What is hybrid cloud?
Hybrid cloud is a mixture of locally hosted systems and private / public cloud solutions which have a level of integration between them. This integration maybe simple (logon services) but may also embed in a deeper fashion depending on the businesses requirements. By using a mix of both local and cloud systems you can move applications and loads between on-site and offsite and scale services as you need them.
As an example a business may decide to run email and conferencing services via Microsoft Office 365, maintain local applications, local servers for data storage and productive apps and use a mix of local and cloud backup. This provides increased system availability due to having services spread across a number of platforms and providers.
When can it come in useful?
Running a hybrid cloud system can come in very useful for businesses where they have largely variable workloads or transactional spikes during busy periods. Adding processing and storage can be quicker and more agile in a cloud environment rather than a locally hosted server or system. The ability to scale back after the spike occurs is also attractive to businesses who only need the additional computing power for short periods of time.
To make sure a cloud solution works as expected make sure you have the correct connectivity in place to handle the workload. Many businesses ignore connectivity when choosing a solution and find issues after adoption due to bandwidth limits and quality issues. This has a negative impact on user experience and can cause issues if not managed correctly.
What options are available?
You have a number of options for hybrid cloud and too many to discuss, here are a number of products that may be useful to look at if you are looking at provisioning some cloud services
- Private hosted desktops – applications, data and support for your hosted desktop environment
- Office 365 – hosted email and productivity suite provided by Microsoft
- Dropbox – shared cloud file storage for businesses
- Mozy – online backup solution
- Kashflow – online accounting suite for small businesses
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