PART 4 | The Origin and Ongoing Development of the Cloud | Hybrid Cloud
Part Four of a Five-Part Series on Cloud Services
By Darin Zook
Hybrid cloud is a cloud computing environment that uses a mix of on-premises, private cloud and/or third-party, public cloud services with orchestration between the platforms.
The Hybrid Cloud has really become a popular option for businesses where many of the aaS or as-a-Service platforms reside. Most commonly, we see it used in three primary ways.
- Some companies have applications and workloads that need to run on-premise. These restrictions can be a result of latency or bandwidth limitations, regulatory requirements or business decisions that require the workloads to remain inside your four walls. This instance is where the Hybrid Cloud can be of tremendous benefit to a business.
- Take the applications and workloads that can be migrated to the cloud and begin to drive down your CapEx by shifting to the OpEx models that allow you to reduce maintenance and upkeep costs, as well as provide a predictable growth model to the business. This is also a great solution when you have a large environment and are looking to gradually move to the cloud.
- Many software vendors and applications are becoming consumable in the OpEx model, hosted by the platform vendor in an aaS or as-a-Service fashion. Office 365 hosting Exchange, Sharepoint, as well as countless other applications are a great example of this shift and can act as an extension to your premise domain.
Many of the popular CRM and ERP solutions can be great stepping stones into your cloud strategy. As you begin to decrease your business’ dependence on the premise infrastructure, it becomes increasingly easy to shift those remaining workloads towards a hosted private cloud solution.
Another popular hybrid cloud option is DRaaS or Disaster Recovery (DR) as a Service. Your premise-based infrastructure may not be near its refresh window or you may decide that due to your current business climate, you’re comfortable with your premise-based infrastructure. DRaaS is an excellent way to extend your environment into the cloud and ensure continuity of your business in the event of a business impacting event. This will need to come with careful planning around connectivity and business continuity planning with your partner, but it can offer a fantastic alternative to duplicating your production environment in a second site in a CapEx spend. Additionally, often during a refresh, organizations consider taking their aging hardware and use it for DR. While this practice does save money initially it can be costly in the long run and the following is worth considering:
- Have you confirmed that your workloads can run on the older hardware in a DR Test?
- Have you considered how the impact of upgrades to production infrastructure over the coming years may impact compatibility with your DR site?
A DRaaS solution will help fill this gap, and ensure that your business continues in the event of a catastrophic event. Backup-as-a-Service can often be built into a DRaaS solution as well so that you can ensure long-term recovery for your Hybrid Cloud.
Not sure if Hybrid Cloud is the right solution for your company? Contact us today for a free consult. We’re here to help.
Darin Zook is PremierComm’s Data Center Solutions Architect focusing on Cloud and Premise-based infrastructure. Having spent many years in the shoes of his customers running mid-size to enterprise environments, he knows the struggles and challenges that businesses face, and the technology solutions that can bring the desired outcomes.