In an era of ever-advancing technology, businesses have the luxury of choosing from a wide range of ways to operate their most critical IT operations. As cloud-compatible and cloud-only systems replace older applications, more and more businesses are seeing the benefits of moving their customers to the cloud and as a result, cloud applications are growing and replacing in-house operations.
This growing trend is resulting in many companies choosing to use a combination of processes including in-house, cloud and commercial data centres. These hybrid cloud implementations inevitably offer the beneficial elements of multiple solutions – but why exactly are businesses embracing this operating solution?
In-house data centres provide management with visibility and control. Businesses often feel reassured their data is in safe hands, as they can see and access the operations whenever they choose to do so. However, many businesses who use this solution do not have 24/7 manned security, duplicated power systems, duplicated diesel generators (if any) and multiple fibre providers. The associated costs, including insurance of company IT and finding the space for physical equipment are undeniably unattractive.
Commercial data centres
Commercial data centres, on the other hand, often provide 24/7 manned security, ISO27001 data security certifications, fully redundant cooling and power systems, dual diesel generators, and at least a dozen fibre providers on site. However, businesses who move their IT and data communications to these third-party facilities can be disadvantaged if something does go wrong, with the operations working from a different, and sometimes inconvenient, location.
The cloud comes in two varieties – public and private. Public clouds are massive arrays of computing power in purpose-built data centres operated by large US-based multinational corporations. Private cloud is simply remote hosting operated by multiple suppliers.
The tools provided by the public cloud vendors allow for easy interaction between computing apps and entities, making it quick to build platforms and execute applications on them. In an all-cloud implementation of an organisation’s IT and data communications, the business no longer needs to look after physical equipment, but still needs the same DevOps staff. Using public clouds also moves cost from capital expenditure to operational expenditure – however, security surrounding this type of storage is often questioned and untrusted by business leaders.
Hybrid cloud implementations
Hybrid cloud allows business leaders to mix-and-match the elements of all of these data storage solutions – a strategy more and more businesses are using as either a permanent strategy, or as an initial trial to explore which option works best for them. By taking parts of each solution, businesses can ensure their data is being stored and processed safely, securely and in the most effective way possible for their individual company’s needs.
A common trend in the IT world is that organisations tend to start by implementing less critical applications in public or private clouds, then transition to all-cloud or to a long-term hybrid implementation. In-house IT installations are fading away but instead of updating hardware, I believe businesses will replace in-house technology with mixtures of commercial data centres, public clouds and private clouds – hybrid cloud.