What is Hybrid Cloud?

Say Hello to Cloud Computing

Three years ago, the digital world was amazed at the giant strides made by the cloud. Cloud storage service, ‘Dropbox’ was growing in both profit and popularity. Spotify finally hit the world and then MegaUpload joined the foray (in its own way). Even Steve Jobs used his last Apple keynote to introduce iCloud.

Sometime, between then and now, the cloud went from being the next big thing, to something that’s so closely entangled with computing (and our lives), we often dismiss it from our minds.

On a technical level, cloud computing refers to computing where the processing and/or storage takes place on a networked series of computers, rather than on the device you’re actually using.

Cloud computing takes the storage and processing limitations of any given computing device and instead puts the strain on a much more powerful series of remote servers. In other words, it turns any computer into a super-computer.

‘Cloud’ is an appropriate metaphor. It’s as if there’s a vaporous accumulation of data and processing power, hovering in the air above you. It follows you everywhere you go (or at least everywhere with an Internet connection).

There are two primary deployment models of cloud: public and private. Most organizations will use a combination of private computing resources, (data-centres and private clouds) and public services, where some of the services existing in these environments touch each other, (this is the hybrid cloud environment).

The hybrid cloud

A hybrid cloud is a mixture of a private cloud, combined with the use of public cloud facilities, where one or several touch points exist between the two environments. The goal is to combine services and data from a variety of cloud models, in order to create a unified, automated and well-managed computing environment.

The hybrid IT approach, allows a business to take advantage of the scalability and cost-effectiveness that a public cloud computing environment offers, but without exposing mission-critical applications and data to third-party vulnerabilities. A hybrid cloud set-up also helps enterprises mitigate some other public cloud risks, such as unplanned outages.

Mingling public services with private clouds and the data-centre as a hybrid, is the new definition of corporate computing. Not all companies that use public and private cloud services have a hybrid cloud. Rather, a hybrid cloud is used as an environment where private and public services are fused together to create value.

The hybrid cloud offers a number of benefits:

  • It allows you to retain sensitive data behind your firewall, while taking advantage of the lower cost and flexibility of the cloud.
  • It can also improve scalability and provisioning at a decreased cost, allowing resources to be allocated to the cloud, for short term projects, at much lower cost than it would to make wholesale changes to your infrastructure.
  • One often ignored benefit of the hybrid cloud, is that it allows companies that are unenthusiasticto try another cloud computing model, with the opportunity to ‘dip their toes’ at low cost and with less perceived risk.  This can be a significant benefit for those working in a company whose management take a very conservative approach to technology.  

The Future of Hybrid Cloud

According to Gartner, Inc., approximately half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017.

In the past three years, private cloud computing has moved from an aspiration to a tentative reality for nearly half of large enterprises. Hybrid cloud computing is at the same place today that private cloud was three years ago, inasmuch as actual deployments are low, but aspirations are high.

As said by Joe Gardiner, Head of Product at cloud hosting experts CatN, hybrid cloud is increasingly being seen as the best way to host large applications. He says—

“Business critical applications with security and performance demands can be hosted on a private cloud. This environment can then be integrated with the less critical services, such as web servers, which are more at home on a public cloud.”

“Combining these two cloud models influences cost efficiencies and also builds resilience into a solution. I would highly recommend engaging with a specialist cloud provider to build an effective hybrid cloud.”


The good news for IT is that all hybrid cloud computing needs can be achieved. In fact, not only is demand for managed services in the age of the cloud expected to grow sharply, the estimates of the businesses that provide those services has already started to rise.

All this signifies that discussions over whether application workloads need to run in a public or private cloud computing state, may soon be serious. No doubt, a lot of new apps will be deployed on the public cloud. But the fact remains, applications in private clouds that will either run on premises or be hosted by a third-party service provider are definitely here to stay.

The ‘bare truth’ is a term, which cloud computing itself may soon disperse into the ether, as IT organizations come to realize that enterprise computing has simply become more varied.

Similar to the time when everybody stopped using the term client/server computing, once it became the mainstream way of doing things, so too the label ‘cloud computing’, (as a distinct style of computing), will simply become passé, once everybody recognizes that it’s just the way IT gets things done in the 21st century.

Wondering if a Hybrid Cloud platform could be right for your organisation?

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About the author

THE IT GUYS are passionate about supporting Small & Medium businesses. We write blog articles to help business leaders navigate the technology landscape to benefit their business.