Hybrid Cloud Computing

Hybrid Cloud Computing is using portions of Cloud Computing and traditional internal network equipment. For most companies, this is the most practical use of Cloud Computing.

Hybrid Cloud Computing has no requirements as to what must services it include, which gives businesses the flexibility to examine what functionality Cloud Computing has to offer and having a solution designed to keep components of the business’s traditional network structure while incorporating improvements made possible through Hybrid Cloud Computing. Hybrid Cloud Computing gives businesses the ability to incorporate Cloud Computing that fit within the company’s policies, yield the greatest return, competitive advantages, and reduce risks and limitations a traditional network has on businesses.

For some companies, Hybrid Cloud Computing may involve using Cloud Storage as seen in Cloud Computing for Disaster Recovery. Other companies will use Hybrid Cloud Computing to free up cash by not having to buy their own server and instead have a monthly agreement for a server to be physically at their office (yes in their building and not in a data center somewhere). In this Hybrid Computing Model, the company will pay a monthly fee which will often include the maintenance done on the server, technical support for the company, local and office backups of the server data. Data that is stored offsite by default is compressed and encrypted prior to sending the data offsite “in the cloud.”

Hybrid Cloud Computing where the Cloud Computing Company brings equipment to run at the businesses has some major advantages for businesses with minimal downsides.
The benefits of this type of Hybrid Cloud Computing model are:

  1. The business does not have to buy hardware such as servers.
  2. The Hybrid Cloud Computing service may be offered on a monthly basis.
  3. It gives businesses financial and operational flexibility.
  4. The equipment the Cloud Computing Company brings on premise uses technology to help ensure reliability to business operations.
  5. The Cloud Computing Company monitors the online backup service.
  6. The ability to quickly recover in the event of a disaster is improved.
  7. The Cloud Computing Company is responsible for keeping their equipment running.

What are the potential downsides of the Hybrid Cloud Computing when structured this way?

  1. Be sure to look at the Service Level Agreement (SLA) in these areas in particular, to make sure the terms are acceptable.
    1. What are the guaranteed response times for support?
    2. What is the recourse if the technical support is slower to respond than the SLA?
    3. Who is doing the support? If you are in the healthcare industry be sure they sign your Business Associate Agreement (BAA)
    4. What methods of support do they offer? Phone, remote, onsite (and the response time for each).
  2. The fault-tolerance of a full Cloud Computing structure is not obtained.
  3. The monthly service cost may be expensive.

Another popular Hybrid Cloud Computing Model is used in Cloud Computing for Disaster Recovery. This model leverages different components of Cloud Computing to support traditional network infrastructures. Instead of the Cloud Computing Company bringing equipment in for your business to run on, the Cloud Computing Company (or Managed Solutions Provider in this case) will bring in another system that will image (a virtual snapshot) the company’s server(s). Should the business’s servers fail, the Hybrid Cloud Computing equipment can load the last image, and in less than an hour, the business can have the full functionality of the original servers running even though they are down.

How much time is lost depends on how frequently the company images run. The smallest time frame is about every 15 minutes for an image. In addition, with this Hybrid Cloud Computing equipment in place, the business may opt to have the automatic online backup service used as well, which will compress, encrypt and store desired data or entire images online. This Hybrid Cloud Computing model is offered as a monthly service.