Now we’ve had a few years of cloud adoption under our belts, it’s a good time to take a look at how some of the models are performing. Public cloud has its own great case study with Amazon AWS, and private clouds see strong supporters with forward-thinking IT teams. But there is another model that is winning over IT teams, the hybrid cloud, and it has good reason to.
With the rise of cloud models, we’ve heard a lot about the benefits of public and private clouds. Public clouds gave us the ability to leverage low-cost services to help organisations transition to cloud models through availability of services such as Amazon AWS. Private clouds were either built in-house to start taking advantage of the same type of technologies that make public clouds so attractive, but sadly the scale of efficiencies often doesn’t work for small organisations because the upfront costs of purchasing hardware and licenses can be more than simply leveraging cloud services from a third party provider.
Hybrid clouds came out of the evolution of data centres into cloud environments. IT folks weren’t 100% sold on the idea of moving everything into a cloud environment, whether public or private, due to the perceived risks around security, availability and most importantly, control. But here we are a few years later, and IDC predicts markets for hybrid cloud are expected to grow from the over $25 billion global market we saw in 2014 to a staggering $84 billion global market by 2019. Very impressive statistics for a cloud model that we didn’t expect to see such large adoption as public or private cloud.
So why is hybrid cloud so important? And why is the market prediction so large? Well, first let’s start with the benefits of hybrid cloud. Simply put, hybrid clouds provide all the benefits of a regular cloud environment such as integration, networking, management and security, but applied to a partially internal environment.
The market is at a point now where the complexities that originally came from designing, implementing and maintaining a hybrid environment are now mostly solved
This means an organisation can start with in-house computing resources, add external cloud resources to scale up, and then go back and replace those cloud sources either with more on premise infrastructure, or continue to leverage cloud solutions to balance manageability and security with the low-cost benefits of outsourcing to cloud providers where it makes sense.
By combining in-house private and public clouds, organisations benefit from not just the standardisation of shared services, but also scalability, pay per use models, and the ability to launch new services more efficiently. By tacking on external services and connecting them through UI technologies, APIs and publishing services, these hybrid models make it easier to use the cloud services as a true extension of in-house data centres.
Imagine using external storage services as if they were sitting in your data centre, but without the care and feeding requirements such as patching, maintenance and backups. Cloud computing can also be leveraged to help with data processing or development, and help reduce not just the capital investments associated with building the environment, but also the costs of resources sitting idle between projects.
The best part of hybrid cloud is that it’s a solution that can be used in so many different contexts from cloud security, networking, integration, management, and consulting. Plus, it applies to just about every vertical including powering media and entertainment, complex computing, healthcare, government, education, and analytics driven organisations. It’s a great way to augment your IT team and resources where you may not have the luxury of building up teams and skill sets or purchasing new infrastructure.
The market is at a point now where the complexities that originally came from designing, implementing and maintaining a hybrid environment are now mostly solved. This means organisations have more solutions to choose from, more supported vendors and availability of providers, and increased simplicity when it comes to ensuring visibility, connectivity and stability between multiple environments.
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