Concerns over security and a lack of utility in the public cloud have led to an increase in the building of private clouds. Featuring the same accessibility as public cloud systems but hosted on a company’s own servers, private clouds provide good alternatives for companies with concerns about certain data being stored offsite or that have reached the limit of what the public cloud can do for them. The increase in the private cloud, however, hasn’t entirely changed the cloud hosting game. Many companies are finding the best solutions in hybrid cloud: the combination of public and private cloud services to build the most efficient infrastructure.
A Growing Trend
A recent poll conducted by technology research firm Gartner found that almost half of large enterprises have a private cloud, and only 11 percent have no immediate plans to build private clouds. Three-fourths of polled business leaders indicated plans to create hybrid cloud systems within the next two years or by the end of 2015, but Gartner’s research analyst predicts the deployment of the hybrid cloud by at least 50 percent of companies by 2017.
Who needs the Hybrid Cloud?
Startups generally have their work cut out for them when it comes to building a recognizable brand, but they do have an advantage when it comes to cloud deployment: They have no existing infrastructure they need to think about. Established small and medium-sized businesses that already have a working infrastructure in place may not benefit by trying to move working applications to a public cloud system.
According to a study by market research firm Vanson Bourne, as commissioned by cloud host Rackspace, enterprises with legacy systems have often found it’s not cost effective to try to move these systems to the public cloud. Hybrid systems that combine the private cloud’s ability to house legacy systems with public cloud services capture the best of both worlds.
The hybrid cloud provides many of the same benefits as public cloud hosting. Although businesses still need a dedicated server provider to host their private clouds, moving part of the business to the public cloud reduces the need for hardware. By deploying some applications and storing some data in the public cloud under managed hosting, a business can also reduce its need for IT responsibilities, allowing basic tasks such as updates and backups to be handled by the host.
The hybrid cloud system also provides its own benefits as well. Since both private and public spaces are in use, the option to keep data private is always available. Since good public cloud hosting plans are scalable, the infrastructure is easy to grow with your business as well. All it takes is a planned upgrade to get more resources.
If you’re ready to move to a hybrid cloud system, consider starting in the areas of data storage and common applications. By moving data to the cloud, you can immediately alleviate some of the burden on your IT team by letting your cloud host handle updates, security and backups. Common business applications, such as Microsoft Office and QuickBooks, have cloud-based systems that make it easy to access work from anywhere and integrate with cloud storage systems.
The right hybrid cloud should always keep data accessible, protect your existing infrastructure and save you money. The recommended way to start is by moving to the public cloud with the most basic programs first and then work upward to programs that are more complex. Once you reach the point where you don’t want certain data in the public cloud, stop the process and you’ll have a hybrid system that’s the perfect division of public and private.