By Dexter Duncan
Is 2013 the year of Hybrid Cloud Computing?
A common definition from Wikipedia is “a composition of two or more clouds (private or public) that remain unique entities but are bound together, offering benefits of multiple deployment models.” A public cloud usually involves you purchasing a portion of a multi-tenanted computer system. A private cloud is usually a group of dedicated machines, similar to a hosted/co-location arrangement in a data centre.
Hybrid Cloud Computing makes sense as you are able to place apps and services based on your costs, compliance and management needs. Do NOT lock yourself into the cloud without knowing how you can move your data across your multiple clouds, especially moving it from external location back to on-premise. Having this option gives you peace of mind in the event of legislation changes or security scares.
Hybrid Cloud Computing gives you the “best of both worlds” since your non-critical data, back-ups, CRM and e-mail can easily go into the public or off-site private cloud, while keeping your mission critical apps, services and data on-premise.
Based on what we are seeing in the marketplace, the 3 best items to have in the external cloud are almost always non sensitive information.
Software as a Service (SAAS) based CRM (40% of all deployments are in the cloud). The benefit is you pay only for what you use.
Cloud Back-ups. Modern day off-site back-ups have come a long way. Do not make this your only back up, without knowing the time it takes for a full restore from failure.
Microsoft Exchange. The first thing that often goes into the cloud in a pay per use model is e-mail. The key benefit is the lower on-going maintenance costs.
What are best items to keep on internal infrastructure? In short, your Mission Critical data or any strategic application unique to your operation or growth of your business should stay in-house and nearby. Although many Cloud Computing options are often more safe and secure than your internal network, these are the most common items to be left in-house or on a private cloud.
Legacy applications – You spent squillions developing a custom application that is strategic to your business operation. Many of these cannot be adapted to the cloud cause they cannot be virtualized or rewritten to work in the cloud.
Data Sensitive information (although encryption is possible) such as financials, customer data or any information that could cripple or hurt your business if you do not have it.
Strategic growth projects. These are the key areas which will grow your business in the future and are unique to your business.
Public clouds, private clouds and in-house networks all have advantages and disadvantages. Combining the above information types into one network is an example of how to get the best of both worlds in a Hybrid Cloud.
Price Waterhouse Coopers, 2013 Enterprise It Influencers: Hybrid Cloud Computing. http://www.digitalpulse.pwc.com.au/hybrid-cloud-computing/