Faced with the option to use public cloud computing services or to build their own private clouds, enterprises are increasingly choosing to do both. The result is a phenomenon of growing importance to IT departments and solution providers: the hybrid cloud.
What Is a Hybrid Cloud?
As the name suggests, a hybrid cloud is a combination of other cloud types. In particular, a hybrid cloud couples one or more public clouds with a private cloud:
- A public cloud provides elastic, highly scalable IT resources or services to multiple customers on an on-demand, pay-per-use basis, with service access achieved primarily through the internet. Prominent examples of public cloud services are Amazon Web Services, Salesforce.com, and Mozy.
- A private cloud (also known as an enterprise cloud) is a cloud computing service operated for the exclusive use of a single organization such as a business enterprise, educational institution, or government agency.
- A hybrid cloud is a "best of both worlds" approach in which an organization develops its own private cloud but also makes selective use of public clouds.
Many enterprises have found that the best way to build the private cloud computing element in a hybrid cloud is by using Vblock™ Systems from VCE. Vblock Systems are pre-integrated, pre-configured, pre-tested units of cloud infrastructure that combine EMC storage, Cisco servers and networking, and VMware virtualization technology. Vblock Systems accelerate private cloud deployment, reduce uncertainty and risk, and provide for simplified management and unified technical support across all layers of the cloud stack.
Why Use a Hybrid Cloud?
The wide variety of hybrid cloud use cases tend to fall into two broad categories:
- Private/public optimization based on workload type. One common approach to using a hybrid cloud is to assign certain types of applications or workloads to the private cloud component, while others are designated for a public cloud. In this way an organization can capitalize on the greater degree of control associated with a private cloud as well as the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of public clouds. For example, a business might run mission-critical enterprise applications on its private cloud while also utilizing Mozy for cloud-based remote backup of data.
- Private/public optimization based on scale. With this hybrid cloud strategy, a public cloud is used as an on-demand supplement to the private cloud when demands exceed the scalability limits of the private cloud. For example, an enterprise's development and testing needs might be handled by a private cloud infrastructure under typical circumstances, but then spill over into VMware's vCloud when greater-than-usual scale is required. This type of hybrid cloud utilization is sometimes called "cloud bursting".
Learn more about how Vblock Systems can accelerate and simplify your hybrid cloud deployment.