Hybrid cloud for IT novices; everything you need to know
A recent report from TechRepublic indicated that 66% of all users expect cloud adoption to grow in businesses, with hybrid clouds leading the way. Another report shows that almost two-thirds of companies across Europe have a strategy or pilot program for hybrid cloud in place.
These surveys weren't limited to large enterprises, which begs the question: How much do business owners need to know about this brand of cloud technology to stay competitive? Here are some basics.
What is a hybrid cloud?
A hybrid cloud is the combination of a public cloud infrastructure and private, on-premises hardware (e.g., your office server). It's an industry favorite because you can take advantage of both the cost-effective, third-party support of public clouds as well as the security and performance guarantees of private clouds.
How is it different from a multi-cloud solution?
It's easy to confuse hybrid clouds with "multi clouds," which let you mix and match platforms from different providers, with each cloud service performing a specific function.
Conversely, a hybrid model can be likened to an orchestra, with a conductor helping the various instruments work together in harmony. And much like a real orchestra, a hybrid cloud requires quite a lot of preparation and leadership. Here are some considerations.
You need to consider moving to a hybrid cloud if you want to see your business grow. Although a migration is relatively painless with the assistance of a cloud provider like SimplyClouds, it's no simple task. Everything from data security to user accounts and privileges will need to be completely redesigned.
#2 Service integration
You also need your public and private cloud services to work as one cohesive unit, just like the brass and the woodwinds in our orchestra example. You can achieve this by considering providers and platforms that have been proven to work well together, a task especially well-suited for a managed cloud service provider with decades of experience in the industry.
#3 Data classification
You need to evaluate and identify which apps and files should stay on-premises and which should be stored in public clouds. This requires an intimate understanding of data security regulations and their IT requirements, which is something you should expect from any cloud provider.
Because a hybrid cloud requires storing data in multiple physical and virtual locations, you’ll need your cloud "conductor" to install unified security management systems -- like encryption, security monitoring, and intrusion prevention tools -- so the cybersecurity of your systems is applied consistently. Security in a hybrid cloud must begin as soon as data transfer begins, as you'll need to encrypt data before exposing it to dangerous networks. If your public cloud solution can't keep data encrypted, whether at rest or in transfer, then sensitive data should never be stored there.
Why should you adopt a hybrid cloud model?
Hybrid clouds provide the best of both worlds: cost reductions and security enhancements. The only drawback is that it requires the support from a team of certified professionals. Thankfully, providers like SimplyClouds can take care of everything for a flat monthly fee.
A decade ago, cloud computing was the hottest thing in business technology -- today, it's hybrid platforms. The combination of private and public clouds allows small- and medium-sized businesses to minimize IT expenses, optimize scalability, and improve security.
There are still more things to consider regarding an effective hybrid cloud infrastructure. If you have any questions regarding hybrid cloud for IT novices, just give us a call for insights from our cloud experts at SimplyClouds.