Tech Talk: Hybrid Cloud

We know. It’s hard enough keeping track with all the developments around cloud computing. Now you have to understand a Hybrid Cloud model as well? We’ll make it simple for you and help you decide if Hybrid Cloud is the right solution for your business.

First, let’s make sure we are all on the same page: Cloud -or cloud computing- is putting your software and applications on someone else’s servers. It could be Amazon’s servers, Google’s servers, Microsoft’s servers, or another cloud hosting provider. You may be using the cloud in a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model using Microsoft’s Office 365, for example. Or you might be putting your internal applications, a custom build application, or your active directory on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. This model is called Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). On-premise computing, on the other hand, is running software and applications on servers you own and host in your offices or a co-location space.¬†You can learn more about specific cloud models in our blog series Finding Opportunity in the Cloud.

While most business leaders understand the basics of on-premise and cloud computing, many don’t understand there is a third option: Hybrid Cloud. In a Hybrid Cloud model, the business puts some of their IT infrastructure in the cloud and maintains other IT infrastructure on-premise. Hybrid Cloud models make sense in a few different scenarios:

1. Migrating from on-premise to cloud.
Moving from on-premise to cloud can be a massive effort with tremendous risk. For organizations that absolutely cannot have downtime, migrating some infrastructure while maintaining other services locally gives more time for an orderly migration with adequate time for testing. For example, a company can move from a local Active Directory server to Azure Active Directory to manage identities and access across both cloud and on-premise applications and servers. Likewise, Azure Cloud Security can manage cybersecurity for all IT networks and assets, on-premise and cloud. While the rest of the organization’s services can run on local servers, Azure Active Directory and Security can be the first step in a larger migration to cloud services.

2. Maintaining legacy systems
Many organizations have legacy infrastructure and applications that do not make sense to move to the cloud. it simple takes too long and costs too much to rebuild systems that are near end-of-life. Keeping those legacy applications on-premise until they can be retired or replaced while moving newer applications to the cloud is a better use of resources.

3. High bandwidth/processing requirements.
Applications like CAD or other engineering and design applications and data processing like real-time analytics or financial transactions require a level of processing and bandwidth that the cloud cannot handle. These applications must be run locally to avoid latency. Companies can move lightweight applications like Active Directory or email to the cloud and focus on-premise resources on heavier applications.

4. Security or regulatory concerns.
Some industries must keep data on a local server for regulatory reasons. Other organizations may choose to keep intellectual property on local servers because cloud computing vendors have servers in other countries that cannot protect the data from competitors. Hybrid Cloud enable organizations to keep critical data under close control while moving less critical data and services to the cloud.

A Hybrid Cloud model is a flexible option and viable alternative to all on-premise or all cloud solutions. Understanding your organizations existing infrastructure, architecture, data, and regulatory/security requirements is critical to selecting the right cloud solution.

Don’t have a cloud strategy or think Hybrid Cloud might be the best option for your organization? We can help build a strategy and manage your cloud migration. Contact us at info@greystonetech.com.