A “hybrid cloud” architecture refers to applications or systems that utilize traditional on-premise servers, “private cloud” server networks hosted on-site, and “public cloud” server networks hosted by data services providers. This arrangement provides multiple benefits to modern businesses, including the ability to maintain tight control over certain data sets while taking advantage of public cloud computing’s scalable nature.
For an example, consider the typical person’s movie collection. Many people still own DVDs or Blu-Rays of their favorite films, but they are also likely to utilize a streaming video service like Netflix to access additional films. They may also have a collection of digitally-purchased films stored in their iTunes or Amazon library.
Under this arrangement, they have privately stored personal data, publicly stored personal data, and publicly accessible/publicly hosted data curated by the public cloud provider. In addition, the public cloud provider handles storage space and processing needs for all online streaming video, regardless of whether the data is owned or borrowed by the end user.
In the business world, there are many use cases for a hybrid cloud structure, including:
- Storing sensitive data securely on-site while storing less sensitive data on a public cloud
- Using public cloud systems for scalable “overflow” during intense seasonal periods, such as an ecommerce retailer using public cloud systems during holiday sales
- Storing most data on-site but using public cloud systems for scalable processing power
- Using on-site servers to handle processing should public cloud servers experience connection interruptions
Hybrid cloud architectures are designed for seamless information flow and processing, regardless of the location of the cloud server. A BI application may report on data stored on-site or on cloud servers. To the end user, the actual location of their data is irrelevant, as both on-premise and off-site systems interact seamlessly.