Cloud computing has been around for several years, but many enterprise users are only now discovering the concept of a hybrid cloud model. Hybrid cloud computing has been growing in popularity since 2008 and for good reason. Providing the best of both a private and public cloud structure, these systems offer incredible flexibility, customization, and security.
In today's quick-paced IT environments, industry professionals are used to the idea of mixing and matching public clouds with local, private assets in an effort to maximize a company's bang for its buck. Such hybrid models are designed to meet the needs of corporate users while offering greater affordability and flexibility than would ordinarily be available in a purely private, or purely public cloud environment. In fact, using a hybrid cloud computing model accomplishes several things for enterprise users.
- Affordability. Hybrid cloud computing models are affordable because they can take advantage of existing infrastructure and have a much smaller upfront investment. When creating a hybrid environment, one can use the public cloud for things like data storage and certain computing functions while the remainder of the company's computing needs remain in-house.
- Flexibility. Companies using traditional computing, server, and storage solutions may have complete control over their systems, but that level of control comes with increased costs associated with maintenance obligations and rigidity. Scaling and updating such systems can be both expensive and time-consuming which means they tend not to change very quickly. Cloud computing, on the other hand, is highly scalable and maintained offsite by third parties with nothing else to do but optimize the cloud. Mixing the privacy, security, and stability of in-house solutions with the flexibility and scalability of cloud servers helps companies achieve a great mix of the benefits of both options.
- Security. While public cloud services are getting more and more secure, they are not exclusive, so there is still a heightened chance of a security breach. Acknowledging this risk and managing it, hybrid cloud computing is a great way to deal with matters like compliance issues, performance requirements, and security restrictions by mixing local solutions with public ones.
While nobody can accurately predict what the future will hold, hybrid cloud models create an excellent means for many companies to gain the benefits of cloud computing while retaining the features of a private server they need to conduct their business. Hybrid cloud architectures will undoubtedly become increasingly sophisticated in the near future, so the real challenge for IT professionals will not be deciding whether to adopt a hybrid cloud computing model, but how to best maximize their company's use of this exciting and dynamic strategy to optimize institutional goals and reduce operating costs.
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