What Is Hybrid Cloud? Definition, Features, Advantages, and New Trends in the Field

The ever-increasing demand for cost-effective, agile, and scalable computing is pushing more and more organizations to move to a hybrid cloud architecture. Hybrid cloud computing, or the multi-cloud approach, simplifies critical, smart business challenges that are getting harder to meet with conventional IT services.

By bridging gaps between business operations and IT, hybrid cloud infrastructure enables enterprises to deliver IT resources quickly and efficiently as needed.

Hybrid cloud empowers companies to seamlessly extend their infrastructure and applications, ensuring high-velocity performance and high user availability.  

One of the main advantages of hybrid cloud is that it allows enterprises to scale their computing resources without having to buy and maintain additional hardware for tackling short-term demand spikes.

The excellent benefits of hybrid cloud, such as advanced security, scalability, and agility, are driving a dramatic shift from traditional DCO (data center outsourcing) to hybrid cloud infrastructure.

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While a MarketsandMarkets report predicts that the global hybrid cloud market will rise from $44.6 billion in 2018 to $97.6 billion by 2023, McKinsey & Company forecasts the multi-cloud hybrid market cloud infrastructure, hardware, and software, will reach $1.2 trillion by 2022.  

As organizations are increasingly making a transition to cloud-based infrastructure, career opportunities for individuals with cloud computing skills look incredibly bright.

Various studies show that the demand for cloud computing professionals is at an all-time high for cloud-specific roles, such as Cloud Software Engineer, Cloud Infrastructure Engineer, and Cloud Enterprise Architect.

What Is Hybrid Cloud

To understand what hybrid cloud is, it is essential to know the key differences between public, private, and hybrid cloud. 

Public Cloud 

One of the most common cloud computing types, public cloud services, is third-party offerings that incorporate various cloud resources. Public clouds are owned, maintained, and managed by third-party cloud service providers, such as Microsoft Azure.

Organizations that use a public cloud computing solution are often referred to as a "cloud tenant". They access the same infrastructure, network devices, storage, and hardware as other enterprises on the public cloud network. 

Private Cloud

In a private cloud computing environment, only one organization uses the cloud resources. Infrastructure and services are managed in-house, on a private network, with software and hardware exclusively tailored for a single user.

Private clouds, often deployed by financial institutions and government agencies, provide enhanced security and a simple way to customize resources for a range of IT-specific needs.

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Hybrid Cloud 

Hybrid cloud architecture is a fusion of a public cloud and in-house infrastructure or the private cloud. Hybrid cloud enables a fluid movement of data between both public and private cloud environments.

There are many hybrid cloud approaches from which organizations can choose based on their business model, data sovereignty demands, and regulatory requirements. Most hybrid clouds offer flexible pricing plans, with companies only having to pay for the computing resources that they use.

With the best of both worlds, a hybrid cloud infrastructure not only enables businesses to take full advantage of their existing resources, but it also allows them to scale their on-site infrastructure to a public cloud when there is a demand surge.

A hybrid cloud with AWS or a hybrid cloud with Azure can help organizations exploit the power of edge computing, which integrates a distributed computing architecture that mitigates latency by lodging data, compute resources, and applications in geographic locations nearer to the end-users.

The Pros and Benefits of Hybrid Cloud 

The features of hybrid cloud include various advantages, which make it ideal for enterprises to manage vast amounts of data and multiple business operations. The noteworthy benefits of hybrid cloud are: 

Scalability and Security

The public cloud feature offers a highly-scalable architecture, while the private cloud element provides tight security for sensitive information.  

Improved Operational Power

The enhanced computing power offered by the mix of private and public cloud environments allows organizations to deal with diverse data categories.

Provides the Perfect Balance

The private cloud architecture enables enterprises to manage operations, critical information, and assets. In contrast, the public cloud computing model simplifies the process of running advanced analytics programs and innovating new applications.

Flexibility and Versatility

The hybrid cloud architecture delivers unmatched flexibility in scaling down to on-premises private cloud hardware or up to public cloud infrastructure. The hybrid cloud also offers businesses absolute control over systems, security, and policies, making resources accessible from anywhere at any time.

A Unique Combination

In today's fiercely competitive business atmosphere, organizations cannot limit their capacities. They must continue to test, develop prototypes, and release new products, reducing time to market. With on-demand, unlimited resources, hybrid cloud infrastructure makes this possible by enabling enterprises to respond swiftly to business threats, needs, and changes. 

Enhanced Automation  

The hybrid cloud allows organizations to automate the deployment of resources, ensuring accurate resource allocation when scaling the infrastructure. 

IoT

According to a study, by 2020, there will be approximately 31 billion IoT-connected devices globally.IoT devices, driving interconnectivity across organizational communication networks, help collect crucial data that enterprises can leverage to make informed decisions and strategies. 

Powered by hybrid cloud infrastructure, IoT-enabled devices can provide better performance and improved scalability with regard to both control and security. 

The Hybrid Cloud Cons

Security Complications

The implementation of hybrid cloud infrastructure can introduce a range of security complications, such as ensuring user authentication between private and public cloud environments, detecting hidden vulnerabilities, and providing access across the two cloud platforms. 

Bottleneck Possibilities

The chances of network bottlenecks exist during data transfer between public and private clouds. Data transfer to a public cloud takes place over a public internet, which may reduce the transfer speed. For business-critical applications, slowdowns can have an adverse impact on performance. 

Lack of Clarity

It is hard to maintain clear visibility into cloud deployments in hybrid cloud infrastructure. This lack of clarity can not only cause cost issues, but it can also undermine regulatory compliance as data migrates between external and internal systems.

Hybrid Cloud Computing Examples (Use Cases)

Hybrid Cloud in Banking and Financial Services Sector

Banking and financial institutions are increasingly adopting hybrid cloud infrastructure. They are taking advantage of the elastic public cloud to develop new applications and secure private cloud to store confidential information and process their trade orders.

Hybrid Cloud in the Healthcare Industry

In the health sector, strict data privacy is critical. The private cloud architecture provides a high level of data security, while the public cloud enables insurance providers, healthcare professionals, and other stakeholders to access vital clinical information anytime, anywhere.

Hybrid Cloud in eCommerce

The high-volume transactions in eCommerce businesses can be data-intensive. In addition, unpredictable workloads can also emerge because of sales spikes during holidays and other seasonal peaks. Hybrid cloud infrastructure offers eCommerce enterprises the scalability and security they need.

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