Cloud computing has emerged as one of the most talked about subjects in business IT over the past few years, as company leaders begin to realise the benefits that this technology can bring. While the cloud has completely revolutionised the way many firms operate, it would be unfair to claim that the innovation is without its drawbacks, and smaller businesses in particular could stand to suffer if they fail to understand the potential risks.

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For this reason, the hybrid cloud has emerged as a viable option for businesses looking to enjoy the efficiency that cloud computing can bring, while keeping some operations running in their traditional format to maximise the effectiveness of the infrastructure. But what exactly is this ‘hybrid cloud’ that everyone is raving about, and how exactly would it work for your business? We investigate below.

What is the hybrid cloud?

The hybrid cloud combines both public and private clouds, giving companies the chance to enjoy the best of both worlds. The hybrid cloud exists to capitalise on the advantages of combining a traditional, physical infrastructure with the cloud, which means the specific combination will depend entirely on the required outcomes and the specific needs of the company.

What’s great about this type of IT infrastructure is it offers secure, on-demand and externally provisioned scalability, allowing businesses to contend with sudden or unexpected workloads. This option is specifically good for firms that require rapid scalability and flexibility, but with continued strong security.

What’s the big deal?

The hybrid cloud comes with a number of key benefits, which affirm its popularity among businesses of all sizes. Outlined below are a selection of its advantages:

Cost benefits: One of the great things about the hybrid cloud is that it is easily quantifiable. Businesses can reduce the overall cost of ownership while improving cost efficiency by leveraging the benefits of hybrid cloud, allowing you to match your cost pattern to demand more easily.

Support innovation: Moving to the hybrid cloud allows you to future-proof your business,giving you access to large public cloud resources, along with the ability to test new capabilities and technologies quickly and easily.

Fit for purpose: The public cloud is great for start ups, test and development and handling peaks and troughs in internet traffic. However, there have long since been doubts over its security. Therefore, the hybrid cloud can deliver advantages for mission critical applications in terms of advanced security, but of limited use for applications with a shorter shelf life.

Improved security: The combination of dedicated and cloud resources allows businesses to address any security concerns you may have, while giving you the chance to place customer data on a dedicated server. Therefore, keeping private matters private.

Finding a one-size-fits-all solution for every business is near impossible due to the different sets of requirements each firm has. However, hybrid cloud has emerged as a viable solution to all of these needs.

The wider security issue

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As mentioned earlier, security is one of the key factors that has held businesses back from total migration to the cloud since its widespread adoption began. While experts on the matter have long-since claimed that data in the cloud is just about as secure as that in a physical server, businesses remain cautious about the potential threat of hackers. What is interesting is that some IT experts claim that data stored in the cloud could prove to be more secure than that on a company’s own server, however, firms are still reluctant to migrate private information.

Those companies worried about the safety of their data could use hybrid cloud to their advantage, storing the most sensitive information on local servers, while exporting other data on to the cloud. What’s more, they could opt to carry out critical operations in their own data centres, while using the cloud to carry out heavier processing tasks. This way, they can enjoy the advantages of both types of data storage.

A key takeaway

Despite frequent reassurance that the cloud is a safe way to store data, some companies would still rather cater for their own private information. The hybrid cloud offers the perfect solution, offering the best features of both the public and private technology. It would be safe to say that the cloud is going nowhere, and the flexibility of hybrid options offer businesses of all types the chance to benefit.