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Understanding Hybrid Cloud Computing Architecture

Hybrid cloud architecture is really about combining the old and new to create a hybrid that uses the best of both worlds. What this means for a hybrid cloud computing architecture is that the secure data is kept safe in a companies specific, highly-controlled and well-designed data center. Other less sensitive data can be stored in the cloud. This helps a business to run their operations in a more cost-effective, efficient and secure manner.
The Problem With Cloud Servers

Cloud servers are fantastic, but they don’t offer the same level of control over a cloud server as a company-owned server. This can cause significant issues when it comes time to upgrade applications, or if companies have extremely sensitive data that they want to have complete control over.

Issues With Cloud Servers:

  • Cloud servers are often managed by a third-party company, and companies don’t always know the protocols put in place to protect data.
  • Updates are automatically employed across the system when they are available. This can reduce security and introduce vulnerabilities in older apps.
  • Currently, cloud providers only offer significant cost-savings for smaller operations. If an operation grows too large, it can begin to cost more than it would to privately manage a server.
  • If outside Internet access goes down, the information in the cloud isn’t accessible. With an on-site installation, it’s always possible to access information.
  • There is no control over cloud vendor outages.
  • Using the cloud tends to tie you into one company for all your data needs. A hybrid cloud ensures that important data always stays with the company.

How a Hybrid Cloud Offers the Best of Both Worlds

With a hybrid cloud, sensitive data is stored with the company and less sensitive data is stored in a third-party cloud server. This is crucial for companies that need to develop apps online and may need to rapidly scale resources to accomplish certain goals. Not all hybrid cloud servers consist of an installation that is hosted on-site with the company. Some hosting companies offer plans that allow companies to employ a hybrid cloud solution, but the third-party provider will use their own IT staff.

The hybrid cloud architecture offers the best of both worlds. Costs can be significantly reduced by storing essential applications and sensitive data internally in a private cloud. At the same time, large amounts of data and less sensitive apps can be stored in the public cloud. A hybrid cloud computing environment can make it possible to markedly reduce the IT staff for a company, and one person working in a hybrid cloud can often do the job of five to ten people in a traditional private cloud.

Data for public clouds is essentially leased from a company that offers cloud hosting. These companies specialize in data management, and a company can work to integrate these public cloud offerings into their own data management routine.

Planning for a Hybrid Cloud

The first issue in setting up a hybrid cloud is determining what kind of data should be stored in the private or public server. The second issue is determining what protocols will be used to connect the private and public servers, so that both can operate seamlessly. In many ways, the public cloud server can act as a sort of database that can be used to store non-critical data that is necessary for operating proprietary company applications. While careful planning is necessary, the combination of a traditional on-site infrastructure with an online flexible public infrastructure offers one of the best ways to keep a company updated and relevant.

Three Types of Computing

Modern companies rely on three different methods of storing and accessing computing resources:

  • Dedicated Servers: These servers typically exist on the companies site and are completely monitored and controlled by company IT staff. Key apps are typically run from the dedicated server.
  • Pooled Resources: These are the resources that are shared in a private cloud within the corporate data center.
  • Public Resources: These are the resources are that are available to the public. They can be password-protected and require authentication, but they are less secure since they can be accessed over the Internet.

Moving Data to the Cloud

Companies don’t always keep a dedicated server just to run secure apps and protect vital company data. In some cases, they have very personal applications that are specific to their company. If a company can’t move an application to a cloud server that is continually updated, they may have trouble making the switch to cloud computing altogether. A hybrid solution makes it possible to keep both the old and the new. Getting applications ready for the cloud could create devastating downtime that would dramatically effect a company’s ability to conduct business. In these cases, companies often elect to keep these legacy applications running independently on specialized servers. The data produced by these apps can then be exported to cloud servers or a private cloud within the company.

Medical care facilities also stand to have a lot to lose by going completely to the cloud. If a third-party provider ever compromises patient information, the medical company would be held responsible for the data breach. By keeping everything within their own walls, they can protect themselves and their patients. When data is stored on-site, simply cutting the connection to the outside world creates a virtually impenetrable wall to hackers on the outside. The only way to access information on systems that aren’t connected to the Internet is to physically gain access to the machines.

The Traditional Data Center

Traditionally, corporate data centers needed to continually grow and take up more space. More storage, electric power and staff were continually needed to help a growing company manage its ever-growing collection of data. With the advent of virtualization, applications could be run simultaneously on a single server. Companies worked to consolidate the workloads for various applications to make them more efficient.

Creating a private cloud within the corporate data center can save a company a substantial amount of money and increase the company’s flexibility. Multiple workloads can be handled on a single server, and storage devices don’t have to be dedicated to single applications. These on-demand private clouds give a company more flexibility and resources to manage all of their data.

Getting away from the traditional data center and including dedicated, private cloud and public cloud setup can help a company to operate extremely efficiently. Most enterprise-level companies that have adopted public cloud technology have done so to integrate their mobile, big data and social technology. Ultimately, embracing a hybrid cloud architecture is the best way for a company to manage resources and ever-increasing data loads. This should come as good news to companies that worry they need to make an all or nothing approach to computing.

Creating a System That Works

Modern computing doesn’t require that all data gets stored in the cloud. Hybrid cloud architecture makes it possible to create a varied means of connecting to and manipulating data. The hybrid cloud makes it possible to control data in a way that is most comfortable, convenient and effective for the company and the staff who have to work with any changes in computing architecture.

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