Today I am looking briefly at the usefulness of a hybrid cloud solution for your business. Hybrid cloud can benefit organisations, primarily by removing the burden of certain the operational challenges facing businesses.
Let’s take disaster recovery as our first example. One of the biggest advantages cloud environments have when compared to on-site technology is their resiliency – being cloud hosted provides an unparalleled safety in regards to office based disasters. With the hybrid extension of the data centre model, choices can be made on the location in regards to levels of resiliency, and also around the replication of your IT enterprise environment to alternate locations. If your office burns down, and your data is stored elsewhere, your business isn’t going to suffer anywhere near as much as if you had lost everything.
For example, if a business is regulated by a governing body such as the FCA for financial institutions, disaster recovery is mandatory. The level of cover required differs depending on the particular markets that are operated within.
The office could be located within the heart of any financial district, with its technology centralised in a data centre environment. This in turn can have replication partners hosting in other data centres, at other geographic locations, even in different countries. This replication is ensuring if a disaster did indeed happen, choices can be made on whether your IT resumption can be established, and if so, how quickly.
Another good example of hybrid cloud is collaboration B2B opportunities. With the emergence of software defined networking, additional services can be delivered from the same data centre, or even from other providers that have niche services for your business. In this model anything ‘aaS’ can be delivered securely from independent software providers and IT Hosting companies, as well as other firms that may well benefit from business to business collaboration.
Now let’s look at some examples of this form of hybridisation in action.
Example one would be a business hosting their core infrastructure within a data centre, and having a need for a specific business application that is delivered from only one provider, and not through a SaaS model. Being involved in a hybrid B2B collaboration means they would still be able to access their application, despite the lack of SaaS.
Example two would be a specific type of recruitment packaged application. A secure networking connection could be employed through the use of a hybrid cloud connectivity services – simply extending the enterprise to the independent software providers infrastructure with an easy way of deploying, monitoring and managing the process.
And finally example three of the hybrid cloud model’s usefulness is its ability to transform application delivery with disparate data access. Several models that utilise this method already exist today within the emerging application marketplace stores. These cloud marketplaces are similar to the all too familiar smart phone application stores.
Looking at hybrid through another lens, imagine that due to restrictive data sovereignty laws it is mandatory that personal data has to reside within your country of residency (fast becoming a reality for some in the EU). However the applications, specialist IT infrastructure and key business services you need are not available within your territory. This would pose a real business challenge for any organisation. Online application marketplaces publishing thousands of applications from overseas locations are helping to avert these issues. Through use of hybrid networking techniques linking local provisioning of data and storage resources to the required marketplace applications, the appropriate governance can be achieved.
This is similarly true for on-boarding applications to a business marketplace from a vendors standpoint. A single independent software vendor based from one location could achieve global status quite literally overnight by being present in a marketplace.
So, when used appropriately, the Hybrid Cloud model is a true business enabler, complementing key business services and in line with the flexibility that cloud promises.