Since its inception, cloud computing has gained wide popularity by continuing to evolve and deliver a variety of services from full virtualized infrastructure as a service (IaaS), cloud-based software as a service (SaaS), a platform as a service (PaaS) to run applications, and cloud storage with nearly unlimited scaling. Also since the inception of cloud, there have been predictions that all workloads would eventually run in the cloud, yet as technologies continue to evolve the reality is that most organizations are moving to a hybrid cloud solution.
What is Hybrid Cloud?
Hybrid cloud is a combination of on-premises infrastructure and cloud infrastructure or services. Many might define a hybrid cloud more restrictively as a fully realized private cloud that is connected to a cloud IaaS. Years ago, as the cloud was new and primarily viewed as IaaS, I’d have agreed with this definition. Now though, with so many varied cloud options and the rise of hyperconverged infrastructure and edge computing solutions, hybrid cloud can be accomplished in so many different ways.
Other Types of Cloud Solutions
While many people use the term "cloud" to describe any non-on-premises system, in reality there are a variety of cloud deployment models that companies use:
- Private Cloud: Computing services either over the internet or on a private internal network that are available only to select users, as opposed to the general public. Pros: Higher degree of security due to company firewalls and internal hosting. Cons: Company's IT department is generally responsible for the cost and accountability of managing a private cloud system. Synonyms include internal cloud and corporate cloud.
- Public Cloud: Computing services offered by third-party providers over the public internet, as opposed to on an internal network. Pros: Fast deployment, lower costs since companies do not have to purchase, manage, and maintain their own on-premises hardware. Cons: While security has been an issue for public cloud solutions, when implemented correctly, public cloud environments can be as safe and secure as any private cloud.
- Community Cloud: Computing services in which the infrastructure is shared between several groups or organizations from a specific community with common interests (like security or compliance). Community cloud can be seen as a middle ground between private and public cloud. Pros: Generally cheaper than private cloud considered more secure than public cloud. Cons: More expensive than public cloud systems but potentially less secure than private cloud systems.
Why Organizations Leverage Hybrid Cloud Solutions
In 2020, with the onset of the COVID19 pandemic, organizations were forced to quickly transition from traditional work settings to allow both employees and customers to interact from remote locations. This transition in some ways was a showcase for the use of some cloud technologies, particularly SaaS that allowed remote employees to seamlessly continue using applications remotely. Cloud-based web services also allowed organizations to quickly ramp up and expand their ecommerce as customers began doing business online rather than in person. Businesses still relying on legacy infrastructure, without the ability to scale-up and -out, or the ease of accessing workloads remotely, will have found the recent global transition to working from home a little more challenging than their counterparts.
Even without the dramatic shifts caused by the pandemic, organizations have been transitioning to hybrid cloud models for a variety of benefits. Some have used cloud infrastructure and storage with a focus on disaster recovery and backup. Using the elasticity and reliability of cloud platforms for backup and DR is an attractive solution for organizations with only a single data center as they can quickly achieve a secondary DR site in the cloud without having to invest in building out a second site on their own.
Nearly all organizations have adopted cloud applications into their IT offerings from common office applications found in Office365 or G Suite, cloud-based applications like Salesforce, and cloud-based databases like Oracle and SQL. These applications can seamlessly run alongside and integrate with on-prem infrastructure and applications and that is probably the single most popular and prevalent way organizations are creating their own hybrid cloud strategies.
Why a Hybrid Cloud Solution Might Make Sense For You
Since cloud computing became an option, the challenge of adopting cloud has seemed daunting for many organizations. With all of the various cloud options now available, it could seem even more daunting but actually all of these options make it easier. Early on, the transition to the cloud was a major investment of time and energy with many questions as to the outcomes. Now, as the cloud has evolved, the variety of options makes experimenting with and adopting cloud services far less challenging, and organizations are able to adopt various cloud services piece by piece.
As organizations are allowed to organically grow into the cloud by adding cloud services that make sense for them to their existing on-prem infrastructure, the path to cloud is through hybrid cloud. It is far easier to think about cloud as an add on of applications, storage, and infrastructure than to have to think through a rip and replace of all existing infrastructure with the cloud.
Leveraging a Hybrid Cloud Solution with Scale Computing
At Scale Computing, we know there are many benefits to cloud computing to our customers. We also recognize that completely moving to cloud computing is not what most organizations are looking for. That is why we have developed innovative technologies and partnered with other technology companies to offer a combination of on-premises hyperconverged infrastructure and edge computing as well as cloud computing services and storage to let organizations adopt the type of hybrid cloud strategies that work best for them.
Our HC3 infrastructure appliances feature our own HyperCore operating system and the combination of software and hardware in the appliance makes HC3 as simple and easy to deploy and use as a cloud platform. There is no manual storage configuration needed, just some standard networking configuration and then you are creating VMs. A fully clustered, highly available HC3 on-prem infrastructure can be deployed and running VMs in under an hour by an experienced engineer.
Scale Computing also provides HC3 Cloud Unity to deliver disaster recovery as a service on a cloud platform. Many organizations choose cloud-based disaster recovery over having to create their own secondary DR site. Partnering with Google, we proudly offer HC3 Cloud Unity of Google Cloud Platform. HC3 Cloud Unity allows an organization to replicate workloads in the cloud so that in the event of a failure, the workloads can be failed over to the cloud and remain online until the primary site is restored. HC3 Cloud Unity also features a gateway that seamlessly connects users to workloads running in the cloud. The HC3 systems running in the cloud are the same as those running on-premises and HC3 users are allowed to manage both on-premises infrastructure and HC3 Cloud Unity from the same management interface.
Scale Computing also recently announced the addition of Acronis Cloud Storage to our existing partnership with the company, meaning customers of the Scale Computing HC3 customers can further benefit from a hybrid cloud solution that provides disaster recovery protection and cyber-threat mitigation. This end-to-end storage and cloud backup solution can protect entire virtual machines (VMs), providing bare-metal restore capabilities, and can restore to dissimilar hardware or platforms if required.
With more options now than ever before, organizations are well placed to choose a hybrid cloud solution that works best for them, and their business requirements. Scale Computing HC3 Cloud Unity provides an affordable solution that is scalable, flexible and readily available. Our experts can provide you more information on making hybrid cloud a part of your organization by calling us at 877-722-5359 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information on integrating hybrid cloud with HCI infrastructure can be found in our white paper, HC3 Cloud Unity.