Hybrid cloud environments combine the advantages of public clouds and private clouds, allowing organizations to choose a computing model that fits their needs.
Hybrid cloud is a mixed computing environment that combines infrastructure from the public cloud, such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, or the Google Cloud Platform, with an organization’s private cloud or on-premises data center. The primary advantage of a hybrid cloud is agility: Organizations can scale compute resources up and down according to need, and choose where workloads are processed based on requirements for data security or workload sensitivity. Organizations can migrate and manage workloads between cloud environments to optimize processing flexibility, cost, and control based on specific business or regulatory requirements. A hybrid cloud can also be used as part of a disaster recovery strategy, or to dynamically scale out capacity based on performance conditions (“bursting”).
Additionally, app teams may prefer developer tools and rich toolsets available in public cloud platforms.
The public cloud allows enterprises to host applications and data in shared computing resources owned by a third-party service provider. The public cloud offers access to almost limitless computing resources, offering organizations massive economies of scale without the need to invest in data center hardware. However, cloud computing’s pay-as-you-go pricing model means that costs can be steep with ongoing use, and the shared responsibility model means organizations have limited control over data security, or even visibility as to where cloud providers process workloads or store data, which can run afoul of data sovereignty regulations.
The private cloud is dedicated—not shared—cloud infrastructure controlled by the enterprise and can be operated by a third party or hosted in a private data center. Many organizations elect to keep mission critical services in on-premises data centers or private clouds and move other services to the public cloud to reduce costs and improve operational efficiencies. However, organizations are increasingly adopting security as a service offerings in cloud-based platforms for improved threat detection and remediation.
Multi-cloud computing is similar to hybrid cloud but can include resources from a private cloud and resources from multiple public cloud service providers. In a multi-cloud scenario, organizations may choose to use resources from several providers to optimize the advantages of each unique service to suit specific business needs and minimize vendor lock-in.
A hybrid cloud combines the advantages of both public and private clouds, but the hybrid environment requires careful integration, orchestration, and coordination so data and workloads can be moved, shared, and synchronized quickly. This means that robust interconnectivity and networking is critical for a hybrid cloud deployment to function correctly. This enables applications to work consistently across different environments, creating a single computing platform that spans across more than one cloud.
Determining where data will be stored and how it will be accessed is an important element to consider while implementing a hybrid cloud environment. One of the most common data storage strategies in a hybrid cloud environment is to use the public cloud to store less frequently accessed data, as well as for use as backup, disaster recovery, and archival purposes. Organizations often choose to store frequently accessed or sensitive data on a private cloud or in on-premises storage to ensure greater control and security, though this may require more upfront investment in infrastructure. Some vendors offer hybrid storage solutions that combine cloud and on-premises storage in a single platform, providing businesses with greater flexibility and control over their data.
Hybrid cloud scenarios include several key features and concepts:
There are multiple ways to configure hybrid cloud environments to address specific computing needs and circumstances.
A hybrid cloud computing model is key to the success of several major organizations.
Enterprise hybrid cloud is a cloud computing model that combines the advantages of public and private clouds to deliver a flexible, scalable, and cost-effective IT infrastructure. With enterprise hybrid cloud, organizations have the flexibility to deploy applications and workloads in the cloud or on-premises, depending on their requirements. This enables businesses to quickly respond to changing market demands and scale their IT infrastructure up or down as needed. Security is also a key feature of enterprise hybrid cloud, as it allows organizations to maintain control over sensitive data and applications in the data center or private cloud, while still benefiting from the scalability and cost-effectiveness of public cloud services.
Additionally, hybrid cloud can help organizations reduce IT costs by optimizing the use of existing on-premises infrastructure for mission critical workloads and leveraging cost-effective public cloud services for non-critical workloads.
Enterprise hybrid cloud has been successfully implemented across a variety of industries to help organizations achieve their business goals.
While implementing a hybrid cloud strategy can bring numerous benefits to organizations, it also poses challenges. For instance, hybrid cloud environments are more complex than traditional IT infrastructures and integrating and managing different cloud platforms, on-premises infrastructure, and third-party services require specialized skills and expertise. Organizations need to ensure that their data is secure, backed up, and available across all hybrid cloud environments, and that the cloud infrastructure is interoperable so that data can be easily exchanged between different clouds and/or the data center.
Security is also a critical concern for hybrid cloud environments. In addition to gaining visibility across all environments, security teams need to consider managing access control, encryption, and identity management across different cloud environments. Organizations must also ensure that their cloud infrastructure complies with industry regulations, and coordinate threat remediation for vulnerabilities that may impact both on-premises and cloud environments.
Hybrid cloud solutions provide the best of both worlds, offering businesses the ability to leverage the benefits of both public and private clouds. Advantages of implementing hybrid cloud solutions include:
Organizations should consider the following tips and best practices as they begin to plan and execute their hybrid cloud environment.
Hybrid cloud has already proven to be a game-changing technology for many businesses, providing them with the flexibility, scalability, and cost savings they need to stay competitive. In the coming years, the potential of hybrid cloud is expected to grow, with new trends and technologies driving further innovation and growth.
One of the key emerging use cases for hybrid cloud is edge computing, which involves processing data closer to where it is generated, rather than in a centralized data center. This approach can reduce latency, improve performance, and enable real-time decision-making. Another emerging trend is serverless architectures, which allow developers to write code without having to manage the underlying infrastructure. This can further improve agility and reduce costs by changing the cost model to one based on transactions instead of always-on compute.
Adopting a hybrid cloud approach can be a transformative step for businesses, providing them with the flexibility and agility they need to thrive in today's rapidly changing business environment. By carefully planning and executing their hybrid cloud strategy, businesses can maximize the potential of this technology and position themselves for success in the years ahead.
To help simplify your hybrid cloud strategy, F5 offers a comprehensive set of security and management tools that remain consistent across clouds and protects data and applications across multiple IT environments.