For the last few years, cloud computing has been the focus of a large number of corporates around the world, but still, many businesses have been hesitant to move data and workloads into the public cloud. Now, with the underlying technology behind cloud services available for deployment inside organizations, a new model of cloud computing has gained a foothold in business: the hybrid cloud.

A Hybrid cloud is an architecture that combines one or more public cloud services with a private cloud, using the help of software. This enables the communication between each distinct service. This strategy provides organizations much greater flexibility by moving workloads between cloud solutions as per their needs and costs.


The Hybrid Cloud architecture

A Hybrid cloud architecture generally includes a private cloud/data centre, a public Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform, and access to a secure network. Many hybrid models purchase a local area network (LAN) as well as wide area networks (WAN).

Organizations that adopt a hybrid approach usually begin with an IaaS solution and extend its functionalities to the private cloud. To make the hybrid approach effective, the private and public clouds must be compatible with each other so that they can communicate amongst themselves.


Benefits of Hybrid Cloud

The benefits of the Hybrid cloud include:

1)    Security restrictions and risk: Hybrid cloud computing gives businesses crucial control over their data and improved security by reducing the potential exposure of information. Enterprises can choose where to store their data and workloads supported compliance, policy, or security requirements. The hybrid environment also lets the team in charge of security standardize redundant cloud storage, which is an extremely crucial aspect of disaster recovery and data insurance. A hybrid cloud’s centralized management makes it easier to implement strong security measures like encryption, access control, etc. so that the businesses can manage risk effectively.

2)    Business Continuity: Business continuity is one of the most integral elements of an organization’s operations. A business’ continuity plan should not be limited to backing up data into the cloud only; nor is it a disaster management plan. It is all about continuing to do the work during a failure or even a disaster. In situations where an emergency does occur, data management procedures won’t be affected, and everything will continue to remain the way it was before the disaster occurred. For this purpose, a hybrid cloud can prove to be extremely beneficial. All the necessary data can be backed up and stored within a hybrid cloud, so that there is no data loss, even in the case of a disaster or emergency; this minimalizes downtime and the costs related with the recovery of essential data.

3)    Scalability: With a hybrid cloud you've got unlimited resources at your fingertips should your business see a spike in demand. For big data projects, the hybrid cloud allows for increased automation so that organizations can adjust the cloud settings to respond automatically to changes in demand, optimizing performance, and efficiency.

4)    Cost: Cost is a key factor for many organizations considering migrating to the cloud as the best option. When the demand increases, organizations with a hybrid cloud option can avoid huge expenditures to expand their infrastructure and instead pay only for the cloud resources they use. Again, if the demand decreases, the costs drop back down too.


Hybrid Cloud and Open-source technologies

To incorporate a hybrid cloud, organizations need to build a private cloud on their own or they can use a prepackaged cloud infrastructure such as OpenStack. Open-source technologies play an important part in Hybrid clouds. In fact, many of the public cloud providers depend highly on different open source technologies to run them, so open-source can be used easily across both private and public clouds in various situations. Companies like Red Hat were built on the concept to facilitate hybrid cloud. Many of its customers are moving towards an open hybrid cloud strategy.

A large number of open source technologies are used in the hybrid cloud environment. Those technologies can be categorized under five major categories: i) Infrastructure such as OpenStack, CloudStack, etc, ii) Virtualization like KVM and Docker, iii)DevOps like Puppet, Chef, etc, iv) Databases such as MongoDB and CloudDB and v) Platform like OpenShift. These are some of the top technologies which have significantly influenced the cloud computing market, especially when it comes to the development, setup, and operations of cloud infrastructure, platforms, and applications.

This is, in fact, because open source provides the flexibility which they need and helps avoid the problems of cloud vendor lock-in. Additionally, open-source technologies bring breadth and depth for both managers and developers; they provide developers with the tools they enjoy using.

Though the cloud market is growing quickly, it has its drawbacks and limitations. It is hard to get the benefits of a unified environment when proprietary code stands in the way. This is the reason why Red Hat promotes an open hybrid cloud strategy as a way enterprises can achieve their digital transformation objectives.


What do you need to implement Hybrid Cloud Solutions?

While there is a range of advantages offered through hybrid cloud solutions, if implemented incorrectly, businesses could see severe implications that eliminate those many benefits. That’s why it's important to completely understand how the hybrid cloud will work for your business. Before you're taking the leap to the hybrid cloud, first make sure that you have:

      A plan for application migration

      Strong network connectivity

      API compatibility and management support

      A thorough understanding of the value benefits for your company and important factors like load balancing and I/O requirements

By consulting with an IT managed service provider you'll make sure that you're equipped to form the move to the hybrid cloud and ensure that it's the most effective choice for your business.