We’ve talked about the benefits of private clouds and public clouds, but we have yet to define the advantages of using both together as a hybrid cloud.
According to a Forbes interview with Dave Hart, CTO of Presidio, there are a lot of questions about what to virtualize in the cloud, and when to use and not to use the cloud. Hart even expresses doubt that cloud computing costs offer much of a financial benefit. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding public clouds, and a lot of cost involved in private clouds, so it is likely businesses will adopt something in between.
It’s unlikely that your business would run entirely from the cloud, though some rely on it almost completely. A hybrid cloud can fuse the benefits of a public cloud, with the security of a private cloud. You can have on-demand access to public cloud services, with a firewall blanketing your local network, and local control of your data.
You can purchase servers integrated with hybrid cloud technology so that you can set up a private cloud that also has immediate access to services like backup and disaster recovery, customer relationship management, and other software offerings available on demand on a pay-as-you-go basis. You’ve got one server to manage and keep secure with the added benefit of extra storage and on-demand software when you need it. Rather than running from a public or private cloud solely, you’ve got both.
A recent infoworld.com article explains that in the near future an employee’s workspace will be assembled from various places. Some applications will be stored on whatever device an employee is using while others will be on the company’s private cloud, with even more applications available from a third-party public cloud. This hybridization will allow users to access what they need on different devices, in different locations.
I mentioned that knowing when and what to virtualize in the cloud is difficult to determine. It may not be the wisest to trust a public cloud with your business infrastructure needs, but virtualization is a great option to have available if your local backups are destroyed. If you’ve got backups in the cloud, you can run a virtual machine from the cloud and keep business going while you implement a full recovery, thereby having little downtime.