Hybrid cloud

Hybrid Cloud definition

A hybrid cloud is a cloud computing environment that uses some mix of on-premises and off-premises, private cloud and public, third-party cloud services. The key is automated orchestration between the platforms.

Today, ownership and location of private and public clouds are less important and more abstract. Therefore, simply defining the hybrid cloud as part on-premises and off-premises cloud storage, or part public and private, is only part of the story.

In addition, the hybrid cloud IT architecture achieves several goals:

  • Networks multiple computers
  • Consolidates IT resources
  • Rapidly scales out and provisions new resources
  • Moves workloads between environments
  • Provides a unified management tool
  • Automates and orchestrates processes

Watch the webinar below with AWS and Druva to learn more about hybrid cloud environments and their recent trends.

What is a hybrid cloud?

A hybrid cloud is a computing environment that shares applications and data between an on-premises private cloud and a third-party public cloud. The guiding principle is a flexible infrastructure that allows for an orchestrated blend of private and public cloud resources and optimal organizational flexibility.

Hybrid cloud architecture enables businesses to move workloads freely between the clouds based on the facts, select the ideal cloud for each workload or application, and otherwise more cost-effectively meet business and technical objectives. Hybrid cloud computing also reduces large-scale outlay and allows organizations to focus local resources on their most sensitive data and applications.

What is hybrid cloud storage?

Hybrid cloud infrastructure is used to manage cloud storage with a blend of local and off-site, and public and private cloud resources. A frequent application is to use public cloud storage to supplement internal data storage.

How does a hybrid cloud work?

There are two common kinds of hybrid cloud platforms: monocloud and multi cloud. A hybrid monocloud strategy is really a single hybrid cloud environment formed by extending the on-premises environment with one cloud provider’s software and hardware stack. The identical stack runs in both locations, and users manage the two tethered environments from the public cloud with the cloud provider’s management tools and infrastructure.

A hybrid multi cloud uses an open standards-based or open source stack. It can be deployed across premises, multiple providers, and on any public cloud infrastructure. This means that although the on-premises and cloud environments are still tethered and form a single hybrid environment, users can manage the multi cloud with the common set of management tools they choose, across multiple providers, on- or off-premises.

Therefore, the hybrid multi cloud vs hybrid cloud comparison is a false one, in that both versions are hybrid clouds. However, there are important differences in these hybrid cloud solutions.

A hybrid cloud vs multi cloud approach may be better for organizations that are taking their first step from on-premises to the hybrid cloud; can’t justify the management effort or cost of working with multiple cloud vendors; or that can easily and securely meet their application needs with a single vendor’s stack.

Still, most organizations demand the flexibility of a hybrid multi cloud approach. Many businesses use a blend of cloud environments and microservices to selectively move applications or even components of applications across multiple cloud services and vendors as it benefits them.

Hybrid cloud

The advantages of hybrid cloud solutions include all of the following items:

Scalability and resilience – Workload traffic spikes can be unpredictable, and even predictable traffic spikes demand affordable capacity. A hybrid cloud strategy allows an organization to detect a surge, and scale up using public cloud infrastructure quickly, cheaply, and possibly even automatically. When the peak has passed, the team can scale down—and all of this takes place without affecting other workloads on the private cloud.

Hybrid cloud security and compliance – Hybrid cloud solutions enable organizations to retain the private cloud for deploying sensitive or highly regulated workloads, while using public cloud services for less-sensitive workloads.

Resource optimization and cost saving – A hybrid cloud environment provides the IT team with increased flexibility and more options for maximizing infrastructure budget and resources as they deploy workloads. It also offers more responsiveness to new opportunities and changing workloads.

For example, a hybrid cloud approach enables a team to:

  • Develop a division of labor for workloads that is cost-optimal by maintaining applications and workloads with variable requirements on public cloud resources and retaining workloads with known requirements and capacity on the private cloud.
  • Use pay-as-you-go public cloud resources to spin-up a research and development or testing environment quickly without affecting on-premises infrastructure.
  • Streamline development, gain a business advantage, or improve products and services by rapidly adopting state-of-the-art tools.
  • Hybrid cloud management frees core talent for more important work.

Hybrid Cloud vs
Public Cloud vs
Private cloud

Private cloud
Historically, a private cloud was composed of resources and cloud infrastructure that an organization owned and managed, deployed by the in-house team on-premises. However, any dedicated cloud infrastructure for an organization is technically a private cloud, whether it is internally managed or managed by a service, and whether it is hosted on-premises in a data center or off-premises.

