Is hybrid cloud the future of cloud hosting?
Cloud technologies have advanced immensely over the years, but the hybrid cloud is making a lot of waves. Is it the future?
Cloud hosting service is a hosting option for websites or business entities with dynamic needs. Under the purview of cloud hosting, a website draws its computing resources from a network of physical servers across the web. Therefore, there are no hardware or infrastructural restrictions as is in the case of a traditional web hosting environment. Companies can easily upscale or downscale their server requirement as the needs of their website modify. They don’t have to worry about the migration cost as demand can be raised in real time and payment is determined as per the usage of the cloud computing resources.
The scalability and flexibility offered by cloud hosting are driving more and more businesses towards it. Businesses looking to transition towards cloud hosting are faced with three options: the public, private and hybrid cloud. All three platforms have pros and cons, and a careful analysis is relevant to get an answer to the question – Is hybrid cloud the future of cloud hosting?
What is a Public Cloud?
Amazon Web Services or AWS, Google AppEngine, and Windows Azure Service Platforms are examples of public cloud platforms. Providing infrastructure as a service or IaaS, these platforms offer the perfect solution for a dynamic web hosting need. The end user gets a piece of the bandwidth space, hardware resources and applications of a larger infrastructure that is run, managed and maintained by major stakeholders in the cloud hosting world. Therefore, the public cloud is one of the most inexpensive and suitable cloud hosting options.
What is Private Cloud?
On the other hand, private cloud has a very dedicated and closed environment. The infrastructure of private cloud is used by a single company or organization. All the resources, disk space and bandwidth of the private cloud is used to store up information of a given enterprise. Private cloud is regarded very safe, however, to run this massive and technical infrastructure requires both money and resources. This is the primary reason why only big companies, Government agencies, financial institutions, research labs and hospitals can afford private cloud hosting infrastructure.
What is Hybrid Cloud?
Finally, Hybrid Cloud is a mix of both public and private cloud. Each platform has a distinct use within a single organization or enterprise. While sensitive and critical company data is secured on a private cloud, less sensitive information is put away in a public cloud platform. There are more than one-way hybrid cloud can be incorporated within a company’s infrastructure:
- Enterprises that already own and manage a private cloud set-up can approach a hosting provider for public cloud service
- Enterprises can engage two cloud hosting companies for private and public cloud service respectively
- Enterprises can contact a single provider to procure a hybrid plan
Industry Analysis with Respect to Hybrid Cloud Hosting
According to a survey conducted by Hybrid Hive, a news and views platform that digs the latest developments from the world of Hybrid cloud to assist IT decision makers across the globe predicts that many enterprises will rely on Hybrid Cloud. The survey that included the participation of 1,050 ITDMs (IT decision makers) across seven countries revealed the following –
- 40 % of respondents already have a Hybrid IT environment in place.
- 73% agree that expenditure on cloud infrastructure will increase in the next 3 years.
- 79% feel that Hybrid cloud is the future of corporate IT infrastructure.
- 81% agree that they will have to deploy Hybrid IT environment to achieve company objective.
- 57% respondents cite cost efficiency as the foremost motivation that is driving companies to move to hybrid cloud.
Taking the cue from the above revelation, let’s focus on the next segment.
The Benefits of Hybrid Cloud
Best of Both Worlds
Through Hybrid cloud hosting enterprises can benefit from the best of both worlds. While private cloud offers greater level of granular security and control, public cloud is regarded more scalable, flexible and affordable. But what about the security aspect of public cloud? Although public cloud is traditionally considered less secure, the advancement in cloud technologies and attaching of big names like Amazon, Google and Microsoft has made the public cloud space also reliable and safe.
Having stated that, certain agencies or companies deal with highly classified data on behalf of their business and clients or have a data protocol to follow. In such a scenario, private cloud is a more viable option.
Therefore, a mix and match approach works best for dynamic and ever changing needs of enterprises today.
Control & Flexibility
In comparison to the public cloud, companies can have a far greater control over their IT Infrastructure in the case of Hybrid Cloud. All the sensitive data can be stored on the private cloud which has multi layers of encryption, while not so critical information can be secured on private cloud setup. Enterprises can identify critical and non-critical data and allocate resources accordingly, without incurring unnecessary expenditure.
The network of hybrid infrastructure can be configured in such a way that all the important or critical data are pushed to private cloud in a very secured manner. If the infrastructure of a private cloud is built optimally through periodic software and hardware up gradation, it fosters business efficiency. The load time of the website will improve, and server requests will process faster.
Cutting down the cost of IT operations is the biggest challenges for enterprises today. Through the Hybrid cloud, companies can cut down on the cost of operation to a large extent, without compromising on network security. Enterprises that only rely on private cloud, overtime will face a situation wherein the cost of upgrading the infrastructure of private set-up is very expensive. On the other hand, there is no such compulsion on a public cloud platform since cost of ownership is less on public cloud. Therefore, dividing company data on both platforms will be cost effective.
Limitations of Hybrid Cloud
To run a hybrid cloud infrastructure requires skills and resources. If an enterprise is considering adopting hybrid cloud it is imperative to look for system administrators with requisite skill set to oversee the transition.
This will depend upon that existing IT infrastructure of the company. If an enterprise is moving to Private cloud to Hybrid, the cost is likely to reduce. However, if it’s the opposite case, the cost can escalate. So, unless there is an extreme security concern, moving to hybrid cloud is a waste of resources.
The network of hybrid cloud is very complex. A greater level of data management in terms of security and deployment is important to understand the distribution of information over public and private cloud set-ups.
The Final Verdict
According to RightScale, a cloud management platform, the Hybrid cloud will be a preferred enterprises strategy. However, there are parallel trends that will impact the growth and popularity of Hybrid cloud infrastructure. As per RightScale 2017 State of the Cloud Report –
- Private Cloud Adoption fell from 77 percent to 72 percent
- Hybrid Cloud Adoption fell from 71 percent to 67 percent
- An upward trend in the footprint of Public cloud
The study also revealed that cost optimization would be the primary focus of cloud spending, which is currently estimated to be around 30 to 45%. Therefore, the future of Hybrid cloud will depend upon the sophistication and advancement of public cloud domains and criticality of data that enterprises are dealing with individually. Public Cloud may well be the entry product for Cloud Hosting and then companies may evolve to a hybrid or private cloud of their choice over time.