Over the years, Cloud computing is spreading more and more. It is now an essential subject for each company. In 2018, according to an IDG survey, 17% of companies intended to adopt the cloud for the development of their applications or software in the next twelve months. In this article, we are focusing on the Hybrid Cloud service, what is it, the advantages compare to an on-premise solution and the combination of DevOps and Hybrid Cloud.
What is Hybrid Cloud?
Hybrid Cloud is the combination of a Public cloud provider (such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform) and a Private cloud platform, used by a single company. Public and Private cloud infrastructures, which operate independently of each other, communicate via an encrypted connection, using technology that promotes data and application portability. In other terms, Hybrid Cloud allows companies to store protected or privileged data in a Private cloud while maintaining the ability to leverage Public cloud computing resources to run applications based on this data.
When demand fluctuates, the Hybrid cloud gives companies the ability to seamlessly scale their on-premises infrastructure up to the Public cloud to handle any overflow, without giving third-party datacenters access to the entirety of their data. As you can see Hybrid Cloud is all about security and data protection.
The graph below is showing that companies are mainly using a Private Cloud. Indeed, in 2018, 25% of the companies were on the Private Cloud against 23% on the Public Cloud. The forecasts 18 months later are that 36% of companies are using the Private Cloud against 33% using the Public Cloud. The data security matter is thus very important as more than half of the companies using cloud services are on the Private one.
Here are some examples of types of companies that use the Hybrid Cloud:
- Financial and investment companies
- Defense-related companies
- Health sector companies
- Law companies as law firms
- Retail business
What are the Hybrid Cloud advantages compare to on-premise?
There are many advantages to the Hybrid Cloud compare to an on-premise solution. Here are the main ones:
Business-critical applications and data are kept on the on-premises service, safely behind a company firewall. Some companies are dealing with very sensitive data, and they must protect them. It is even truer now that the GDPR is in action. Furthermore, there are yet no well defined international laws governing this new practice of storing data outside the company on the Public cloud. The main reason for Private Cloud hosting is therefore often data security. But the Public Cloud has many advantages, and it is the reason why many companies are choosing the Hybrid Cloud.
Flexibility and computing power
Another advantage of a Hybrid Cloud model is the ability to have an on-site IT infrastructure that can support the average workload. But at the same time, you keep the ability to leverage the Public Cloud to handle short-term spikes in demand where the workload exceeds the computing power of the Private cloud component.
You only pay for additional calculation time when these resources are required, as we describe above. For companies that have key events throughout the year and require significantly higher power for a short period, the use of Public cloud is a less expensive alternative. Indeed setting up a Private infrastructure that remains inactive for most of the year is too expensive.
This reduced cost advantage is only valid for companies that have enough budget to have their own infrastructure. It is then not applying to small businesses or startups likely to have a limited IT budget. For those companies, we advise they use the Public Cloud service for the development of their software or applications.
Hybrid cloud computing is thus the most fitted platform for many companies. This service delivers all the benefits of cloud computing, flexibility, scalability, and cost efficiencies, with the lowest possible risk of data exposure.
How Hybrid Cloud supports DevOps culture?
Here is a quick reminder of the DevOps culture: DevOps consists of increasing collaboration between developers and Ops, to make faster and better quality production releases.
On the paper, DevOps and Cloud are independent, but in reality, they operate as a duo. Let me explain. According to a study made by IDG, cloud solutions are feeding the need for speed, since 71% of companies feel that the cloud is improving the speed of IT service delivery. This is aligned with the DevOps objective which is to speed the software development.
The same study is showing that the cloud is increasing collaboration with other business units or departments (49% of companies noticed the difference). Indeed, 69% agree that the networking management team is communicating with LOB more than ever before.
Companies also have to rethink IT organization structure when migrating to the Cloud (48%). Those two things are the basis of DevOps. You cannot set up a DevOps organization within your company without making your Dev and your Ops collaborate. To know more about how to implement DevOps organization in your company, check this article.
DevOps and Cloud are pursuing the same objectives that are to deploy new features faster and to avoid downtimes. With the Hybrid Cloud, it is different because you still have physical infrastructures to manage. Thus you may not feel a big impact on your delivery speed and that is why the DevOps is crucial. To be able to reduce delivery time even with Hybrid Cloud, you have to implement the DevOps culture within your company and think about what data or part of your application you want to keep on the Private Cloud, and what to move to the Public Cloud.
How to implement the Hybrid Cloud in your company?
It is always a challenge to change the paradigm of your IT team. Moving from on-premise to the Hybrid Cloud is a big change and will involve rethinking your organization. The first step of the migration is to make sure that each person of the company understands the business values of Hybrid Cloud. It will thus be easier to implicate people in the process. And the second steps, if not already done, is to implement the DevOps culture within your teams to develop internal communication, which is essential for the success of the migration.
Next, you have to go through those key considerations :
- How to integrate the Hybrid Cloud with the existing systems?
- How to handle the management complexity that it will bring?
- How to ensure the same level of security? This one is crucial because if communication between the Private and Public cloud isn’t strong enough it opens a security breach.
Then, you have to choose your cloud provider, they are many available on the market. The most known are :
- Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- Azure by Microsoft
- Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
To pick one provider, you have to see what are your needs and which one suits them best.
Here is a checklist of all the steps you can’t miss to successfully implement Hybrid Cloud in your company:
The Hybrid Cloud is a solution to security issues on the Cloud. It allows you to keep your confidential data on your own servers while giving you the flexibility of cloud services. Do not forget that it is more efficient combined with DevOps. If you have any questions about the implementation phase of the Hybrid cloud, please contact us.