Reasons To Consider Hybrid Cloud

There has been a strong movement towards hosted public cloud. But for some businesses they either haven’t started the transition or have a problem analysing the pros and cons of doing so. Here are 5 reasons to consider hybrid cloud.

Security

Do you know where your data is actually stored?

Do you understand the cyber-security measures in place to protect your intellectual property (IP), customers and data?

I hope you can answer “yes” to both of these questions. If you cannot you should take action to address this ASAP. Nevertheless, some of your data may be assigned a higher classification level which will reduce the number of hosting options available to you. Company sensitive IP should be protected at all costs too. Hosting some on-premise cloud infrastructure could be your best bet. Your business can implement and enforce a security policy that ring-fences your data and manages the cyber-security threat. You may be thinking “this doesn’t sound like a cheap option”, but how much is your business worth if your data and IP is stolen? A public breech of security can make a great news story. How much company reputation damage will your customers tolerate?

Control

With a proportion of your cloud infrastructure hosted on-premise you retain better control of it. Control in terms of physical access to the infrastructure as well as  access to the operating system and software layers for patching. Perhaps you have specialist teams who require isolation from other cloud consumers. They might require their own compute nodes. Again, this could be a security consideration, or because they consume a high amount of compute and storage resources they need to be separated to avoid impacting other teams.

Flexibility

I do not intend to discuss flexibility as in ‘elastic cloud’ here. I think elastic cloud in the public cloud domains is ripe and works very well as it does in private clouds too. The flexibility I’m referring to is in the multi vendor space. If your infrastructure team implements a Cloud Management Platform (CMP), a good one, one that can connect to multiple vendors simultaneously then you will have the freedom and flexibility to connect to a variety of private cloud vendors and public cloud providers. This is perfect if your business already utilises a private or public cloud because it makes logically joining them together a much simpler task and you’re well on your way to setting up a hybrid cloud.

Cost

Well. This is a tricky topic to cover off. There are many factors and influences that lead to costs increasing or savings to be made for both private and public cloud services. Private clouds require infrastructure design, internal support, power consumption, hosting space, 3rd party support, SLAs, etc. I could list the entire end-to-end process of design all the way through to delivery and BAU support. But I won’t. So yes, hosting infrastructure can be expensive and quite a few of the private cloud expenditure areas in this list do not apply to public cloud infrastructure because you’re paying a cloud services provider to worry about them. However, you are not in control of the public cloud service charge. Can your business afford for public cloud costs to increase 10% year on year for the next 5 years? I’m not saying that will happen, but it could. If you already host your own private cloud you could reduce your public cloud footprint by bringing services on-premise. Setting up a hybrid cloud and having the flexibility to move services from public to private cloud, and visa versa, enables agility to react to cost changes at very short notice. Be proactive, rather than reactive.

Strategy

If one or more of the other reasons in this list apply to your business it’s quite likely you will need to consider hybrid cloud rather than opting for complete public cloud. Impact assessing the options before you begin cloud investment is key here. Knowing and understanding the options available to your business will allow a solid strategy to be created. This strategy, like all strategies, should be reviewed periodically and whenever a major change occurs within your business. A change of strategy in one area of the business could impact the cloud infrastructure strategy in the short and long terms. The last thing the CFO of your business wants to hear is the last 2-3 years of infrastructure investment has been a waste because the infrastructure strategy was inaccurate and didn’t truly reflect the long-term strategy of the business.

Also, have a read of a related blog I have written previously with the title “Can your company afford not to have a private cloud?“.

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Paul Rawlinson
Managing Director @ Innovate IT Ltd
Paul is founder and Managing Director of Innovate IT, his reputation for being knowledgeable and personable is reflected in our company ethos.  As a solution architect with experience in small to enterprise corporations he is always keen to understand the clients needs and business aspirations as a basis for designing any solution.