In a multi-cloud environment, an enterprise typically uses many public cloud services from multiple cloud providers. One fundamental way that hybrid cloud computing differs from multi-cloud computing is that it includes a private cloud infrastructure. This could be a company’s own data center, along with one or more public cloud services, which typically work to achieve business objectives.
In a 2022 survey, just under 90% of responding cloud users and IT decision makers said they use some version of the hybrid cloud strategy. Of those, 80% said they used a mix of public and private clouds.
But what does hybrid architecture do for them? Companies like Netflix and Uber, which absolutely depend on their cloud infrastructure to serve their customers, say it allows them to scale instantly. Even if a cloud has problems, it still offers better customer satisfaction.
But, as always, the real answer is much more complex than that.
Explore seven different factors that make the hybrid model a clear winner for different types of businesses.
1. Proximity and data residence
CSPs (cloud service providers) have opened data centers all over the planet. The closer a data center is to its customers, the less power transmission it will require and the lower the latency. CSPs have different infrastructure networks and can respond to load changes in different markets. Having multiple options helps you maintain your best performance.
Data residency, the actual geographic location of an organization’s servers and therefore the laws or regulations governing that data, is a similar concern. Serving customers in different jurisdictions means complying with different regulations about how and where data can be stored. For example, if you have customers in the US and Europe, you’ll need two clouds, one GDPR compliant and one CLOUD Act compliant, with a different set of customer data in each.
2. Best-in-class solutions
Simply put, not all clouds are the same. Each has a different set of features, a different fee structure, and different levels of service, just for starters. Therefore, you may need a hybrid cloud architecture to provide all the features and capabilities you need in a reliable, efficient, and low-cost manner.
You can use what each provider does best, combining native features from each CSP to create a hybrid that meets all your business needs. For example, the perfect solution could be to merge the wide availability of the AWS data center with Liquid Web support for legacy applications. Or you could use a single-tenant cloud to protect your most sensitive data while using a more scalable multi-tenant cloud for less sensitive tasks.
3. Resilience and preparing for the future
Today’s partner could be tomorrow’s competitor, or they could withdraw dramatically. Retail customers have steered away from AWS for years because they compete directly with Amazon, for example.
It doesn’t matter why you might have to move away from one or more of your CSPs. You should have a plan in place in case it happens. A smooth and orderly transition is much less damaging to the bottom line than a ship jumping in a panic in the middle of an emergency.
Using a hybrid or multi-cloud strategy means that not all your eggs are in one basket. The more of your cloud infrastructure remains, the less data you’ll have to move and the less you’ll have to rebuild.
4. Avoid vendor lock-in
Similarly, you might look into a hybrid cloud solution to avoid the possibility of being forced to use a single provider. In a 2019 survey, around 80% of hybrid cloud users said this was the number one reason for taking that stance.
Of course, your CSP wants a long-term, secure, and stable business relationship with you, even if that’s not 100% in your best interest. No one wants a great customer to leave, and it’s not uncommon for companies, ethically or unethically, to set up subtle or overt barriers to discourage customers from leaving.
This is one of the reasons many companies make having an easy vendor exit strategy a priority from day one. A hybrid cloud strategy makes it easier.
5. Ability to work from home
During the pandemic, many companies had to quickly implement all or most of their remote work solutions. Many have moved to a hybrid cloud model designed to better serve operatives and customers across the country or the world.
The advantage of a hybrid cloud is that it is more robust to withstand service interruptions. As parts of the world began using teleconferencing at 8-10 times the rate they were before the pandemic, they found that having a backup provider as part of a flexible and dynamic hybrid cloud strategy prevents service interruptions from a single CSP to become its own service. breaking off.
6. Mergers and Acquisitions
Post-merger IT is complicated, to say the least. Mergers and acquisitions are becoming more common these days, and experts predict that the trend will continue. So whether you’re destined to acquire or be acquired (many companies experience both multiple times), having a fully formed hybrid cloud strategy out of the box or actually implemented can make the transition simpler, more efficient, and less disruptive. in general.
Perhaps this means forming a new hybrid cloud strategy by combining the existing cloud systems of both merged entities. It could mean trading one of several CSPs for one mandated by their new corporate masters. Or maybe it means adopting the most efficient or effective CSP from one of your conquests.
No matter how it turns out, you’ll likely find the flexibility of a hybrid cloud strategy useful.
7. Hybrid cloud is becoming the international standard
A 2022 study suggests that 19 out of 20 companies will prioritize a hybrid or multi-cloud environment soon, for many reasons. Whether you need to improve the security, resiliency, scalability or accessibility of your data without crippling any of your other operations, a hybrid cloud solution could be the answer. It is at least worth considering.
Moving to a hybrid cloud model has several benefits. It can provide server proximity for remote workers, allow you to choose between different jurisdictions for data residency, and add resiliency and flexibility to your data architecture. It is also a method of preparing your operations for the future, at least in the medium term.
If you’d like to learn more about adopting a hybrid cloud strategy, we’d love to talk with you.