Getting the best of both worlds isn’t always as difficult as it sounds. For companies looking to improve their productivity, flexibility and efficiency – while keeping down costs – a hybrid cloud service is increasingly gaining acceptance as the go-to model.
According to a Gartner webinar, Hybrid Clouds and Hybrid IT: The Next Frontier, the “majority of private and community cloud services will evolve to hybrid services by 2017.”
Hybrid cloud solutions integrate two or more service delivery models to provide companies with benefits unavailable in a strictly private or onsite environment. With the hybrid model, companies can leverage the services and expertise of a cloud service provider (CSP) to supplement current business needs and scale to meet future demands – whether anticipated or unexpected.
The solution can be tailored to meet specific company needs and can employ any combination of available services – colocation, public or private cloud applications, plus managed services if appropriate – to create a high-performance hybrid environment.
So when does a hybrid model make sense?
To support existing legacy systems. The capital investment made in existing technology and the functionality of existing processes and applications are too large and too ingrained in corporate IT structure to be ignored. Yet additional capital purchases may not be the most economical or effective use of IT dollars. The capabilities of a hybrid cloud service may offer a solution by helping companies continue to meet their capacity needs without incurring costly capital investments. By leveraging existing infrastructure, hybrid cloud solutions ensure peak performance with minimized costs. Colocation is an option for companies looking to house their data in two locations and have a service provider (SP) maintain the environment in which their technology resides. A variety of cloud services, such as private and public clouds or disaster recovery clouds are also options.
For scalability for ongoing changes in needs. For companies with growing compute and storage needs, hybrid cloud models allow them to purchase capacity as needed, ensuring that cost efficiency is maximized and the issues associated with over-and under-capacity situations are avoided. For companies with spikes in capacity – like during a widely-viewed event – a hybrid cloud solution allows them to purchase capacity on a temporary basis to ensure the continuity of services.
For disaster recovery. When outages occur, companies need to be prepared to get mission-critical data back online as quickly as possible to ensure peak uptime. Backing up data in a secure, remote and redundant environment is key to the success of this operation. Hybrid solutions that incorporate disaster recovery cloud services or data centers used for DR allow companies to back up their data in the cloud or a separate location with a SP who has the necessary redundancy and geographic positioning to ensure the safety of the data and a rapid recovery time. Failovers can be initiated quickly and, depending on the specifics of the recovery cloud solution, it may be possible to restore data to a point in time chosen by the company.
To unburden IT. IT staffs do not lack for work. They are expected to code and test, maintain infrastructure, stay abreast of new technology, support internal clients – the list goes on. A hybrid cloud solution can be tailored to accept responsibilities that will free up IT’s time to perform other critical responsibilities. For example, a disaster recovery cloud can eliminate IT’s need to travel to maintain and test back up operations.
To ensure a compliant environment. Incorporating services such as Peak 10’s HIPAA-compliant and PCI-compliant clouds into a hybrid solution creates asecure environments that can help customers achieve necessary compliance. Knowlegdgeable SPs can work with companies to architect solutions that meet regulatory directives to ensure compliance.
To engage managed services. By integrating managed services into a cloud solution, companies are able to relieve their IT staff of many day-to-day responsibilities – such as overseeing capacity needs and analyzing data – while leveraging the expertise of the CSP to gain a host of value-added capabilities, including leading-edge technology and capacity planning.
For efficient use of IT dollars. In business today, it comes down to getting the most from every dollar – and a hybrid cloud solution can help with this. From avoiding costly capital expenditures to offering the scalability to operate an effective environment, a hybrid cloud model allow companies to pull together a variety of service delivery models to create a singular, hybrid solution tailored to meet a company’s unique needs, while maximizing cost-effectiveness.
The services and functionality offered in hybrid cloud solutions can provide a plethora of benefits for companies. It allows companies to extend their current capabilities and infrastructure without discounting the importance and necessity of existing systems and processes that still have functional applications and needs. By seamlessly interweaving a company’s private infrastructure with the offerings of a CSP, a hybrid cloud can integrate the best of both worlds in a high-efficiency, cost-effective package.