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Grow Your Business Technology

What is a Hybrid Cloud?

hybrid cloud Hybrid clouds offer organizations a blend of public and private cloud environments for added security, scalability and flexibility. / Credit: Raywoo | Shutterstock

A hybrid cloud is a cloud computing model that combines the security benefits of a private cloud and the scalable capabilities of a public cloud. Businesses commonly use hybrid clouds to provide onsite resources that work in tandem with a server-based cloud infrastructure.

Private clouds offer added security at the network level, whereas public clouds offer scalability and cost efficiency, helping to leverage out the costs of using both technologies simultaneously.

In a hybrid cloud system, an organization’s own IT team manages part of the cloud in-house and the rest off-site. For instance, a hybrid cloud system is perfect for an organization that wants to manage business-related data (such as customer files) in-house but wants to store less-sensitive information with a third party.

Typical hybrid cloud setups are implemented in the following fashions:

  • An individual cloud service provider offers a hybrid package.
  • An organization managing its own private cloud signs up for services through a public cloud, which is then integrated into the current infrastructure.
  • Competing cloud service providers create a business partnership to integrate service offerings of public and private clouds.

Hybrid clouds cater more likely to be used by larger organizations since they are more likely to create significant daily traffic and usage in a cloud setting. The hybrid cloud creates a system of redundancies that increases the efficiency of a large organization in addition to providing additional resources for a better overall infrastructure. Additional benefits include the following:

Flexibility. Utilizing resources at both the public and private cloud levels creates a very comprehensive solution that can adjust to the needs of the organization. Utilizing the resources of both clouds can help in creating new operational avenues for business infrastructure.

Scalability. The combined use of pooled resources between public and private clouds means an organization can scale its needs. During peak usage, an organization can channel cloud usage into additional cloud services to leverage more resources.

Hybrid cloud services are not as common as public and private cloud offerings. In recent years, many large corporations began offering cloud computing services to help in deploying and integrating cloud services into a hybrid solution, though with limited success. Red Hat launched Deltacloud in 2009, which allows an organization to combine cloud-based systems into a single interface.