Home Cloud Computing Hybrid Cloud: The Best of Both Worlds

What is Hybrid Cloud?

The hybrid cloud is a cloud computing environment the combines on-premises private cloud resources with third-party public cloud resources. The orchestration of the two allows data to move between private and public cloud platforms to provide greater flexibility and more deployment options. The computing environment is particularly valuable for dynamic or highly changeable workloads.

Private vs. Public Cloud

Private Cloud

A private cloud hosting solution consists of computing resources that are managed exclusively by one organization who protects its company’s data behind a firewall. The hardware and software are solely dedicated to that specific organization. Implementing a private cloud would be most beneficial to businesses who already have an expensive data center with business-critical operations. However, the maintenance, management, and updates to the data center is the full responsibility of the company.

Drawbacks of Private Clouds

  • Costly – it is up to the organization for replacing any dated servers.

Advantages of Private Clouds

  • Increased level of security – very few, if any, resources are not shared with other orgs.
  • More flexibility – the cloud environment is customizable to meet specific needs.
  • High Scalability – private clouds still provide the scalability and efficiency of a public cloud.

Private clouds are often used by financial institutions, government agencies, any other mid- to large-size organizations.

Public Cloud

Unlike a private cloud, all hardware, software and other supporting infrastructure of public cloud are entirely owned and operated by third-party cloud providers. This cloud environment is appealing to businesses because it reduces deployment and testing time of equipment. Third-party public cloud resources can also be shared among other companies through web browsers over the Internet.

Drawbacks of Public Cloud

  • Limited security – Hardware, storage, and network devices can be exchanged, which makes security lacking.

Advantages of Public Clouds

  • No maintenance – all maintenance, management, and updates are handled by a third-party provider.
  • Cost efficient – an organization is not responsible for product replacement.
  • High reliability – there is a vast network of servers ensures against failure.
  • Virtually unlimited scalability – there are available on-demand resources to meet your business needs.

Public cloud deployments are frequently used to provide storage, online office applications, web-based email, and testing and development environments.

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Getting the Best of Both Worlds

Hybrid cloud captures and best elements of private and public cloud and blends them together to produce greater flexibility and scalability. With the option to “cloud burst”, an application can primarily run in a private cloud for sensitive workloads, and then “burst” into a public cloud when there is a demand for additional computing resources. For example, organizations can see a spike in demand such as seasonal events like online shopping or tax filing.

Though a developer can establish advanced applications using a blend of resources and services across the public and private platforms, the key to creating a successful hybrid cloud is to select the appropriate hypervisor and cloud software layers. These elements must be compatible with the desired public cloud’s application programming interfaces (APIs) and services. The implementation of compatible software and services also enables data to migrate seamlessly between private and public clouds.

Advantages of Hybrid Clouds

  • Control – businesses can maintain a private cloud environment to retain sensitive assets.
  • Ease – transitioning to cloud is simple by the gradual phasing in workloads over time.
  • Big data processing – use hybrid cloud storage to retain accumulated business data and run analytical queries in the public cloud.
  • Flexibility – take advantage of additional resources in the public cloud as needed.
  • Cost effective – pay for extra computing power only as needed with the ability to scale to the public cloud.

Edge Computing Elevates Hybrid Cloud Challenges

Although there are fantastic benefits with deploying hybrid cloud, it is not a standalone solution for critical projects that require real-time responsiveness. Challenges like cost, security, latency, and connectivity can still arise for certain industrial situations the require real time.

The growth in edge computing has created more data and a greater need for speed in making information immediately available for other systems and analytics. Having the hybrid cloud is perfect for non-real-time workloads like post-processing analytics or planning. However, some computing will always need to live at the edge, such as real-time processing, decision support, SCADA functions and more.

Want to learn how to reduce risk and create a more effective industrial computing project? Watch IT/OT Essentials for Control System Projects with Cloud & Edge Computing and discover what options to satisfy both IT and OT goals.

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