Hybrid Cloud: Is it all hype or is it for real?

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These days, it seems like hybrid cloud is on the lips and minds of IT leaders everywhere. However, in an industry like IT, which is often driven by hype surrounding the next big thing, regardless of what that might be, it’s worth taking some time to stop and think about what hybrid cloud really is, and what the interest surrounding it represents. In this three-part series of blog posts, we’ll take a closer look at what hybrid cloud really is, and whether the hype surrounding it is really justified.

We’ll start by describing what hybrid cloud is for those who aren’t sure, and then follow up on the stated benefits of the technology. If you’re at all interested in pursuing a hybrid approach for your organization, this post will provide the perfect place for you to start.

What is hybrid cloud?

First things first, we need a definition. As the name suggests, hybrid cloud describes any kind of cloud environment that’s made up of more than one disparate element. This could mean different things to different people, but when you hear the term hybrid cloud used today, it’s usually in reference to a cloud environment where a single organization maintains both a private cloud (something designed specifically for the organization, and which remains within their firewall) and a public cloud (something provided by a third-party cloud services provider like IBM SoftLayer, Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure).

Crucially, the two elements of a hybrid cloud function separately from one another, allowing the unique benefits of both public and private to shine through, but are also integrated with one another over an encrypted connection, allowing data and applications to be moved back and forth between the two as needed.

What are the benefits of hybrid cloud?

Flexibility

The key idea behind hybrid cloud is that it allows you to design the exact cloud environment that is right for the needs of your organization. You can start by looking at the workloads you have, identifying which ones might benefit from a move to cloud, and then create the cloud environment that best meets the needs of those specific workloads. Using a unique blend of private and public, you can get all the benefits of cloud with none of the potential drawbacks.

Security and availability

The thing that gives many IT leaders pause when it comes to moving to public cloud is the idea that they simply have to trust another organization to keep their data safe. For certain types of sensitive enterprise data, this is simply more trust than most are willing to provide.

With hybrid, IT leaders are able to create a private cloud environment to store their most sensitive data, allowing them to bake in whatever levels of security controls they feel is appropriate. At the same time, they can rely on public cloud for failover and other important benefits. Since data is not actually stored on the public cloud in this situation, they have no reason to worry it might be compromised.

Scalability

From the public cloud perspective, the key benefits are the ability to scale services dynamically without having to make expensive infrastructure investments. This could be especially useful for organizations that tend to experience temporary spikes in demand.

For these organizations, investing in the kind of infrastructure needed to meet this demand as an inefficient use of resources, considering they will eventually end up with more capacity than they need. The hybrid cloud allows organizations to take advantage of this important benefit of public cloud, without having to worry that doing so might put them at risk.

What’s next?

We hope you’ve enjoyed this quick chance to learn a bit about what an organization like yours can do with hybrid cloud. Of course, when IT leaders realize that hybrid cloud allows them to design the cloud environment that is uniquely suited for their business, the next logical question would be what, exactly, that environment should look like.

If you’d like some assistance figuring out your optimal hybrid cloud environment, take a moment and learn about Cima’s free RightCloud Hybrid Cloud Assessment. During this assessment, we’ll help you look at your workloads, figure out which ones would benefit from life in the cloud, and then help you design the best hybrid cloud environment to support those workloads.

Learn what RightCloud is all about. Watch the video.

Best,

Jim

James Cunningham serves as the Chief Technology Officer at Cima Solutions Group. His experience in Healthcare operations and infrastructure support has enabled him to effectively move workloads into various cloud computing models. With 19 years in the IT field he carries several industry standard certifications, specializing in x86 and virtualization. Prior to Cima, James spent 15 years in Healthcare IT. He was Manager of Infrastructure at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. He has also spent over 10 years at The MetroHealth System in Cleveland, in Systems Engineering and EMR System Support.

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