In 2021, it’s pretty rare to find companies that have only one Cloud provider. Whether they’re leveraging internal and external private Cloud services, or they’ve decided to add public Cloud to the mix, the complexity of the average company’s network assets has skyrocketed over the years.
We’re going to talk about the advantages to adopting hybrid Cloud solutions, and the best way to manage the vastness of a company’s network assets and public facing online services.
What is Hybrid Cloud?
A hybrid Cloud is a mixed set of online assets, all using Cloud computing or storage. A hybrid environment simply means that it is made up of both on-premises infrastructure, and off-premises assets. This can include either private Cloud services, or utilisation of the public Cloud.
At some point, the direct control of things like electricity, networking hardware, and cabling ceases to be in the company’s hands and is primarily managed by someone else. We call this separation the demarcation point. For a private residence, that would be where the customer's on-premises wiring becomes the property and responsibility of the phone company or network provider. It can be slightly more complex for businesses, depending on how much of their infrastructure is on site, how they’re connected to the Internet, and the like.
But suffice it to say that if a company has Cloud assets on site (in a server room on the ‘near’ side of the demarcation point, for example), as well as off site (in a colocation facility on the ‘far’ side of the demarcation point, with a public Cloud provider, or both), they’re part of a hybrid Cloud.
What Are the Main Advantages of a Hybrid Cloud?
Putting aside things like physical security for a moment, since there’s no way to compare two facilities without an auditing process, the main advantages of a hybrid Cloud are related to cost and speed.
On the cost side, the public Cloud (AWS, Azure, Rackspace, Google Cloud, etc.) benefits from economies of scale. They buy thousands of servers and rack storage units at a time. Everything about them is built to take advantage of doing things in bulk. They use network hyperscaling to add more points of presence across the globe, taking advantage of cheaper land, cheaper energy, and unutilised dark fiber whenever possible. This means that although a public Cloud setup won’t be anywhere as customisable as either on-premises or colocated servers, they’re likely to be a lot cheaper to run per hour.
Colocated servers means that although the company invests in the hardware, they don’t need to set aside space, build (or expand) a server room, buy rack and power infrastructure, or maintain the server room’s environment. Depending on the arrangement, they can either visit the data centre as needed for administration, or hire someone else (in some cases, sysadmin assets in the colocation itself) to take care of that for them. This is the middle of the road expense option, but it does provide a lot more customization and some unique networking opportunities.
On-premises servers are usually the most expensive to run, but every hardware and software decision is custom, and every implementation is under the direct supervision of the client. There are unique speed advantages to being directly on the LAN as well, which we’ll discuss shortly.
On the speed side, the public Cloud is generally the slowest networking option. It does deal with shared assets at some level, and the network infrastructure isn’t under the client’s direct control. Traffic has to pass through semi-public routers and firewalls, after all. For some applications, this won’t matter in the slightest.
However, for things like edge networking and other high speed site-to-site applications, colocation has many more options available. Because the client can set up their own hardware, and because they can be physically and topologically located right near the Internet backbone, amazing speeds are achievable… at a price, of course. But either way, there are far fewer shared assets to contend with; bandwidth and computing power being 100% of what was purchased and configured.
On-premises Cloud services generally have the fastest connection to the local LAN, and a slower connection to the Internet than an edge networking setup at a co-lo. So if everything takes place in the building, the communications speed is unbelievable. But it’s probably not the best place to host public facing assets like web sites, which benefit from being far closer to an Internet backbone.
The main advantage of a hybrid Cloud is that a company can take the best assets and the most reasonable price combinations from any of the three options, and combine them in a way that makes sense. For example, if a development team needs a lot of computing time and the ability to scale at will, they can use public Cloud resources for that. But they may develop and compile everything using local assets. And site to site communications might be done through an edge network setup at colocation facilities near each of the main campuses.
What About Maintaining a Hybrid Cloud
Generally speaking, unless the company has dedicated Dev Ops specialists that do nothing but maintain the hybrid Cloud, from asset management to cost analysis, from security and performance testing to monitoring, it’s a much better idea to hire a professional management service.
A business like Park Place Technologies specialises in managing hybrid Cloud assets. They do network, storage, and computing monitoring at both the hardware and firmware level. They can help run a cost analysis for where within the Cloud to launch a new project, and add the new assets to their monitoring and fault analysis chain. Their network event management system can warn the business about events ranging from outages, to DDoS attacks, to maintenance windows, and help them achieve maximum resilience and uptime.
Park Place Technologies is a trusted VitrX service partner. Working together, VitrX and Park place can acquire, set up, monitor, maintain, and plan updates and end-of-lifecycle activities as needed. So no matter where in the hybrid Cloud a business places its assets, everything will be in good hands.
To find out more call VitrX at 0800 849 0849.