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Community Blog When Should I Choose Hybrid Cloud And What Cloud Provider Is the Best Fit?

When Should I Choose Hybrid Cloud And What Cloud Provider Is the Best Fit?

This article explains when to choose a hybrid cloud and what cloud provider can best help deliver a hybrid architecture

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Hybrid cloud is an increasingly well-established model for businesses looking for agility, scalability and performance combined with compliance and data privacy.
 
In a hybrid cloud environment, public and private clouds - and on-premises datacenter infrastructure - are connected through a wide area network or dedicated connection. Public clouds comprise shared, on-demand technology infrastructure and services, while private clouds feature infrastructure and services isolated behind a firewall and made available to selected users. The hybrid cloud aims to provide the advantages of each type of cloud while enabling users to avoid the challenges.
 
It is important at this point to distinguish hybrid cloud from multi cloud, which some industry participants define as the use of more than one public cloud service provider. 

When Should I Choose a Hybrid Cloud, Public Cloud or Private Cloud?

Businesses should review their requirements carefully before deciding whether a hybrid cloud, public cloud or private cloud environment best meets their needs. A public cloud may provide the scalability, ease of management and convenience that users from individuals to large enterprises need, but may not, for example, in some jurisdictions, meet strict regulatory requirements around the capture and storage of sensitive data (although this is changing rapidly as regulators and companies recognize the depth and quality of security provided by public cloud companies). Users can also take advantage of pay as you go pricing models to align spending with business growth.

A private cloud may provide a high degree of internal security and control, but businesses face considerable costs associated with server acquisition, for example, as well as management and maintenance complexity.

In a hybrid cloud environment, businesses can assign workloads to the environment that best meets their needs – and make changes as their requirements evolve over time. This presents opportunities across a number of scenarios to improve agility, scalability, cost management and performance, while meeting requirements for control and security.

Demand for hybrid cloud is increasing for a number of reasons, including da growing need for near-unlimited, on-demand, scalable resources, the ubiquity of public cloud services and the maturing of business cloud models to focus on optimizing workload environments. Recent research conducted by analysts IDC indicates despite fast growth in public cloud expenditures, 44% of enterprises plan to increase spending on their private cloud, while 48% plan to keep spending steady – reflecting, the analyst firm says, “a healthy growth for on-premises clouds and [showing] they have an essential role in the future.”
 
Key scenarios for hybrid cloud include:
 

Cloud bursting

With a cloud bursting solution, organizations can move workloads seamlessly to the public cloud from private clouds, enabling them to cope with sudden and unexpected spikes in demand. They can also move the workloads back to the private cloud or on-premises infrastructure when demand decreases. This capability can be extremely valuable for businesses that undertake marketing campaigns around new product launches, or those that are heavy users of analytics, such as financial institutions.  
 

Scalability

With a hybrid cloud, organizations can extend from a private cloud and on-premise infrastructure into a public cloud to seamlessly and cost-effectively secure the additional resources needed to grow, while maintaining compliance with regulatory obligations. The hybrid cloud also provides a prudent path for many businesses and organizations to transition in stages from on-premises to the cloud, minimizing disruption.
 

Security

A hybrid cloud architecture enables organizations to combine controlled access and sophisticated threat prevention in a multi-tenant infrastructure with the security of a private cloud. They can synchronize cloud servers to connect over a private network, as well as use dedicated hardware to meet compliance requirements for critical applications and data.  
 

Speed to market

A hybrid cloud enables businesses to adapt quickly to changing circumstances by testing, prototyping and launching new offerings with a very quick turnaround - enabling them to remain competitive in an increasingly dynamic global marketplace.
 

Disaster recovery and business continuity

Business continuity is critical to maintaining customer, partner and regulatory confidence, not to mention ongoing revenue. In some key industries, regulators set continuity requirements to minimize the risk of failures that can cause severe impacts beyond the organization and industry involved. With a hybrid cloud solution, organizations can replicate data to cloud infrastructure to ensure continued availability and retention during a severe event.

How Do I Select the Right Public Cloud For My Hybrid Cloud?

 
Working with the right cloud provider presents organizations with a compelling opportunity to implement a hybrid cloud architecture that powers more dynamic, agile, responsive and cost effective operations.
 
Key criteria businesses or organizations should apply when selecting a provider include:
 

  • Does the cloud provider offer access to full-stack product portfolios and thousands of servers in a single region, addressing any requirement for elasticity? 
  • Is the provider certified to the highest level of security and compliance (in Asia, this is the Classified Protection of Cybersecurity 2.0 (MPLS 2.0) Level IV) – to help address the security challenge a hybrid cloud environment potentially provides?
  • Can the provider deliver enterprise-level reliability and stability, with cross-geography disaster recovery and hot upgrade capabilities?
  • Does the provider support open-source products and multiple brands of hardware? 
     

Alibaba Cloud provides these options through Alibaba Cloud Hybrid Cloud, a solution available as either a lightweight edge node deployment or a central node deployment to accommodate cost and budget requirements.

Furthermore, Alibaba Cloud Hybrid Cloud uses the Apsara Stack to ensure business continuity in a hybrid environment, while Apsara Stack Agility Elastic Compute Service (Alibaba Cloud ZStack) is a lightweight hybrid cloud solution that can be deployed on a single node in 30 minutes and scaled out to hundreds of servers when needed.
 
For organizations that determine a hybrid cloud is the best fit for their needs, an architecture incorporating and powered by a multinational cloud provider, can position them to meet the demands of digital transformation and secure a competitive edge.

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Iain Ferguson

31 posts | 2 followers

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Iain Ferguson

31 posts | 2 followers

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