Cloud computing has changed the way modern companies do business. As companies make the shift to the cloud, however, they tend to be left with a collection of off-site solutions and legacy on-premises systems. This can create a challenge for IT departments as they strive to manage and secure company data. If that sounds familiar, it might be time to explore the benefits of hybrid cloud solutions.
What Is Hybrid Cloud?
A hybrid cloud brings together the different technology services and architectures you use in your business. By unifying them into an interconnected system, it creates an infrastructure that’s efficient, cost-effective and easy to manage.
A hybrid cloud infrastructure might include:
- Private cloud services: Highly secure cloud systems that are hosted in off-premises data centers and controlled entirely by your business, such as Citrix Cloud and Dell APEX Cloud
- Public cloud services: Subscription-based services that are available to anyone and managed by the vendor, such as Google Drive, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure
- On-premises infrastructure: Systems that are on-site at your business, such as data centers
Benefits of Hybrid Cloud
Hybrid cloud solutions can benefit a wide range of businesses, from start-ups with big growth goals to well-established companies. Designed appropriately, these systems address a range of common challenges.
Flexible and Scalable
As your business grows, so do its technology demands. A hybrid cloud infrastructure scales quickly and incrementally, enabling you to add power or space as needed — without selecting, installing and integrating new hardware. As a result, your company can afford to be more agile, responding rapidly to new opportunities or shifts in the market.
Hybrid clouds are also flexible. You can shift workloads between on-site systems, public clouds and private clouds as needed to optimize cloud resources and control costs. As you’re developing a tech stack for each growth stage, it’s easy to add, test and remove SaaS programs without reconfiguring or adjusting your existing hardware setup.
Since hybrid cloud solutions enable you to scale without investing in expensive equipment, they tend to be cost-effective — in terms of both capital and operational costs. There’s no need to wait until you can afford new equipment to branch out into new revenue-generating activities. This leads to faster income growth and lower opportunity costs.
What’s more, you don’t need to devote time or money to maintaining and upgrading storage systems; the administrators of public cloud and private cloud systems take on that burden.
A hybrid cloud model also provides an affordable way to respond to short-term increases in demand. When you need extra processing power on a temporary basis, public cloud services offer access to the necessary cloud resources at a reasonable cost. Since there’s no long-term commitment, it’s easy to scale back down when business operations return to normal.
Data security is a key concern for any company that’s operating in the cloud. A hybrid cloud setup gives you maximum control over where and how data is stored and accessed. You can isolate the most sensitive data and mission-critical tasks in an on-premises data center or private cloud infrastructure and move less-sensitive data into the public cloud.
A well-built hybrid cloud solution is centralized, giving your IT team the ability to monitor and control security across the system. They can adjust permissions, authentication and encryption as needed to control access and reduce the risk of data breaches. You’ll also benefit from the existing security infrastructure in private cloud environments.
Easy Employee Access
Modern business rarely happens entirely in-house — employees need to access programs and files when they’re on the road or working from home. A hybrid cloud environment allows fast, secure access at any time, from anywhere in the world. If your business works with remote employees or dispersed teams, a hybrid system makes it easier to integrate new people and streamline workflows.
In a competitive market, most companies need to be operational at all times. Hybrid cloud systems can help you achieve business continuity. Since resources are spread across on-site systems, private clouds and public clouds, a single error or issue doesn’t affect every part of the business. Backups can be stored in multiple private or public cloud locations, so if something goes wrong, your IT department can retrieve stored data and restore the system quickly.
Compared to stand-alone on-site data centers, hybrid cloud environments reduce your risk. When all your data is stored on the premises, your operations are vulnerable to fire, natural disasters and other unpredictable events. A hybrid cloud enables you to respond to the unexpected with minimal downtime. If an earthquake or flood blocks access to your office, employees can use the cloud to continue serving clients from another location while the IT team works on disaster recovery.
If your company does business across borders, a hybrid cloud can help employees comply with different laws and regulations. This flexibility is particularly important when it comes to collecting customer information; different countries have different laws about how and where you can store personal details.
A hybrid cloud environment can integrate data centers in locations around the globe, making it easier to adjust your data processing and cloud storage workflows to comply with local rules. When laws change, you can adapt the system accordingly.
Every business has different cloud-computing needs. A hybrid cloud can be customized to suit any type of operation. Whether you run a small local business with a remote team or a large, multinational corporation, it’s possible to create a system that’s tailored to your unique needs.
Setting Up a Hybrid Cloud Architecture
A well-designed hybrid cloud can deliver exceptional flexibility, scalability and security. At EIRE Systems, we provide expert-level cloud design; we create systems that support your company’s growth and output goals, all while protecting confidential data. From simple, scalable systems to complex clouds, our IT experts build hybrid environments that are both usable and future-proof. Contact us today to discuss your cloud computing requirements.