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Updated by Charles Bystock on 01/11/2023

Today, the majority of enterprise organizations have at least part of their data in a cloud-based model. This article will help you understand the popular hybrid cloud architectures and what your business needs to know to build and deploy this kind of mixed approach to your IT infrastructure.

The cloud redefined

The cloud is no longer the youthful challenger; nearly 70% of all enterprise organizations in the U.S. now have mission-critical data and workflows there. The benefits of scalability, lower cost, and higher security are still the same, but what has changed is the sheer volume of applications and architectures that can now be handled as on-demand services accessed through the internet. From software as a service (SaaS) to infrastructure as a service (IaaS), private clouds, and hybrid models that make the best of private and public solutions, companies now have a plethora of choices for their IT solutions.

Traditional managed services have also evolved with cloud models. Managed service providers now develop and deploy multi-cloud and hybrid models that help companies improve operations. These technology pros are as flexible as the cloud, offering a selection of outsourcing models that can parallel internal IT teams or provide full service when no internal resources are available.

Today, there are public, private, and hybrid clouds. The hybrid cloud represents the perfect middle ground between shared internet services in the public arena and the higher-cost private cloud services that are still potentially a single point of failure for a large enterprise. Hybrid models bake redundancy directly into the cloud services paradigm, building services on both a private and public cloud. Why is the hybrid cloud growing in popularity, and what do organizations need to know about these models?

Building a better (hybrid) mousetrap

Building the perfect hybrid cloud for your business is all about your current and future business needs. The process must start with an understanding of the applications you have today, the business case use models for the future, and how your applications must evolve to meet the changing needs of the company.

Companies considering hybrid cloud models should consider what is the right mix of on-premises and off-premises computing and storage. They must understand how these resources are managed on a daily basis and what resources (human or technology) are needed to meet those requirements. They must also carefully consider the total cost of supporting the public cloud portion of a hybrid model. Finally, they need to determine what steps will be necessary and what the timeline will be for moving from one on-premises data center to another, either in the cloud or on-site.

Creating a decision framework that maps the right workload to the right platform is important. Your organization should develop technical and financial modeling for each end-user application. You must carefully monitor usage costs and automate to cut labor costs when possible. In addition, you should consider modernizing or upgrading the workloads and applications that will remain on-site so that you can eventually take advantage of the agility and speed of the cloud.

Is the hybrid cloud right for your business?

The biggest benefit of the hybrid cloud lies in its flexibility; you can use multiple cloud providers or the services of a single company. Either way, there is more safety in a mixed model. Compliance rules alone would argue for a private cloud model — but some business applications do not fall under these restrictions and could be placed in a non-private and potentially less expensive service.

The beauty of hybrid models is the flexibility that comes from a non-homogeneous solution. Talk to the Windsor Group about the best solution to solve the challenges of your business problems. Together, we can create a cloud solution that will help you sustain long-term competitive advantage for your enterprise