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20 December 2023 - 5 minutes

Hybrid Cloud Solutions: Balancing Flexibility and Security

Discover the best of both worlds in terms of cloud computing.

Juliette Erath - Tech Writer

DevOps & Cloud

In recent years, the cloud has become an almost mythical alternative to expensive physical storage centers–if you asked your average person where the cloud is or what it is, do you think they’d know? Maybe and maybe not, but the point still remains: the importance and notoriety of the cloud has absolutely skyrocketed in recent years, leading more and more companies (in addition to individuals) to choose cloud solutions for their data. 

And while the cloud is usually referred to as a monolith and one singular object, that’s not really how it works; as an increasingly high number of companies have opted for cloud storage, additional cloud storage methods have come to be popular. 

Before we get into the beauty of hybrid cloud solutions and why so many companies are choosing it, let’s break down the basics of the cloud and the other types of cloud solutions. 

What is the Cloud? 

The cloud is not one thing; on the contrary, it’s a global network of servers that each serve a specific function across the entire world. There is no physical storage location; the cloud is meant to work together with the individual servers to create a unified storage environment. 

Cloud computing has rapidly gained popularity because: 

  • It’s affordable: leaving behind the obvious cost-saving point of not having to operate and maintain a physical storage location for data, the cloud offers customizable plans so that companies can choose the exact amount of storage that they need. 

  • It’s secure: companies want to know that their data is safe and the original concern of cloud storage was just that–in an off-campus location, how can companies ensure that their data is protected? Well, the cloud is able to provide high-level security through data encryption. 

  • It’s flexible: committing to a physical storage center means that you’re set on using and maintaining it for years to come and you might need to add more capabilities if your business expands; the cloud allows you to pay for exactly what you need and expand/decrease your usage at any point. 

  • It’s preventative: a fire or data breach at a physical storage location could be absolutely devastating for a company and expensive and time consuming to recover from; the cloud is always available from any location and is easily recoverable if anything happens. 

The 3 Types of Cloud Computing

Now that you have a better understanding of what the cloud is and exactly why it’s become such a popular data storage option, let’s dive into the three different types of cloud computing and the characteristics of each one. 

Public clouds 

First things first: a public cloud doesn’t mean that just anyone can log in and access the data. A public cloud is a cloud service that can be accessed by anyone who is given access and the servers are usually run by major companies, like Amazon or Microsoft. Public clouds are common because of their convenience and low-cost, customizable plans; they are also maintained and updated by the host company, meaning users don’t have to worry about security updates or powering the server. 

Private clouds

On the other hand, we have private clouds, which are owned and operated by just one organization and are not shared with other companies or individuals. While still located in the cloud and on a remote server, you can access your data through a secure private network which means no one else can enter. For companies working with secure and sensitive data, private networks are a fantastic choice, even if it isn’t as convenient as public clouds. 

Hybrid clouds

As you can probably imagine, hybrid clouds are a combination of public and private clouds, taking certain features from each to create an even more customizable solution for users. However, an important distinction is that hybrid clouds do require an onsite data center in addition to the remote, cloud-based servers.  

Because hybrid clouds are uniquely capable of providing the flexibility and security that comes with a combination of all forms of data storage, there’s a high chance it’s the right choice for you and your company. 

The Benefits of Choosing Hybrid Cloud Solutions 

No one solution is ever going to be right for every company and what they choose to use will ultimately depend on their exact needs; however, we can comfortably say that as more and more companies choose hybrid solutions, we will continue to see innovation in the cloud. 

Let’s break down some of the reasons why more and more companies are choosing hybrid solutions: 

  • Flexibility: not all data can be stored on public clouds but private clouds are expensive and time-consuming to operate and maintain; finding the perfect balance between the two with a hybrid cloud solution can help companies both save money and properly protect their data. 

  • Adaptability: there’s no issue with using data stored on various servers with hybrid cloud solutions and you’ll be able to move things around based on your changing needs. 

  • Capability: big data is expensive and consuming to process and analyze; using the public cloud, you can find the solution that you need and keep your private and sensitive data behind the private cloud. 

  • Changeability: business needs evolve over time and even require short-term projects on occasion; because the public cloud is so flexible, incorporating it into your company’s storage solution for just one project, even if it’s short-term, is a realistic option for you. 

As you can tell, the hybrid cloud offers lots of solutions for companies that the public and private clouds simply can’t provide and this additional flexibility can help companies harness the power that data can bring, while still prioritizing security and cost-effectiveness

The future of the cloud is incredibly bright; as a relatively new tool in the technology industry, its power is still waiting to be fully unleashed and lots of skilled and driven cloud professionals are sorely needed to take this technology to the next level. 

Are you ready to transform the world with the cloud? There’s no better place than with Ironhack. 

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