Increasing digital transformation, business development, and high market demand makes shifting to Cloud technology seem inevitable. The substantial amount of data and the need for tight network security in several business sectors have caused many companies to switch from Public Cloud to Hybrid Cloud. In research conducted in 2017 by information technology research firm, Gartner.Inc, it is predicted that 90% of organizations will use Hybrid Cloud for managing their information technology infrastructure.
Based on the 2021 State of the Cloud Report by Flexera, storage data shifts are shifting rapidly to Cloud technologies. 92% of companies are already using Multi-Cloud, and 80% are using Hybrid Cloud. The survey was conducted in October and November 2020, with 750 participants globally.
The increasing demand for Hybrid Cloud is due to various factors. The soaring process of digitizing data has increased market competition to the point where it is not enough to use the resources of the Public Cloud alone. An effective and efficient Cloud-based solution that puts the customer first and comes with flexible scalability and adaptability is required. Technical innovations such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are also raising the demand for Cloud-edge solutions. Data-driven intelligence helps companies meet increasingly dynamic market needs. Hybrid Cloud solutions can be one of the infrastructure options to help companies fulfill technical requirements and the increasingly diverse user needs.
Cloud technology consists of servers that can be accessed via the Internet, software, and databases that are running on those servers. Cloud server devices are in the world’s data centers. By using Cloud computing, users and enterprises no longer need to manage their physical servers or run software applications on their own devices.
Why is this technology called “Cloud”? In the early days of the Internet, technical diagrams for the servers and network infrastructure that make up the Internet were pictured as a “Cloud”. The increase in moving computing processes from local servers to the Internet caused the term “Cloud” to be recognized and used widely as a shorthand way to describe which computing processes are taking place. Currently, the term “Cloud” is widely used to describe this computing process.
There are several types of Cloud services that are divided based on the deployment of the server (Cloud Deployment). These types of services include:
- Private Cloud
This Cloud will be provided by an external vendor that serve to accommodate the needs of a single company. Server devices, data centers, and distributed networks are fully provided by the vendor.
- Public Cloud
The following Cloud will be provided by external vendors that have servers in one or more data centers. Unlike Private Clouds, Public Clouds are shared by many organizations. Using virtual machines, device servers can be used by several different companies. This is called “multitenancy” because there are several parties who rent the same server.
- Hybrid Cloud
It is a combination of Public Cloud and Private Cloud or with On-premises Legacy Server. On-premises Legacy Server is a server that is owned and managed directly by a company. In using Hybrid Cloud, organizations can utilize Private Cloud for some services and Public Cloud for other purposes. Public Cloud is also often used as a backup of their Private Cloud.
The following types of Cloud involve the use of several Public Clouds. Multi-Cloud deployments can also change to Hybrid Cloud or vice versa.
A Hybrid Cloud is a combination of two or more different information technology infrastructures. The combined infrastructure includes Public Cloud and Private Cloud or On-premises Legacy Server. The implementation of Hybrid Cloud is becoming more common because many companies want to combine the advantages of Cloud computing that Public Cloud offers and the private and more controlled nature of the Private Cloud.
Hybrid Cloud architecture is slightly different from other types of Cloud because it is a combination of two distinct infrastructures. Hybrid Cloud can be a combination of On-premises Legacy infrastructure with a Public Cloud, Public Cloud with a Private Cloud, or a combination of Public Cloud, Private Cloud, and On-premises Legacy Server.
Regardless of the particular setup used, all Hybrid Cloud architectures will have the following characteristics:
- Data Integration
Data from the Public Cloud and other Cloud must be synchronized. Data synchronization from different infrastructures, however, can be quite a challenge for some enterprises. Companies are advised to implement additional technical solutions to maintain data consistency automatically.
- Network connection
Private Cloud, On-premises Legacy Server, and Public Cloud need to be connected, either over the Internet or a network. Network connectivity is crucial to ensure a working Hybrid Cloud deployment.
- Unified management
Ideally, Hybrid Cloud management can be handled via one comprehensive tool, so companies don’t have to manage each Cloud separately. Managing Clouds separately can be a challenge as each Cloud will have different API*, SLA**, capabilities, and features.
*API, or Application Programming Interface, allows an application to call features or functions of other applications. In this case, the Cloud service can incorporate other application features or functions into the applications within the Cloud itself.
**SLA or Service-Level Agreement, is a document that defines what services are provided by the Cloud vendor.
Why should Hybrid Cloud be connected? The network connection between several different infrastructures is the most crucial aspect of Hybrid Cloud. If it is not connected, the company cannot use Hybrid Cloud optimally. If the Hybrid Cloud is not connected, what happens is that several Cloud infrastructures work parallel with each other with data out of sync. Public Cloud, Private Cloud, and On-premises Legacy Server can be connected by the following methods:
VPN or Virtual Private Network provides a secure and encrypted connection over the Internet. Data traffic on that VPN will be encrypted. This means anyone or any machine connected to the VPN can be securely connected, just like connecting over a private internal network. With VPN, Cloud and On-premises Legacy Server can connect securely over the Internet.
WAN or Wide Area Network is a network that connects several computers placed at a great distance, vastly different from a Local Area Network (LAN) which can only connect computers locally (in the same building or area). Connection via WAN can be more reliable than connection over the Internet. Like a VPN connection, the WAN connection still has to encrypt the data traffic first to connect to Hybrid Cloud.
API Integration or Application Programming Interface is a very important factor to assure Hybrid Cloud performance. APIs connect various platforms, databases, applications, and so on. The API request will be sent from one Cloud to another as an HTTP request. After that, the request will be sent via an Open Internet, VPN, or WAN connection.
Advantages of using Hybrid Cloud
Hybrid Cloud gives companies the ease and flexibility to switch to another type of Cloud Deployment. For example, if one day the company wants to move to the Public Cloud completely, the business processes or data storage transfer can be done more easily and quickly because it is already connected to the Public Cloud.
- A wider variety of technologies
Businesses can run technologies that are impractical to run on a private server, such as Big Data processing, in Public Server.
- Backup to avoid downtime
If one of the Clouds is experiencing problems or issues, the company can rely on other Clouds. With this, the company can avoid service interruptions. This type of redundancy is also an advantage of Multi-Cloud deployments.
- Meet the surge of demand
Enterprises can run most of their processes in the Private Cloud and then utilize the Public Cloud as extra computing power to handle sudden spikes in workloads. An example of the cause of this spike in the e-Commerce sector is a promo that causes many users to access the site.
- Potential cost savings
Maintenance of the internal data center on the Private Cloud requires high costs and resources. By moving some operations to the Public Cloud, companies no longer need to maintain as much infrastructure as On-premises Legacy Servers, which will reduce expenses.
- Store sensitive data on On-premises Legacy Server
Some companies handle sensitive data, such as financial-related data, health care information data, or proprietary and intellectual property data. These data can be stored on the On-premises Legacy Server which can be incorporated into the Hybrid Cloud. This way the company can have more control over the data and can decide on the most appropriate network security measures to protect the data. In Hybrid Cloud deployments, it is possible to store sensitive data on the On-premises Legacy Server and use the Public Cloud to run other applications.