Hybrid Cloud: Business Up Front, Party in the Back

When I was in junior high school, I sported a mullet. It served as the ultimate way to change my personality to meet the needs of my teachers and my friends: I could go from business mode to party mode and back to business mode, simply by spinning around in a circle. I was often dizzy in those days, and it was frustrating to have to face away from the stage at rock concerts, but otherwise it offered the best of both worlds.

The Web Host Industry Review notes that the “business up front, party in the back” model of computing is growing within the business world. The hybrid cloud, a mixture of private and public clouds, is forecast to reach $79.5 billion by 2018, according to the research firm MarketsandMarkets. The report suggests that hybrid cloud growth will be accelerated by the need of large companies for infrastructural diversification so that they can combine on-premise security systems with fast, reliable, on-demand resources to scale developmental projects immediately.

MarketsandMarkets noted that the dual needs of organizations are met by the hybrid cloud: they get the party of technological heterogeneity along with the business of homogeneity as needed. The IT hairstyle that results will be wildly successful over the next few years, according to the analytical team: “We see a major adoption of it across organizations.”

MarketsandMarkets is rapidly becoming a key provider of cloud market data. The report was published in March, just a few days after the firm released specific cloud projections for the healthcare segment – a rise to $6.5 billion by 2018.

Data from Tech Pro Research segments hybrid cloud deployment and interest into various sizes of companies. Those findings are as follows, demonstrating the broad appeal of the approach:

  • Less than 50 employees: 36% adoption, 31% consideration
  • 50 – 249 employees: 21% adoption, 38% consideration
  • 250 – 999 employees: 30% adoption, 35% consideration
  • 1000+ employees: 38% adoption, 21% consideration

Party vs. Business: Which Way to Turn?

Larry Dignan, writing for IT news site ZDNet in July, offered what he considers to be the crux of hybrid cloud development. It’s not a matter of whether the hybrid cloud will grow or not. Instead, it’s a determination of the proper balance between the two models.

Dignan notes that enterprises have not ignored the cost-effective and high-performance promise of the public cloud, but there is a reason they haven’t gone whole hog with the technology: their investment in legacy systems is substantial. He comments, “This infrastructure won’t simply be dumped.” He lists four reasons why that is the case:

  1. Depreciation – Companies want to maintain the hardware so they can list it as business equipment on their taxes.
  2. Law – Businesses in certain industries want some of their data in-house to be sure they meet regulatory compliance.
  3. Caution – Large corporations move slowly into new territory, so convincing them to convert completely to a public cloud environment will not occur overnight.
  4. Time – Hybrid clouds offer the logical next step, so that businesses don’t have to feel completely invested in one tactic or the other.

Redefining the Cloud – Private, Hybrid, Public, Exhaust from Awesome Camaro

Dignan believes that there are often misunderstandings related to the various types of cloud computing. He summarizes each type as follows:

  • Private Cloud – He believes this concept is gradually on its way out, absorbed into the hybrid cloud. It allows an organization to “deliver a secure and distinct service that only it can control.” Note: Private clouds are also offered by hosting services, which simply detach your system from the public environment, while still using cloud principles to enhance the reliability and efficiency of your infrastructure in the same manner as you would on-premise.
  • Hybrid Cloud – This term is understood as the integration of an on-premise system with public cloud to allow bursting, development, and sometimes core applications. Hybrid cloud is coming in the front door while private cloud is headed out the back, says Dignan. Note: This definition, again, is not the only way to view a hybrid cloud. After all, what does “hybrid” mean if not a combination of two entities, which would be the private and public varieties.
  • Public Cloud – This is the standard on-demand-resources approach that is often referred to simply as “the cloud.” It is a form of infrastructure-as-a-service as a general systemic hosting model for a business, although cloud technology can also provide specific elements such as applications (software-as-a-service) or platforms (platform-as-a-service).

Hybrid Clouds – A Haircut to Meet Everyone’s Needs

Clearly the public cloud is not without its security controls. All technology from reputable vendors is supplied with security and privacy as the foremost concerns. A private cloud does section off data more, though, which means you can have specialized safeguards in place – but of course, that increases your cost. It makes sense that hybrid clouds are becoming so incredible popular. Chat with a cloud expert now.

By Kent Roberts

Image Credit: Fox Sports Australia