Hybrid cloud is a cloud computing model that uses a mix of on-premises, private cloud and third-party public cloud services.
Allowing workloads to move between private and public clouds as computing needs and costs change can provide businesses with greater scalability and more data management options. For example, an enterprise can deploy an on-premises private cloud to host sensitive or critical workloads but pay a public cloud provider to host less-critical resources such as test and development workloads or customer-facing archival and backup data.
Having the ability to use public cloud resources when required eliminates the need for a company to make massive capital expenditures to accommodate short-term spikes in demand. Hybrid cloud deployments are particularly valuable for dynamic or highly changeable workloads. For example, a transactional order entry system that experiences significant demand spikes around the holiday season is a good hybrid cloud candidate. The application can run in the private cloud, but burst out to thepublic cloud when computing demands spike. Big data analytics is another good candidate for hybrid cloud. A company could use hybrid cloud storage to retain its accumulated operational, sales and test data and run analytical queries in the public cloud.
Cloud orchestration programming and management tools such as Egenera PAN Cloud Director, RightScale Cloud Management and Scalr Enterprise Cloud Management Platform can help businesses deploy and govern applications across public and private clouds and handle the logistics of workflow, including billing. Despite its benefits, however, the complexity of a hybrid cloud deployment can present technical, business and management challenges.
Because private cloud workloads must access and interact with public cloud providers, network connectivity must be strong and APIs must be compatible. In some cases, workloads slated for hybrid cloud must be redesigned to address the specific providers’ APIs. SLA breaches and public cloud service disruptions can also negatively affect performance of a hybrid cloud. To mitigate these risks, organizations can architect hybrid workloads that interoperate with multiple public cloud providers. However, this can complicate workload design and testing.