Hybrid Cloud: Expectation vs. Reality

Pros and Cons of a Hybrid Cloud

Is it possible to get the best of both worlds? Organizations considering a hybrid cloud scenario sure seem to think so. The belief is that a hybrid cloud strategy will enable them to maintain control of mission-critical data in their own private cloud, while offloading less sensitive data into a public cloud or a virtual private cloud (VPC).

But is the hybrid cloud all it’s cracked up to be? Here’s a look at the most common expectations organizations have—and the reality of each situation.

EXPECTATION: A hybrid cloud will save me money.

REALITY: While completely committing to a public cloud or VPC is likely to be the most economical, a hybrid cloud is still almost guaranteed to be less expensive than maintaining an onsite or offsite private cloud. This is largely due to economies of scale; the portion of your workload running in a public cloud or VPC benefits from this, as the cost of electric, HVAC, maintenance, software updates, backups, and more are shared with thousands or millions of others. In addition, many large organizations already possess a number of on-premise servers, and many don’t want to throw them away in one fell swoop, destroying their balance sheet in the process. Using a hybrid cloud, they can continue to utilize past investments while slowly moving workloads into the cloud. Often, legacy equipment becomes the catalyst for complete cloud adoption over time!

EXPECTATION: A hybrid strategy is easy because I’m only moving some of my data.

REALITY: Splitting data and applications between a company-owned private cloud and a third-party public cloud or VPC could result in issues of compatibility; the clouds are bound to be running on different stacks making integration challenging. Organizations need to be sure they have a solid IT team in place to make fixes as they arise, or that they’re working with a reputable, hands-on public cloud or predictable VPC provider to ensure they’re able to setup a hybrid deployment without a hiccup.

EXPECTATION: A hybrid cloud will give me a more flexible infrastructure.

REALITY: It’s true—scaling up using your own personal servers may require the purchase of more costly equipment (which then requires additional real estate to house it plus the added costs of running it). Then when it’s time to scale down, expensive equipment sits unused. But with a public cloud or VPC, you can scale up or down in an instant at little to no cost, adding or subtracting resources as needed.  

EXPECTATION: A hybrid strategy lets me maintain my critical data rather than exposing it to a third-party provider, keeping it safer.

REALITY: Not necessarily. While company-owned servers used to be a secure place for data, the reality is that the only people overseeing servers is your internal IT team who may not be as committed to data security as a cloud provider would be. A reputable cloud provider has a highly-vested interest in keeping clients well-protected by employing the most up-to-date security features available (this also makes it easier to meet regulatory and compliance requirements); after all, one breach can impact every client they have and potentially destroy the provider’s entire business. Of course, the type of cloud provider you choose to go hybrid with can also make a difference; public clouds have millions of users sharing the same public cloud, while a VPC is completely isolated for greater security.

EXPECTATION: My IT team will have immediate access to the data that they need.

REALITY: It’s true—when issues arise, your IT team can gain access to your clouds from anywhere at any time through web-based controls. However, it’s important to use a third-party platform that is built for visibility, otherwise it can be difficult for IT to get a 360-degree view of everything they need to manage and monitor.

If you’re considering adopting a hybrid strategy and want to move some of your data to the cloud, DSM can help. Our unrivaled VPC services easily integrate with onsite or offsite workloads, and our IT experts will be on-hand every step of the way to ensure a seamless transition. We ensure strict security protocols, 99.99%+ uptime, and a complete compliance package that meets the requirements of CJIS, HIPAA, PCI, SOC1, and SOC2. Speak with a cloud migration expert at DSM today.

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