Hybrid Cloud

Updated on Apr 15, 2024 by

What Is a Hybrid Cloud?

A hybrid cloud, a type of cloud computing model, facilitates the cooperation between private and public clouds to enhance the utilization of resources across different cloud environments. It serves as an integrated platform that combines resources and services from both public and private clouds, assisting users in effectively managing their IT infrastructure across various cloud platforms and geographic locations.

Background of Hybrid Cloud

The enterprise IT architecture has transitioned from centralized mainframe setups to distributed virtualization architectures, and it continues to evolve towards multi-site and multi-cloud configurations. Services are categorized based on their characteristics into stable services, typically deployed on physical machines (PMs) or private clouds, and agile services, usually deployed on virtual machines (VMs) in public clouds.

  • Stable services are commonly deployed on physical machines (PMs) within traditional networks or private clouds to accommodate bare metal servers (BMSs), databases, and core services. These services necessitate high reliability and minimal latency.

  • Agile services are usually deployed on virtual machines (VMs) within public clouds to fulfill the need for agility and scalability in resource allocation. The applications of agile services follow an iterative approach within DevOps mode.

Customers can choose between private and public clouds based on their service requirements. For instance, they may opt to store sensitive data in private clouds for enhanced security, while utilizing public clouds for testing services and applications frequently accessed by external users due to their reliability, professional operations and maintenance, and rapid resource scaling capabilities.

Hybrid cloud has emerged as a prominent cloud computing model and a key direction for development in recent years. It has been recognized as one of Gartner's top 10 strategic technology trends in 2020.

Features and Advantages of Hybrid Cloud

Enterprises have the option to deploy cloud computing services through public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud environments. A hybrid cloud integrates resources and products from both public and private clouds, facilitating the management of IT infrastructure across diverse cloud platforms and locations.

Beyond simply combining private and public clouds, a hybrid cloud offers the following functionalities:

  • Interconnection between private and public clouds: Facilitates data exchange between clouds and supports flexible service deployment methods. Common interconnection modes include private line-based and VPN-based connections.

    Hybrid cloud

  • Consistent services across public and private clouds: Ensures a unified service portal, resource monitoring GUI, and account permissions.

    Consistent service experience

  • VPC interconnection across public and private clouds: Enables service interworking across different cloud environments.

    Communication between VPCs of the private cloud and public cloud

A hybrid cloud offers the following advantages:

  • Enhanced service flexibility: Enterprises can securely store core data on their private cloud while leveraging the agility of public clouds for deploying and testing new applications, ensuring both security and flexibility.

  • Cost savings: Cloud storage typically costs less than local storage, and public cloud resources can be easily scaled up during temporary spikes in service demand, reducing the need for investing in additional local ICT infrastructure.

  • Improved availability and accessibility: Public clouds in hybrid environments are often distributed across multiple data centers worldwide, providing seamless connectivity and accessibility to cloud services from anywhere.

  • Convenient service migration: Dedicated tools provided by public cloud service providers facilitate the smooth migration and testing of services between private and public cloud environments.

  • Promotion of service innovation: Public clouds offer a platform for developing and testing new services without the risk of high costs associated with failures or resource constraints. Additionally, easy access to new services and tools on public clouds encourages experimentation and innovation without the need for local deployments.

Application Scenarios for Hybrid Cloud

  • Handling Service Peaks and Increased Loads

An organization hosts its applications on a private cloud. To manage sudden spikes in demand due to seasonal or unforeseen events, the organization leverages public cloud resources temporarily, swiftly enhancing its ability to respond to service needs.

  • Disaster Recovery with Master/Slave Architecture

Hybrid cloud setups typically adopt a master/slave architecture for disaster recovery (DR). This arrangement enables users to store backup service data in the public cloud, utilizing the technical expertise, DR capabilities, and operational resources of public cloud providers for rapid data recovery and uninterrupted service. Compared to solely relying on private clouds, DR in a hybrid cloud setup demands less operational effort and incurs lower system costs. When a disaster strikes the private cloud data center (DC), users can swiftly switch over to cloud hosts in the public cloud and utilize backup data, significantly reducing recovery time objectives (RTO) and ensuring high service availability.

  • Secure Data Backup

Data backup aims to securely store data or applications at specific points in time. Typically, applications run on either the public or private cloud, while data backup occurs on either private or public cloud platforms, ensuring data security.

  • Locally Deployed Front-end Services with Centralized Back-end Processing

For enterprises with multiple branches, particularly multinational corporations, processing all services through the headquarters' data center (DC) can create bottlenecks in processing capability and access bandwidth as service volumes increase. In a hybrid cloud solution, front-end services are deployed on the public cloud, leveraging its multi-region and content delivery network (CDN) advantages to bring services closer to end-users. Back-end services remain centralized on the private cloud at headquarters. Following front-end processing, only minimal interaction between front-end and back-end systems is necessary to complete service processing.

  • Development, Testing, Production, and Deployment

During the development and testing phases of an application, there's often a need for agile and quick environment setup, with environments frequently reconfigured. The public cloud serves this requirement well. Once the application is ready for launch, stability and security become paramount, making the private cloud more suitable. A hybrid cloud approach allows for the utilization of public or private clouds at different stages of application development as needed, facilitating DevOps practices.

  • Accessing Public Cloud Services from Private Cloud Applications

Applications hosted on the private cloud can access public cloud services using private IP addresses through VPNs or private lines, simplifying the development and deployment of local application systems.

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