Hybrid Cloud Data Center: Pros & Cons and Application Scenarios
As computing demand continues to increase, enterprises often have to decide how they would meet the storage requirements for roles such as big data analysis. Even after addressing the storage demands through cloud computing, companies are still concerned about data confidentiality and quality of service in a shared storage environment.
Hybrid Cloud Data Centers have been tailored to address this. The principal value lies in supporting a fast-moving digital business transformation, driving cost-saving, and maintaining data confidentiality. A hybrid cloud data center ideally combines the best features of both public and private clouds.
How a Hybrid Data Center Works
A hybrid cloud data center works by allowing enterprises to deploy data in a private, on-premise, or public cloud environment. This workload could then be interchanged amongst these environments as computing needs and costs change. This interchangeability gives a company options on what workload to store on the public cloud and what to retain on its private cloud; this brings unparalleled flexibility to a business.
To build a hybrid cloud data center, you will need:
An on-premise data center.
A public infrastructure as a Service platform. Example Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Service.
A network connection between the public and private cloud environment.
Since an enterprise has no control over a public cloud environment, choosing appropriate and compatible on-premise resources is crucial. Hardware resources within the data center such as servers, storage, LAN, and load balancers should be able to interoperate and integrate with public cloud services and APIs.
Pros of a Hybrid Cloud Data Center
These are some of the benefits that an enterprise will realize by investing in a hybrid cloud data center over other cloud environments.
Customizing a hybrid cloud enables an organization to be agile enough to fulfill clients’ needs. Other than acting as a link between the old system and the new ones, hybrid is capable of creating an underlying structure that will compromise business demands. This customization cannot be achieved with a public cloud.
One of the benefits of hybrid cloud applications is adapting to the organization’s needs. An organization can delegate operations and workloads that are non-critical to the public cloud hence relieving strains on the private cloud. By using the public cloud, businesses will benefit from the scalability provided by this environment. Additionally, companies can scale up and down easily according to demand.
This hybrid cloud application is particularly useful for organizations with fluctuating data demand and application services. In periods of high demand, applications that normally run on a private cloud are configured to burst into a public cloud. This will provide an additional computing resource needed to satisfy the spiked demand.
Unlike the on-premise data centers, which experience significant lag times for remote access, organizations with hybrid cloud data centers can leverage their cloud infrastructure to be accessible to their remote employees.
Lower Spending on Infrastructure
Instead of investing in several servers that will be put on idle when computing demand is low, organizations with hybrid cloud capabilities can invest in fewer servers and rely on the public cloud to handle computing requirements during peak demand periods.
Cons of a Hybrid Cloud Data Center
A network bottleneck can occur during data interchange between the private and public clouds. Public clouds rely heavily on the public internet, which is notoriously slow. This will significantly affect performance, especially for applications requiring speedy data exchange.
On-premise data centers have better performance compared to public clouds. Finding the right infrastructure like load balancers that will seamlessly integrate on-premise infrastructure to the public cloud is challenging. Many organizations have to settle for a compromise that severely affects performance.
It is easy to lose sight of your data since information and resources are placed across private and public clouds. This could be challenging in cases where an organization uses multiple public clouds (also known as multi-cloud). If you are insterested in the difference betweent hybrid cloud and multi-cloud, you can read Hybrid Cloud vs. Multi-Cloud: What is the difference?
A hybrid cloud combines public and private clouds; misuse or a successful attack on public cloud infrastructure can put your system at risk.
Application Scenarios of Hybrid Cloud Data Centers
What are some ideal scenarios where hybrid cloud infrastructure can be used?
A Safe Zone in the Cloud
For many companies, hybrid cloud acts as a safe, private gateway environment to cloud computing. It functions as a protected space in taking the first steps towards embracing cloud computing. Legacy applications offer standard transition services to companies to transition them to the cloud.
When companies experience data demand peaks periods, higher computing capabilities are needed. In scenarios such as retail stores during Christmas periods or streaming services when a major entertainment event happens, hybrid cloud can smoothly combine both the private and public cloud environment to handle such demands. This occurrence is referred to as cloud bursting.
Processing Data in Real-time
Applications such as autonomous driving, industrial robots, and AI algorithms practically need a close to the action data center to provide real-time data processing. Such scenarios require the hybrid data centers to exploit both speeds of on-premise data centers and the large data storage capacity of the cloud.
Providing Remote Locations Without Cloud Network Infrastructure
Companies can provide private servers for internet connections to their remote employees. Implementing hybrid systems, remote research centers, oil rigs, and even space stations can have a faster internet connection critical to their operations.
Hybrid Cloud in Healthcare
In the past, healthcare relied on Legacy infrastructure for its workload. With time the Legacy infrastructure could not handle the exponential growth of medical data. Hybrid cloud application in the medical industry was a much-needed change.
The complex, overlapping, and interdepending nature of a medical workflow need a cost-effective and manageable system. This was achieved by introducing a hybrid cloud in healthcare. Hybrid cloud ensured:
Cost-effectiveness- Hospitals can exploit the less expensive public cloud for resource-heavy operations and keep their sensitive data on the private cloud.
Manageability- in the hybrid cloud, the interactions of system components are strictly regulated through APIs.
Research by IDC indicates that about 90% of enterprises will rely on Hybrid Cloud Data Centers. This is a clear indication of the benefits of hybrid over both public and private clouds. From ensuring remote connectivity, ensuring real-time operation, and reducing operation cost, the Hybrid system has proven to be the best data system for enterprises.
For companies that are not sure or comfortable committing all their data and applications to the cloud, hybrid cloud provides a middle ground. It addresses security concerns by allowing companies still to retain their critical resources to on-premise data centers and move their less essential resources to the public cloud.