Additionally, growth will need to be anticipated and considered. Understanding the scalability limitations of dedicated servers will be key.
Governmental compliance will need to be maintained throughout the implementation. Sensitive client records, internal trade information, and other confidential data should not be sent to the public cloud. Transit of this information outside of your infrastructure may expose it to risk.
Additionally, latency will come into play with a hybrid cloud. As your data packets transit to the cloud, they will make multiple hops when traveling to and from their destination. This additional transit will introduce latency into the system. Thus, a hybrid cloud needs to be expertly managed when dealing with latency-sensitive products.
A hybrid cloud can allow your business' hosted infrastructure to be more versatile. It is a highly-customizable solution capable of handling daily demands or seasonal volatility. The customization of a hybrid cloud offers benefits that cannot be realized through standard dedicated or cloud servers. But the granular control of network means that skilled network teams need to be in place to implement and maintain it. With expert talent, however, your business can avoid overspending on IT infrastructure and realize both cost and performance benefits.
It is imperative to ensure your hosting provider has robust offerings and reliable support that are able to scale with your company's growth. Adaptive Data Networks's certified IT professionals draw from a wide range of hosting, networking, and consulting experience to provide you with the best service and resources that will meet and exceed your needs.