Despite all the discussion surrounding cloud computing these days, many IT leaders still struggle to comprehend the concept of hybrid cloud architectures -- and the inherent advantages they have over public or private clouds.
The primary reason for the confusion is that a hybrid cloud is not a technology, but more of a philosophy of use, when compared to public and private clouds. There are no hybrid cloud solutions per se. Instead, it's the way you manage and orchestrate public and private cloud resources that creates a hybrid cloud.
In a hybrid cloud architecture you leverage both public and private data center resources. Applications and data can reside in one or both cloud types.
The decision to use one cloud architecture over the other depends on many factors, including security, latency, redundancy, and required speed of implementation. The goal of a hybrid cloud is to make it so that end-users have no idea if an application or resource is in a public or private cloud. To them, it's all the same. Each application and data resource is carefully reviewed and a decision is made about where the resource will operate best.
In some cases the resource will work better in a private cloud, but in other cases the public cloud is a better match. The key here is that administrators have the ability to make those decisions.
We're taking a look at the benefits that a hybrid cloud model holds over a model that uses either public or private cloud architectures alone. We'll cover topics like architecture freedom, resource utilization, cost of ownership, speed of deployment, and application requirements. As you read about the advantages of a hybrid model, try to apply each advantage to your own environment to see if a hybrid model could be beneficial to your organization. In most cases, it likely will.
We'd love to hear about your experiences with cloud architectures, and whether you like the freedom that a hybrid model offers -- or whether you prefer the simplicity of using only a public or private cloud design. Tell us all about it in the comments sectino below.