There’s no denying that cloud computing is the future. The ability to work anywhere, access all of your data and harness the elastic computing power of a collection of remote servers on-demand is just too powerful for any business to ignore. However, that power does come at a price – a lack of control and some uncertainty over security.
For some applications, the security sacrifice is acceptable, but it makes sense to be wary about who owns and controls sensitive data. For this reason, many companies are investigating the possibility of using a hybrid cloud environment.
What is The Hybrid Cloud?
The hybrid cloud is a combination of public and private cloud computing. This solution makes a lot of sense for companies that already have a lot of money and time invested in their own private virtualization environment. Using a hybrid cloud architecture allows businesses to expand their infrastructure without wasting the resource that they have already invested into their own infrastructure.
The Benefits of Hybrid Clouds
Hybrid clouds offer the same high performance that the company has come to expect from their own virtualization environment, with the added benefit of increased scalability. When demand reaches a point where the private cloud cannot cope, the power of public servers can be harnessed. The security benefits come from the way that the company can control what services are hosted where. Sensitive data can be processed inside the private cloud, which has an extra layer of security. Less sensitive data can be farmed out to remote servers, maintaining performance and reliability while still ensuring that you always know what is going on with your data.
Hybrid Cloud Downsides
The main downside of the hybrid cloud is that it is complicated to set up, and you are still dependent on your internal IT infrastructure. When you use a traditional cloud hosting set-up, you know that your data is being looked after by multiple datacenters, and that a disaster in your own datacenter would not take your entire infrastructure down. With a hybrid cloud, the data that you process and host internally is still vulnerable if you are not taking multiple off-site backups.
You will also have to think carefully about SLAs for your public and private service providers, and examine your data protection policies make sense and comply with the regulations for your industry. This is something every business has to consider, but it becomes much more complex when you have multiple datacenters handling different parts of your data.
An Ideal Compromise
In spite of these complications, hybrid cloud models make a lot of sense for businesses that already have a complex internal network. The benefits of the cloud are too strong to ignore, and using a hybrid model allows businesses to keep control of their data while still enjoying the benefits of flexibility and scalability, as well as the cost savings that come from using an elastic model for harnessing extra processing power during times of heavy load.
Alex writes for CWCS – experts in cloud computing, dedicated servers and hosted services. Alex writes about the cloud, business communications and marketing.