Are you planning a move to the cloud, but unsure which deployment to choose? While the main choice appears to be private or public deployment, hybrid cloud is gaining favor with businesses of all sizes.

A 2016 survey by McKinsey found that businesses were planning to move workloads to hybrid cloud at a “significant rate and pace” and a Forrester study on cloud developments in 2017 reported that 59 percent of respondents said they were adopting a hybrid cloud model.

Balance conflicting demands

A hybrid cloud combines two or sometimes more deployments to give your business the control and security of a private cloud, plus the flexibility and potential cost advantages of public cloud solutions. The balance of private and public components in a hybrid deployment lets you meet different demands.

If you need high levels of security or have to comply with industry regulations, the private component takes care of that. If you’re running applications that require faster data transfer, your private servers can take priority.

But, if you want greater agility to meet changes in demand, or if you need to give easier access to mobile or remote users round the clock, you can leverage the public component of your hybrid cloud. For growing businesses, having public cloud in the mix also gives good scalability.

Plan the deployment carefully

While hybrid cloud helps meet the different demands of your business in a balanced way, you also need to take other factors into consideration to get the best overall benefit.

Look at your costs carefully. Setting up the private component requires an investment in skills, tools and hardware. Moving part of your workload to a cloud service provider reduces your infrastructure and support costs, but don’t forget the usage charges. They can quickly add up, particularly if you’re planning to offer users 24×7 access.

Get data and application integration right. Before deciding where to locate them, analyze the relationship for different services and applications. Keeping data and applications in the same environment can improve service to users, particularly if they are tightly coupled.

Use the right management tools. The infrastructures used in the public and private clouds may not be compatible and it can be difficult to get a complete picture of current status. With the right skills and tools, your team can manage the hybrid solution effectively. Implementing an orchestration layer, for example, can provide a single interface to support centralized management and control.

Configure your networks carefully. With the right bandwidth, users can access applications and services hosted in the public cloud quickly. However, moving heavy workloads or supporting high levels of traffic regularly can push up bandwidth requirements, so develop the right network design to avoid bottlenecks and maintain high availability.

Implement the right security. With a hybrid solution, part of your workload will be travelling on the public Internet. But, with strong security measures in place, you can minimize the risk to data and services hosted in the public environment. Encryption, for example, will add protection to any sensitive data or information that is subject to compliance.

Transform your operations

A hybrid cloud can reduce your costs, give you greater flexibility and help you balance security with wider access. Provided you plan all aspects of the deployment carefully, you will obtain the benefits of public and private cloud that are relevant to your business.

Moving to any cloud environment – public, private or hybrid – is a major decision, so it pays to take advice and practical support from independent cloud specialists.

Cloud Tech Services has considerable experience and expertise in hybrid cloud and can offer advice on suitable solutions as well as practical support in deployment and managed services.