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Hybrid Cloud Computing: Pros and Cons

Hybrid Cloud Computing: Pros and Cons

Jason Zander, Executive Vice-President of Microsoft Azure once said “Hybrid, we believe is a permanent state. It’s not just a transition.” A hybrid cloud infrastructure is a mixed computing, storage, and services environment made up of on-premises infrastructure, private cloud services, and a public cloud—such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP) or Microsoft Azure. 

Some businesses mistakenly think that complete cloud migration is the end state and that they need to fully migrate all their processes and workloads into the Cloud. This isn’t true. For some businesses a hybrid cloud infrastructure is the most effective, cost effective, and lucrative way forward. 

Benefits of Hybrid Cloud Infrastructures

Every hybrid cloud environment is different because the exact architecture will depend on the needs and goals of the organisation, however the main benefits of hybrid cloud infrastructure evolve around greater agility and flexibility. Here is an overview of the top benefits for businesses moving towards a hybrid cloud infrastructure.

Improved Agility & Innovation

A key factor to business success is the ability to respond to changes in the market rapidly and the ability to get products to market fast. Having a hybrid cloud infrastructure helps businesses optimise their IT performance and agility so they can respond to changing market demands. This model allows an organisation to direct its resources to private and public cloud computing environments quickly, meaning that businesses with a hybrid cloud model are better equipped to test, prototype, and launch new products quickly.

Improved Control & Scalability

Hybrid cloud infrastructure gives businesses the control they need to evolve and scale. As an organisation’s demand changes they are able to scale workloads easily because there is almost unlimited scalability. Hybrid cloud offers more resource options, making it easier to provision, deploy and scale resources to meet peaks and troughs in demand. When demand exceeds capacity of the local data centre, an organization can quickly burst the application to the public cloud to access extra scale and capacity when they need it. This provides optimal control and flexibility to scale up or down.

Reduced Costs

With a private cloud, organizations own and operate the data centre infrastructure, which requires significant capital expense and fixed costs. Alternatively, public cloud resources and services are accounted as variable and operational expenses. Businesses who leverage both of these in a hybrid cloud infrastructure can simply choose to run workloads in whichever environment is more cost-effective at the time. When managed correctly, this can reduce business costs significantly.

Improved Security

Businesses with a hybrid cloud infrastructure have fuller control of how and where their data is stored, giving them more control over their data management and security. Enterprises can choose where to store their data based on compliance, policy, or security requirements. The hybrid environment also lets security teams standardise redundant cloud storage, which is fundamental to disaster recovery. A hybrid cloud’s centralised management also makes it easier to implement technical security measures such as encryption, automation, access control, orchestration, and endpoint security. In a society which is more aware than ever of data protection and security, this feature is key.

Challenges of Hybrid Cloud Infrastructures

Whilst hybrid cloud infrastructures have a number of benefits to businesses, there are also some challenges businesses should be aware of. Different infrastructures will better suit different businesses, so it’s important to consider all the pros and cons before making a final decision.

Some of the main challenges of implementing a hybrid cloud infrastructure are explained below.

Implementation & Integration Challenges

As with any migration or new integration, challenges are usually just a part of the process and your Cloud team should be able to manage any hurdles they come across. However, one thing teams can sometimes overlook is the compatibility of files and data on different platforms.

Because public and private clouds have fundamental differences, you need to know what they are compatible with. Therefore, to mitigate this it is important to ensure you have software in place to run all types of files on both platforms and also to convert files for security. This is business critical, and could be the difference between business success and failure.

Vendor Management 

Operating a hybrid cloud means you will have to keep track of multiple vendors and platforms and manage them between two computing environments. Whilst this is doable, it requires clear workflows and processes, as well as a dedicated team of people to coordinate and manage all these different vendors to ensure nothing is ever missed. It’s important these process workflows are checked, tested, and finalised ahead of time to avoid any unexpected obstacles.

Reduced Visibility

As demonstrated in the point above, a hybrid cloud infrastructure can be very complex, and can cause issues if not managed effectively. Managing multiple vendors and splitting your cloud environment across multiple locations can make it hard to gather an overall picture of your cloud environment. This can make it easier to miss issues and opportunities, or even fail compliance. This is avoidable by building or investing in a third-party platform that automatically gathers all data and provides a full and clear picture of the entire cloud environment. This naturally can incur additional costs, so is something to consider when opting for a hybrid cloud model.

Increased or Additional Costs

With a hybrid cloud, organizations still have to maintain and invest in on-premise hardware to handle their private cloud computing needs. This cost can sometimes be offset by public cloud operations, but this isn’t always the case for every business. It’s important to factor in any additional costs associated with maintaining your hybrid computing infrastructure and weigh this up against the benefits.

Finding the Right Cloud Talent

According to predictions from Gartner, global spending on cloud services is expected to reach over $482 billion in 2022, reflecting the continued investment in Cloud adoption. To keep up with the trend and stay ahead of your competition, it’s critical that you find the right Cloud talent to drive your Cloud function, regardless of whether your going full-cloud or moving towards a hybrid cloud model.

As the competition for exceptional Cloud talent continues to intensify, it’s important to partner with the right agency to ensure you get the talent you need, when you need it, and at the right cost.

Maxwell Bond are the tech and digital recruitment partner of choice for Cloud & DevOps perm and contract recruitment across the UK and Germany. Our proven reduced time to hire, cost saving, and high-quality recruitment processes that can be tailored for any business, has already helped a multitude of businesses hire great Cloud talent to drive migration and transformation. For more information on how we can help you, please get in touch directly

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a new Cloud role, you can browse current opportunities on our website, or reach out directly to confidentially discuss your next career step.