Why Hybrid Clouds Have an Important Part to Play in Re-inventing the Workplace.
Published on February 25, 2014 – Written for ASI Cloud
The agility, scalability and utility qualities of the cloud are transforming IT procurement and challenging the way IT is purchased, provisioned and maintained. The very nature of the cloud is creating innovation in working practices and a greater sense of collaboration; so it makes sense for businesses to take advantage of these qualities.
The word hybrid is often used to describe the result of cross cultivating two different genres; In the context of IT and cloud computing, hybrid is defined as the combination of a private cloud (either inside a corporate firewall or on a dedicated server that’s hosted by a cloud service provider), with a public cloud infrastructure, (provided externally by a trusted cloud service provider in a multi tenant/shared infrastructure environment), to provide for differing workloads within a single business estate.
So, why choose a hybrid cloud environment and what are the advantages of maintaining some of your business services on-premise?
There are specific solutions to specific workloads that are mature in the public cloud space, and that deliver extremely high features & functionality for minimal cost, with maximum resilience, scalability & agility. However, there are niche workloads that by their very nature require some form of dedicated component and are not pre-disposed to public cloud or multi-tenant delivery; either from a regulatory, compliance or technological perspective.
Many MSP’s (Managed Service Providers) and resellers will insist on fitting their solutions around the platforms available, and not around the business needs whilst businesses appraise cloud solutions that meet their business requirements; irrespective of the delivery model. This may sometimes require adopting the cloud in a phased approach; moving disparate workloads to a cloud delivery model, whether they are Private, Public or Hybrid.
When opting for the flexibility and scalability that a cloud estate delivers, it is often most appropriate for our customers to use our cloud hosting services to focus on the services that will deliver the greatest benefit with the lowest initial risk. Some of our customers prefer to place part of their IT function in a public cloud whilst initially keeping higher-risk or bespoke functions within a private cloud (on premise), before moving to a fully managed private cloud model.
For other customers, our secure data-centre delivers a better protected, more robust platform than they can provide for themselves, helping them easily and efficiently overcome a security or compliance challenge. In either case, IT is delivered by a hybrid cloud solution.
The idea behind hybrid clouds is quite simple; businesses adopt them to take advantage of the scalability and cost-efficiency offered by the public cloud environment, without exposing mission-critical applications and data to potential vulnerabilities. In addition, hybrid cloud models combine the best and most efficient solutions because different types of data can be moved onto whichever platform provides the most efficient environment when it’s most appropriate.
Blending public and private clouds in a hybrid solution is often the most suitable choice for many of our customers as they find that a one size cloud infrastructure does not actually fit all. Instead, combining different infrastructures enables them to create a computing architecture that can deliver better reliability, optimised performance and, ultimately, greater cost value.
Hybrids also offer you greater technical control – you can grant root access to authorised personnel and logically or physically segment your architecture where it’s needed at any time. Unlike cloud-only solutions, a hybrid cloud lets you define if and where multi-tenancy is acceptable. You can also request customised hardware as or when it’s needed, to meet performance requirements for specific applications.
Customers can also improved security with a hybrid environment; a common concern about cloud technology among enterprises is the security of multi-tenancy hosting arrangements. A hybrid infrastructure will ease this concern as on-premise and/or network devices can be isolated to restrict access to your data. You can also configure your devices so that on-premise servers and cloud servers can communicate via a private network, effectively combining two separate systems into a single integrated architecture.
If your business is required to meet regulatory compliance regarding data security, you should avoid multi-tenancy options and choose dedicated servers for some or all your hosted infrastructure. With the right network security, a hybrid solution that blends cloud and dedicated hardware will satisfy auditors and regulators.
ISV’s and our Software Partners often use our hosting services to develop and test cloud-ready applications; in many cases, a public cloud is suitable, but some of our customers opt for dedicated servers to host mission critical application launches. Dedicated servers within a hybrid infrastructure that are configured to meet specific performance needs can be supplemented with multi-tenant cloud servers to provide for overflow traffic after launch.
If you are looking into hybrid cloud solutions and want to find out which options are best for your business, contact our cloud consultancy team; we’re here to help you make the best choices.
About the ASI Cloud infrastructure.
ASI Cloud, delivers the best business productivity services that the Public Cloud has to offer. Powered by ournext generation Cloud OS platform and the latest IBM and Microsoft System Centre 2012 R2 technologies, we seamlessly manage and distribute services between our customers’ own infrastructure, our platform, and the public Microsoft and IBM cloud fabrics. Customers benefit from secure, integrated services, the flexibility, agility and scalability offered by the cloud and all the benefits of a private