Would a hybrid cloud architecture be the right option for your organisation? Let’s explore what it entails, plus some of the pros and cons.Posted on 20 March 2017 -
The hybrid cloud is a form of web hosting that amalgamates aspects of both the public cloud and private cloud, with the aim of affording an organisation the best of both worlds.
The public cloud infiltrates many aspects of our lives, both personal and professional. We use it to store and stream media, photos, email and documents. And with services like Dropbox, these public cloud services often enter our workplaces. As such, we are well aware of the scalability, flexibility and ease of access that the public cloud offers. For organisations striving for efficiency of both work and spending, those are all appealing prospects.
In web hosting terms, the public cloud usually takes the form of Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting or co-lo hosting. Both of these forms of web hosting offer the benefits of the cloud services we’re used to: you pay for what you use and it is easy to add more space if needed (and scale back to less space later, if appropriate).
The private cloud replicates those traits. The scalability is usually achieved through the use of multiple servers, which eliminates the problems of a ‘hard limit’ that accompanies a single bare metal server. This also has performance benefits because load and traffic can be spread over the multiple servers to increase capacity and improve page load speed.
Private clouds also offer greater security and greater control over security. In the public cloud you are reliant on the provider and, in some cases, your fellow customers to put the right measures in place to ensure your data doesn’t become compromised and get into the wrong hands.
With a private cloud, you have full control over the security arrangements for your server, which is perfect if you simply can’t even contemplate someone else having those responsibilities.
A hybrid cloud combines the best of everything we’ve outlined above. Your key data and anything else that plays a critical role in your organisation being able to function would be stored within a private cloud.
But plugged into your hosting architecture would be aspects of the public cloud that make your life easier. For instance, a third-party content delivery network (CDN) to improve your website’s performance, a cloud-hosted third-party application or any other internet-facing software or services you want your team to be able to use.
NOTE: Like many hosting services, the precise configuration or setup of a hybrid cloud is not set in stone, so make sure you know what you're getting before signing up.
With new data protection legislation taking effect from next year, now is a good time to make sure you know exactly where and how your data (and specifically your customers’ data) is being stored.
Equally, cyberattacks on business and government are regularly in the news at the moment, so many organisations have limiting their exposure to those threats at the forefront of their thoughts.
At the same time, innovations in public cloud software continue to create new and more efficient ways of doing business, so a hybrid cloud gives access to those while mitigating against the risks.