What Is Hybrid Cloud?
Hybrid cloud is a cloud computing model that combines the advantages of the private cloud with those of the public cloud. In hybrid cloud management, each workload can be assigned to the most suitable cloud environment.
Applications and data that require a high level of control, customization, or security can run in an on-premises private cloud, while other workloads can take advantage of the scalability and flexibility of the public cloud. Both cloud computing models play a role in hybrid cloud architecture.
This combination of on-premises resources and public cloud services is adopted by many organizations over time. They may begin in the data center with a private cloud and migrate some applications or services to the public cloud for greater flexibility.
Conversely, they may begin with a cloud-native approach and repatriate some workloads from the public cloud back to the on-premises private cloud environment for improved control. In both cases, the result is a hybrid cloud model.
How Hybrid Cloud Works
In a hybrid cloud model, some workloads are deployed in on-premises data centers or private clouds, other workloads reside in public clouds, and the applications or data move between the two environments. Hybrid cloud models offer a high degree of flexibility with a variety of deployment options.
Hybrid Cloud Benefits
Hybrid cloud benefits include the control and visibility over on-premises computing, storage, and networking resources that characterize the private cloud, alongside the flexibility, scalability, and reduced capital cost of the public cloud. By running each workload in the most suitable environment, the organization can optimize cloud performance, flexibility, and costs.
Hybrid Cloud Architecture
Public, private, and hybrid cloud models are based on servers. Whether the servers are located on-premises and managed by an organization as a private cloud, shared in a public cloud, or a combination of those models, hardware resources and architecture are critical to any cloud deployment.
Hybrid cloud architecture should be orchestrated carefully to ensure cross-platform compatibility, scalability, and flexibility across the varied computing resources.
Hybrid Cloud Security
Public, private, and hybrid cloud models offer the promise of agility, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. The cloud can enable organizations to adapt to a changing market with rapid delivery of services and better decision-making.
Some organizations are hesitant to rely on cloud resources because of fears that they will expose themselves and their data to risk. Hybrid cloud security architecture enables those organizations to take advantage of the cloud while mitigating exposure and vulnerability.
Hybrid Cloud Use Cases
Hybrid clouds can provide a simpler application deployment approach. The added agility of a mixed environment enables developers to iterate, innovate, and improve workflow processes.
The hybrid cloud approach can also help reduce capital expenses for on-premises infrastructure while providing a pay-as-you-go option for deploying workloads in the public cloud.
Hybrid Cloud vs. Multicloud
There are two fundamental cloud deployment models: private cloud and public cloud. The hybrid cloud is a combination of those two models. Each workload is located in the environment that best suits the organization’s needs, including cost, data governance, and resource availability.
In a multicloud approach, an organization uses a combination of resources from more than one public cloud. For example, an organization may choose to use a combination of public cloud service providers (CSPs) to get the pricing and service levels they need for different workloads. If a multicloud approach evolves to integrate both private and public cloud resources, however, the result is a variant of the hybrid cloud model.
Intel® Solutions for Hybrid Cloud
Intel® technologies support the private, public, and hybrid cloud computing models with highly tuned hardware, including Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors for high-performance computing. In addition, Intel® Select Solutions provide off-the-shelf solutions from Intel partners for fast and easy deployment.
Hybrid Cloud Developer Resources
A hybrid cloud architecture unites individual infrastructure components to manage, automate, and orchestrate all the computing resources. Developers have a variety of resources to choose from, including software for virtualization, orchestration, and containers.
In addition, some top CSPs offer virtualized or bare-metal deployment options that mimic the private cloud while integrating with public cloud services. These include Microsoft Azure Stack, AWS Outposts, Cisco Hybrid Cloud Platform for Google Cloud, and Google Cloud’s Anthos.
Moving Forward with a Hybrid Cloud
Many companies will make progress toward a hybrid cloud in small increments, often one application at a time. In some cases, the organization may deploy applications on the private cloud and migrate some or all of them to the public cloud as needs change.
Conversely, organizations that begin with cloud-native infrastructure, applications, and data may choose to return some or all of their workloads to the private cloud. Either path can lead to a hybrid cloud infrastructure that offers the best of both worlds.