Introduction

The word hybrid means something which is a mix of different varieties and a hybrid cloud architecture means the same in the world of the cloud. A hybrid cloud computing architecture utilizes one private cloud service along with one or more public cloud services. Proprietary software enables communication between the various distinct cloud services. Businesses get greater flexibility with a hybrid cloud strategy as they can move workloads amongst cloud solutions involved in the hybrid architecture based on the needs and cost fluctuations.

A hybrid cloud architecture also provides more control to the businesses over their private data. In this article, we will answer in detail what is hybrid cloud architecture and also discuss a few popular forms of hybrid cloud computing architectures available in the market.

  1. What is Hybrid Cloud Architecture?
  2. Different Hybrid Cloud Architectures Available in the Market
  3. Benefits
  4. Limitations

1) What is Hybrid Cloud Architecture?

To a business managing its public and private cloud resources uniformly is preferred over managing individual cloud environments as it reduces redundancies in processes. With a hybrid Cloud computing architecture, you eliminate exposure of private data on the public cloud. In simple words, hybrid cloud architecture is a combination of on-premises and off-premises IT resources. A hybrid architecture may vary a lot but most of them will have the following components in common:

  • An IaaS (Infrastructure as a service) platform which could be azure hybrid cloud architecture, Google cloud platform, or AWS by Amazon. Through this service, the vendors provide computing resources like storage, servers, networking, etc.
  • Integration of data – The organizations’ data which is spread across public and private cloud platforms need to be synchronized. Businesses might need to implement additional technical support to keep the data consistent.
  • Network connections – With a hybrid cloud architecture, the business would have a legacy system, private cloud, and public cloud which have to be connected with each other either through a public internet or a private network. A hybrid cloud deployment needs to leverage wither LAN local area network) or WAN (wide area network) connectivity for its functioning.
  • Central management – It is not easy to manage every cloud system separately as each of them will have different APIs and SLAs. with the varied features and capabilities of each cloud solution, there is a need for an overreaching tool that manages all the systems in a unified manner.
  • Cloud computing is also part of the hybrid cloud concept. As an example businesses could spin-off instances of order processing applications at the end of a quarter on off-premises in conjunction with on-premises resources.

2) Different Hybrid Cloud Architectures Available in the Market

There are many hybrid cloud solutions available in the market like the ones mentioned below:

  • Azure hybrid cloud architecture – This hybrid solution from Microsoft makes use of the following components:
    • Azure stack HCI – A hyper-converged infrastructure operating system.
    • Azure stack hub – This enables Azure services for remote locations.
    • Azure data services management
    • Azure arc – This offering from azure simplifies distributed environments that are on-premises, on edge and multi-cloud.
    • Azure stack edge – This is a computing device that is enabled by artificial intelligence. It is hardware- at-service managed from the cloud.
  • Aneka hybrid cloud architecture – It is a collection of physical and virtualized resources that are connected by the internet or private network. It makes use of the spare CPU cycles of a network of desktop PCs, data centres, or servers. Developers get a rich set of APIs to exploit the available resources and create business logic in their preferred programming language.
  • AWS hybrid cloud architecture – AWS stands for Amazon Web Services and they have AWS outposts hybrid cloud solution. They have the following services available through this solution:
    • Amazon EC2 – Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud provides a secure computing capacity on the cloud.
    • Amazon EBS – Amazon elastic block store is a high-performance block storage device that is designed to be used on Amazon EC2.
    • Amazon EKS – The Amazon Elastic Kubernetes services is a container-based service that gives the flexibility of starting and running Kubernetes services on either AWS cloud or on-premises.
    • Amazon RDS – Amazon relational database services are useful for setting up a scalable relational DB on the cloud.
    • Amazon EMR on-premises – This is a managed cluster platform that makes running big data frameworks (like Apache Spark, Apache Hadoop) easy on AWS.

3) Benefits

The hybrid cloud architecture provides many benefits that stem from the ability of IT leaders to be able to have control over their data. Let us lay down all the benefits of hybrid cloud computing architecture to understand it better:

  • Flexibility – A hybrid model has many options that stakeholders can choose from to suit individual use cases. Businesses do not need to utilize the same level of computational powers every day. As an example, a health care organization might need to double up on their computing during open enrollment. For the rest of the time, they are just paying for idle resources. By utilizing the public cloud only when necessary, organizations can save costs significantly.
  • Less on-premises space needs – The time and money to manage IT infrastructure is huge. With a hybrid cloud solution, businesses can have an on-site cloud for internal needs only and use the public cloud temporarily for a short duration when the need arises. Startups can benefit a lot from such a model since they do not have enough finances to invest in private data centres. Established enterprises can also make use of a hybrid cloud solution to scale up in a cos effective manner.
  • Optimizing scarce resources – An organization can maintain their legacy solutions on-premise and also integrate with the public cloud which does not disrupt their daily activities. By running most critical applications on the private cloud and integrating progressively with the public cloud, businesses can optimize their scarce resources better.

4) Limitations

  • More expensive than exclusive public clouds – A hybrid solution is not apt for companies that have limited IT resources since they are not in a position to build and maintain a private cloud. You need cloud architects and IT staff to build the infrastructure in-house which might not be cost-effective for all companies.
  • Dependency – Since there is one network that integrates all the elements of a hybrid cloud solution, it is risky in case there is downtime. You would need to create redundancy procedures to avoid this risk which is a costly venture. 
  • Less control of organization – A bit of control is definitely sacrificed if a company chooses to go for a hybrid solution. A strong integration is required across the private and public cloud environments for operations to run smoothly. This might require private infrastructure to adapt to changes in the public cloud which is not under your control.

Conclusion

Hybrid cloud architecture is a balance between private and public hybrid solutions. It gives organizations better control over their data and also reduces infrastructure and other costs. It is ideal for organizations that handle a large client base or have many web-based applications. If you have a fast-growing business then a hybrid cloud solution will provide you with that much-needed scalability.

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