How a hybrid data center can raise your company to a higher IT level
To give a better understanding of the advantages of a hybrid data centre (or hybrid cloud), it’s important to understand the three models that are currently used to maintain workloads (such as processes, storage, and network).
We refer mainly to a private cloud, a public cloud and a combination of these two known as the hybrid cloud. What exactly is the difference between the three and which one would suit your organisation best?
A short summary
- PRIVATE CLOUD
The private cloud is the most well-known model. Most of us are familiar with this model which has been used since the early days of IT.
In a private cloud technically, no storage is shared with others. The IT environment belongs to one organisation, in which the location of this private cloud is of less importance. The IT environment can be in your own data centre, but could also be in a rented data centre, etc.
- PUBLIC CLOUD
A public cloud involves the use of one of the major players on the market, such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon or Google Cloud.
Multiple users will be sharing the IT infrastructure in the background. You will be in your own isolated environment where clearly security is of extreme importance. In this case, you technically do share these environments with others.
Public clouds have the main advantage that they are more accessible for the end user and that services and tools can be shared in a more flexible way within an organisation. This has the result that you, as an end user, can work much more efficiently without having to outsource your whole IT infrastructure.
- HYBRID CLOUD
The third and last model is known as a hybrid cloud, which is the combination of both a private and public cloud. This model has been used more frequently in organisations than many would expect. Microsoft 365 is the perfect example of how hybrid clouds have already found their way into many companies already.
Companies will regularly end up in situations where there is a shortage of capacity impacting the flexibility or efficiency. More storage could then be a temporary solution. In some sectors or organisations, the necessary storage capacity can even vary on a monthly basis. In these cases, a hybrid cloud would be the recommended solution. In this model you can easily move workloads or scale up capacity when needed.
At Uptime Group we’re not afraid to say that in most cases we’re true advocates for the hybrid cloud model. The future lies in a hybrid model with it combining the best of two worlds.
A brief overview of the advantages of a hybrid cloud
We would recommend for you to have the initial set-up carried out by specialized partners. During this set-up, the following things, among others, will be configured:
- Identity access management (IAM, emergency accounts, etc.)
- Minimal security configuration
- Cost management
From this moment on, you are ready to fully exploit the advantages of two different cloud environments:
As a first main advantage we want to highlight the flexibility associated with this solution. Setting up and deleting workloads is a piece of cake. You could even make sure that employees from certain departments can apply for and maintain their own services or machines, without having to request anything from the IT department. In this setup, IT employees don’t have to necessarily wait for the ‘infrastructure’ people and the other way around.
If you would have spare capacity due to certain circumstances or one of the projects has been put on hold, you could easily temporarily cancel or add storage with costs for the remaining storage environment always staying minimal. Now this sounds efficient, right?
Within a hybrid cloud setting, you can better prepare and manage your future investments. In the case of a recent renewal of your hardware for two years, you can start determining and working on your future strategy by answering these simple questions, starting now:
- Do we have many development environments?
- Do we often work with software-as-a-service platforms?
- Do we need a lot of storage capacity?
By answering the above questions, you’re already on track defining your strategy. You can store lots of data in the cloud whilst it being very cost efficient. If SaaS platforms are already being used widely, you can also check whether this on-premises investment is still necessary.
3.More efficient management
Finally, there’s the advantage that people who take care of day-to-day operations can be relieved of a lot of their duties. Do the monthly patch rounds of all systems ring a bell? No one gets ecstatic from reading ‘Critical firmware available again, etc.’. Try to also keep track of all this within your asset & vulnerability management, it’s all a challenge.
In theory this is all very easily said but in reality, it can be slightly different. If you work with services in a public cloud (read: not with virtual machines), the cloud providers will ensure an up-to-date underlying environment. This means that far fewer assets need to be updated from start to finish and that less downtime will be needed within operational tasks.
From CAPEX to OPEX: a new way of payment
The hybrid cloud comes with a different cost model. Once you are in a cloud, there will be no more one-off investments. There will be a shift from CAPEX to OPEX, which gives you monthly recurring costs.
This model has the added advantage that you are not faced with surprises. Who hasn’t heard of the stories where, for example, you purchased hardware, but some of the equipment was not included as a licence? These unexpected costs are far less probable in the cloud because you make use of a transparant ‘pay-as-you-use’ model.
Our existing vendors go hybrid too!
The well-known vendors have now also developed a multi-cloud strategy in which they use their own familiar User Interface to migrate easily to the cloud and vice versa. All of these can be easily connected to the cloud and move your existing workloads from one environment to the other whilst maintaining your storage capacity optimally.
In all honesty, there are also some challenges and disadvantages on your road to the cloud and a hybrid data center. You need to consider the latent-sensitive applications as well as the costs of the migration itself. On the other hand, armed with a great strategy and the right experts by your side a hybrid cloud solution will be the right solution for your organization.