The Benefits of Hybrid Cloud Computing
In the digital age, nearly every business is moving to the cloud or is already there. But putting sensitive data on the public cloud may not be the wisest choice. A survey of industry influencers found that security is the biggest roadblock to organizations moving to a fully cloud-based model. Two-thirds of respondents cited security as a somewhat large or extremely large challenge. Governance and compliance were the second biggest challenge.
While a fully cloud-based model has its benefits, it also comes with inherent security and compliance risks that make it less than ideal for most companies. That’s why many businesses have chosen to adopt an approach that combines both public and private cloud environments into a single hybrid cloud infrastructure. Hybrid clouds combine the benefits of public and private clouds to allow small-to-medium-sized businesses to thrive in the modern world.
What Is Hybrid Cloud Computing?
There are two primary models of clouds, public clouds, and private clouds. A public cloud is offered and operated by a third-party provider over the internet. The customer pays for access to server space or resources, and these resources can be shared with other customers. A private cloud is a self-managed and maintained computing infrastructure where the hardware is reserved exclusively for the company operating the private cloud.
Hybrid cloud computing is the combination of private and public cloud infrastructure within an organization. The public and private clouds work in tandem to run the organization’s workload and applications. This means that sensitive data or applications can be stored locally, but organizations can still utilize cloud services when needed. In a hybrid model, several touchpoints exist between the public and private clouds. The goal of a hybrid cloud is to create a unified, automated, and well-managed computing infrastructure system that leverages the benefits of both cloud systems. Hybrid clouds remain extremely popular because they allow companies to engage with as many cloud services as they need while remaining in control of their environment and also meeting a variety of customer needs. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top 5 benefits of cloud computing for small to medium sized businesses.
Cyberattacks remain a persistent threat to organizations of all sizes and this will likely be true for the foreseeable future. Cybersecurity professionals continually work hard to protect our systems, and cyber criminals work equally hard to breach them. In March 2020 alone, 832 million records were breached. When you factor in that most data breaches are only discovered after 100 days, it’s easy to see the far-reaching damage data breaches can have.
Public cloud providers are well aware of cybersecurity risks and go to great lengths to mitigate them. However, public environments are inherently riskier. When organizations put their sensitive data in a public cloud, they entrust the cloud provider with their most valuable asset. Many organizations feel this isn’t a risk they can take. Data breaches can have catastrophic consequences for organizations, both financially and to their reputation. For organizations that can’t take that risk, a hybrid cloud is the best option. Hybrid clouds ensure that highly sensitive data is kept in the hands of highly trusted individuals and that security can be tailored to meet the exact needs of the business.
Scalability is a major factor in why so many businesses are moving away from a fully privately networked cloud. For organizations experiencing unprecedented growth and wanting to scale up their operation, utilizing cloud services might be the way to go. In a public cloud, resources can be scaled up almost instantaneously with few teething problems. In a private cloud, organizations are limited to scaling at the rate they can buy and install new hardware. Scaling infrastructure locally also eats into labor costs and takes employees away from focusing on other tasks.
A hybrid cloud allows companies to experience the best of both worlds. Mission or business-critical data and applications can be managed in the private cloud, but other assets can be managed in the public cloud and scaled to meet the needs of the growing business.
3. Control and Compliance
There is simply no way for an organization to migrate their data to a public cloud and remain in complete control of it. Different organizations will have different philosophies on how they want their sensitive data to be handled. The only way to guarantee it’s handled the way the organization wants is to host the most critical applications on their private cloud.
Organizations may want to implement stricter security controls than a public cloud allows. They may also need to contend with local compliance laws and several regulations. Failure to comply can result in steep fines for the company. With this in mind, many companies prefer to use a hybrid system where they are responsible for ensuring their data is secure and that they meet compliance standards.
A major risk associated with private clouds is that they can be costly to scale and maintain. Hardware needs to be replaced regularly to remain optimal. Licenses need to be managed and often come with steep costs. This is why cost optimization is a primary reason for utilizing cloud services.
Public clouds address these cost concerns, but they also come with a few of their own. Public cloud providers may shut down, forcing the company to scramble for a new solution. A data breach that results from a cyber attack on a public cloud cost the organizations several thousand or hundreds of thousands in damages. Hybrid clouds are a cost-effective long term solution for businesses because they leverage the benefits of public cloud and private clouds while mitigating the risks of both.
5. Optimization and Speed
With the greater control that comes with private clouds, companies are free to build a fully optimized networking infrastructure that works best for their business. With a public cloud, resources are distributed and managed by the cloud provider in a way that makes sense to them. In most instances, the goal of the public cloud provider will be to manage the network in a way that benefits the majority of their customer base, rather than focusing on individual considerations.
With a hybrid approach, organizations can design a private cloud that works at lightning speed for critical assets while still experiencing the benefits of a highly scalable and flexible cloud.
The Best Approach for Modern SMEs
For organizations wanting to be at the helm of their own security and compliance, a Hybrid approach just makes sense. Sensitive data is strictly controlled and protected, while the benefits of public cloud computing can be actualized in just a few clicks.
If your organization is considering implementing a hybrid cloud, Outsource IT can help. Contact your Outsource IT account manager to learn more.