Advantages of the private cloud model center on security risks, maximum control, and customization. The private cloud model offers maximum control over data and the computing environment. This is important for many businesses, and mandatory for some that deal with certain kinds of highly sensitive data or strict governmental regulations or industry standards.

Disadvantages of private clouds include increased costs and responsibilities. The private cloud model demands some level of in-house IT expertise, a substantial upfront capital investment into software and equipment, and a lengthy deployment. This means that adding capabilities and scaling capacity are both time-consuming and expensive.

Less flexibility is also an issue. A private cloud is more difficult to scale up or down to meet changing needs with a private cloud infrastructure.

Public cloud
Public cloud infrastructure is owned, managed, maintained, and provisioned by cloud providers who rent out the cloud as a service to customers. Typically, the public cloud model allows providers to deliver cloud services online over the internet to users who consume application, compute, network, and storage resources as services, either based on usage or for a periodic subscription charge. Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are public cloud providers that offer distributed data center infrastructure or cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), as well as platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings, such as databases and other services.

Advantages of public cloud solutions include scalability, cost, and reliability. Public cloud services offer almost unlimited scalability (in both directions) with cloud resources that are available on-demand. Public cloud providers bear the costs of investment, maintenance, and operations, and capacity is flexible, so capital expenditure (capex) is much lower. And public cloud services span multiple data centers, increasing reliability.

Disadvantages of the public cloud are mostly centered on lack of control and security risks. Workloads are subject to the compliance, performance, and security of the infrastructure of the public cloud’s multi-tenant environment. This is why it is important to vet your public cloud vendor by examining their security and compliance certifications.

Hybrid cloud
The hybrid cloud model allows for advantages from both public and private cloud models. A hybrid cloud solution allows organizations to run more dynamic, less sensitive, or temporary workloads on the public cloud and maintain highly regulated, mission critical, sensitive workloads and applications and those with fairly constant capacity and performance demands on private cloud infrastructure.

Well-engineered hybrid cloud systems leverage additional cloud capacity for demand surges in private cloud applications. Called cloud bursting, good orchestration and integration make this kind of strategy possible.

Common Use Cases for Hybrid Cloud Architecture

Although there are many uses cases for hybrid cloud architecture, some of the more common hybrid cloud examples include the following:

Data and AI integration. Organizations are integrating data from new sources on the public cloud—such as customer relationship management (CRM) data, enterprise resource planning (ERP) data, IoT data, social data, and weather data—with existing data and analytics, AI capabilities and machine learning to create more personal experiences.

Enhancing legacy apps. Although many applications are still on-premises, some businesses use public cloud services to deploy them globally to new devices and upgrade the user experience. For example, cloud application programming interfaces (APIs) are now enhancing interoperability between clouds, leading to a boom in cloud application development.

SaaS integration. Hybrid cloud integration enables organizations to connect Software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications hosted on the public cloud to their existing applications on public cloud, private cloud, and traditional IT. This in turn allows the team to innovate more readily and deliver new solutions.

VM migration. As organizations seek to scale and reduce the footprint of their on-premises data centers, they move toward virtual machines (VM) and virtualized workloads on the public cloud.

Does Druva Offer Hybrid Cloud Data Protection?

The various portfolios of on-premises and cloud solutions for software-defined data centers provides a managed backup and disaster recovery (DR) process for virtual machines located both on-premises and on VMware Cloud on AWS, as well as VMs and services running natively in AWS. However, this can be an intricate process involving complex infrastructures and disparate solutions. The right data protection provider is critical to easing this process.

Druva Cloud Platform simplifies backup, restore, and disaster recovery for VMware virtual machines and it is fully integrated with vSphere/ESXi environments. Druva also supports backup and disaster recovery of workloads running natively in AWS. Druva delivers an infinitely scalable, globally accessible, cost-effective solution for protecting your business critical virtual environments—and it’s the only certified SaaS data protection solution for VMware Cloud on AWS.

Druva can help you:

  • Reduce data protection costs by up to 60% against legacy solutions
  • Enable faster backups with VMware APIs (VADP) and change block tracking (CBT) while reducing your storage footprint with patented global deduplication technology
  • Backup and recover native workloads running in AWS
  • Recover VMs with granular restore options – file level, disk level or entire VM
  • Leverage the cloud for DR (RPOs of an hour and RTO of minutes) to eliminate the need for managed services and recovery sites
  • Simplify the VM recovery process with one-click failover and failback and automated runbook execution

Watch this on-demand webinar and learn more now:


Related Terms

Now that you’ve learned about the hybrid cloud, brush up on these related terms with Druva’s glossary: