Not all clouds and computing service delivery products are the same. What are the different types of cloud computing, and what options do you have available to you as the consumer? A daunting question indeed. There is a lot of marketing jargon that really takes some effort just to understand. It may actually be intimidating for the small business operator to make an intelligent decision in regards to their IT needs without professional help. But fear not, for hope is on the horizon.
You have done your research, and you know all of the benefits that cloud computing can offer. The question is then, should you move to the cloud, and if so how much? Is it best just to capitulate to the great OZ in the sky and copy all your data to an unknown company with their unknown black boxes? Or do you keep the company data vault safely tucked away in the oversized broom closet where it has been dutifully churning for all these years.
Happily the answer is, you can do both, you do have a choice. You can easily diversify your IT services work load as is comfortable for you. This is known as the hybrid model for cloud computing, or hybrid cloud. It involves outsourcing certain aspects of your business to the cloud while keeping other aspects in house. Hybrid cloud technologies allow users to save and then access their information, be it files, databases, spreadsheets or documents from either a cloud based hosted system or their own internal servers. Some companies may keep certain things on premise because they perform better, such as a very powerful and demanding application. Others may keep sensitive files on premise due to compliance issues. Whatever the reason, it is possible to do all of this while at the same time utilizing the power of the cloud.
Here are the top benefits of using a hybrid cloud solution:
- The Ability to Leverage Both Public and Private Cloud: By intermixing private and public cloud infrastructures, companies are able to leverage the best of both worlds. The hybrid model allows businesses to use the cost-effective public cloud for non-sensitive material and then utilize the private cloud for critical, particularly sensitive operations. Companies can then utilize the public cloud as needed with their existing applications that are already in the data center, all combining for a flexible IT infrastructure.
- Agility: Rather than being pinned into one model or the other, hybrid cloud grants companies enhanced agility to move seamlessly between the two. Hybrid cloud has become a new, more powerful and economical way of delivering IT services, much more effective than the traditional hardware-bound, premise-bound model.
- Overall Cost Savings: Instead of having to replace an entire IT infrastructure, a hybrid cloud model allows companies to bridge the gap between old and new systems, bringing significant CAPEX and OPEX savings to businesses. With this type of model, companies can enjoy seamless scaling by using the cloud. Companies can just call up additional resources when needed using the cloud, instead of having to purchase more hardware for short term projects.
In the end, the hybrid-cloud approach is always the wisest objective to weigh your needs against. Access to high speed and redundant servers, dedicated processing appliances and internet bandwidth truly make it an exciting time to assemble the corporate IT facility of your dreams. The cafeteria approach to IT as a service makes the most sense. Pick and choose how much data should be stored and where. Then your cloud provider should be able assist you with acquiring the best balance of processing power, storage, security and cost. Then sit back and enjoy the benefits of the hybrid cloud!
Written By: George Austin
Senior Engineer, TOSS C3