How Hybrid Cloud Strategies Can Help Modern Businesses Succeed

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Diagram of Hybrid cloud strategiess

As more businesses embrace digital transformation, many discover that they want a combination of on-premises and cloud computing strategies. Before you can choose a specific strategy that will serve your organization's needs, it's important to spend some time learning about the pros and cons of on-premises and cloud environment solutions. You might decide that it makes more sense to choose hybrid cloud strategies as the approach that offers the best of both technologies.

What Is On-Premises Computing?

On-premises computing refers to the IT hardware and software that you keep within your facility. For example, you might have an on-location data center that holds information about your clients. Through firewalls and other security measures, you maintain greater control over on-premises environments than you do cloud environments.

You can also call on-premises computing a "private cloud." Many end users won't notice a difference because they still access applications and data from servers that seem remote to them.

However, there are some differences in how on-premises private cloud environments and public cloud environments operate.

What Are Cloud Services?

Cloud computing refers to IT infrastructure and services you don't need to keep on-site. Instead, a cloud service provider manages everything at centralized locations. Common services include computing power and data storage.

Popular cloud service providers include:

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
  • IBM Cloud (Kyndryl)
  • Oracle Cloud

When you use one of these public cloud providers, your data and applications get stored in spaces shared by hundreds, thousands, or even millions of other users. The service provider can partition its data center to give you an independent space on the system. Still, your space exists next to those used by others.

A Hybrid Cloud Strategy Offers the Best of Both Worlds

Hybrid cloud strategies and infrastructure can give you a combination of benefits that you get from on-premises and cloud services computing environments.

Scalability, Reliability, and Speed

A hybrid cloud approach can improve reliability and scale by letting you rely on the computing resources that meet your needs at any given moment.

The Public Cloud Scales to Meet Demand

You might find that a marketing campaign drives an unexpected number of visitors to your website or app. When that happens, your on-site server could struggle to meet demand. A public cloud infrastructure should have ample resources to match any shifts in demand. Public cloud services, therefore, will keep your website or app available as more people access it.

On-Premises Computing Improves Reliability and Speed

While a public cloud environment can adjust to increased traffic, it could also slow as more people access it. If you exclusively rely on a public cloud infrastructure, more traffic could create latency that interferes with employee workloads. In extreme cases, your employees could even lose access to the automation and applications they rely on to do their jobs.

Multi-Cloud Deployment Benefits Everyone

Hybrid cloud architecture can optimize workflows to ensure your employees can access the on-premises resources they need even while the public cloud serves a high number of customers.

Data Compliance

Depending on the industry you work in, you might need to follow strict data protection rules. The healthcare and financial industries stand out as extremely data-sensitive industries. Most governments have regulations, like HIPAA in the United States, that require protecting patients' sensitive data.

On-Premises Offers Better Data Compliance Oversight

If you work in an industry with high data security requirements, it often makes sense to store information on-site. Doing so gives you better control over data compliance instead of forcing you to rely on someone else.

Cloud Storage Requires a Lot of Trust

Technically, you comply with HIPAA requirements while storing information in the cloud. When cloud providers fail to meet expectations, though, the event could damage your brand reputation and lead to financial fines.

Unfortunately, data breaches happen frequently. Storing private data on a public cloud or private cloud server requires a lot of trust.

On the positive side, though, you use cloud storage as a disaster recovery option. If a natural disaster, equipment failure, or malware makes it impossible for you to access your on-site data, you can turn to your cloud server space to remain operational.

Data Security Benefits of Hybrid Cloud Strategies

Hybrid cloud solutions let you store private data in on-site databases that don't have contact with the outside world, giving you complete control over data protection. Ideally, authorized staff members retain on-demand access to information without letting anyone else view it.

A hybrid approach also helps ensure data access. When your on-site data center fails, you have a backup that helps you recover quickly.

Of course, stronger data privacy relies on you having robust security and IT professionals who know how to prevent cyberattacks. If you're not certain you can meet those goals, it might make sense to update your data center or look for a cloud platform with excellent data protection credentials.

Customization to Meet Your Business Needs

Does your business have unique needs that go beyond what most cloud management companies offer? A hybrid cloud could give you more opportunities to customize your cloud model to improve business processes.

On-Premises Computing Gives You Complete Control

On-premises computing is the ultimate self-service option. That's a significant advantage for companies that have unique technology needs. If you're pushing the limits of today's computer technology, it helps to have equipment you can adapt as needed. You can't really expect a cloud service provider to stay ahead of emerging trends.

Cloud Computer Meets Basic Needs

Even companies working at the edge of technology have mundane needs that the public cloud can handle. Moving those processes and information to an off-site cloud frees room in your data center for intensive work.

Meet Business Needs and Serve Customers With Hybrid Cloud Strategies

A multi-cloud strategy gives you opportunities to run self-contained tests on cutting-edge technology while still letting you serve customers via SaaS, microservices, and similar options.

Control Expenses

Regardless of the type of cloud adoption you choose, your business will accrue expenses.

On-Premises Private Cloud Costs

An on-premises infrastructure requires significant IT resources. Your budget will need to include money for:

  • An on-premises data center and server, or servers.
  • Enterprise software (potentially specific to your industry).
  • An IT team that keeps everything running optimally.

You can expect an on-premises data center to cost $280 to $350 per square foot. You'll also need to pay for the electricity that keeps the facility running.

Keep in mind that you might also need to hire a data center manager to oversee the orchestration, updates, and maintenance of your private cloud infrastructure. Without a qualified professional, you will likely lose the benefits of owning your IT infrastructure. Expect to pay about $146,000 to employ a data center manager.

Public Cloud Resources Offer Cost-Effective Services

For the most part, you will get lower pricing from a public cloud provider. You get to avoid the high upfront cost of purchasing and installing equipment. Plus, you don't need to worry about adding a line item to your budget for ongoing maintenance.

While on-premises computing has largely fixed costs, public cloud providers charge you for the resources you use. If you use less than expected, your bill will reflect that.

Control Expenses With a Hybrid Cloud Strategy

A hybrid cloud strategy likely means you need to build a smaller on-site data center, which will lower your equipment, software, and installation expenses. When you need additional resources, you can rely on your public cloud service provider.

Hybrid cloud infrastructure will almost always cost more than public cloud infrastructure. If your business needs the security and customization of an on-site IT infrastructure, though, you can't eliminate the expense. You can, however, control the expense by leveraging the benefits of public cloud services.

Hybrid Cloud Strategies in Modern IT Infrastructure

Hybrid cloud strategies can play critical roles in modern IT infrastructures. You don't want every aspect of your on-premises and public cloud-based services to operate in isolation, though. You will need some of them to share features and information.

API integration lets you connect every asset in your on-premises and off-site IT infrastructure. With APIs, you can let everything from on-site legacy systems to cloud-based applications communicate effectively.

Connect Your Hydrid Strategy With APIs

Whether you take a hybrid or cloud-first strategy, you need a reliable way for your applications, databases, and other parts of your IT infrastructure to share information. DreamFactory offers a straightforward, low-code approach to API creation and management. Server-side scripting gives you control over your API business intelligence while letting you integrate diverse assets regardless of operating system or coding language.

Start your free 14-day trial with DreamFactory today to see how it can improve your hybrid cloud strategy.

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