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Many companies nowadays are turning to cloud solutions to automate and manage their operations, but also to structure their business processes. It’s become a common practice allowing them to speed up their digital transformation, improve efficiency, and boost productivity. And the majority of them have opted for either the public or the private cloud. But there is another solution: the hybrid cloud. A solution that delivers technical benefits as well as gains in terms of security, availability, and performance.
Security: the winning argument
Businesses have been rather slow to adopt SaaS solutions over the past few years, out of concerns over how confidential and secure their data would be. But the advantages of the cloud (such as virtual infrastructure that evolves with your workload, the ability to track projects in real time, flexibility, sharing, and so on) make this solution an attractive one. And companies in this day and age need to look to new solutions in order to stay competitive and face up to competitors.
The private cloud model is often favored by businesses that prioritize data criticality and security. This version also reduces access time and latency. The public cloud may be preferred for its ease of use and lower costs, which businesses frequently choose if they don’t have the resources required to maintain their own private cloud infrastructure.
The hybrid model
But what about the hybrid cloud? As its name suggests, the hybrid version is a mix of features, not just public or just private. This model combines the resources of the private cloud with those of the public version to provide a solution meeting the needs of businesses, while ensuring a high level of security. With this type of IT investment, companies aren’t putting all their eggs in one basket.
With the hybrid cloud solution, companies have storage space hosted both on site and in the cloud. As it uses a software-defined infrastructure model (managed by the software and not limited by the capacity of the hardware), this makes the hybrid model more agile. Businesses won over by the hybrid cloud want a solution that offers the advantages of the cloud in terms of flexibility and costs, while allowing them to retain control over the solution.
A report by technology research and consultancy firm TechNavio revealed that the main drivers behind the hybrid cloud market are reduced IT costs, business productivity gains, and strict regulatory and security policies. In 2013, Gartner predicted that nearly a half of businesses would be using the hybrid cloud by 2017. And consultancy company MarketsandMarkets expects the hybrid cloud market to be worth 85 billion dollars in 2019.
The initial server costs required to set up the private part might seem high. But on the contrary, IT departments have a say in the choice of hardware and system design, offering them a valuable means of adapting resources in line with the company’s needs. With the hybrid cloud, businesses are able to make the most of suppliers’ capacities on the public cloud platform, without transferring all their data to a third-party data center.
The best of both worlds
Some companies are still reluctant to run all their applications from the cloud for security and reliability reasons. Yet there are solutions – especially hybrid ones – that provide assurances in this regard. They combine the benefits of both the private and public cloud, and have been specifically designed to operate on two levels. The first level is under the customer’s responsibility, whereas the second one is hosted by a certified partner, providing all the confidentiality and security guarantees that a business could ever need. And of course companies can also take advantage of local hosting to ensure that their data remains within the customer’s legal framework.