The Hybrid Cloud Explained

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90% of companies use some type of cloud service. The cloud offers many benefits. Businesses can store their data on a centralized platform without investing in their own servers. The cloud is also flexible — there are many cloud computing options that offer different levels of storage, security, and more. One of the most popular cloud types is the hybrid cloud.

Hybrid combines the public and private cloud, giving businesses plenty of security while offering a flexible solution for integrations and more.

Is the hybrid cloud a good option for you? Here, we explain the hybrid cloud definition and how it works.

What Is the Hybrid Cloud?

The hybrid cloud combines the functionalities of a public and private cloud.

The average hybrid cloud product combines a private server with one or more public cloud services. This is possible by using multiple apps that run in the same IT environment, offering a flexible yet secure cloud computing solution.

The goal of the hybrid cloud is to provide businesses with an effective cloud computing solution while maintaining flexibility and lower costs. Businesses will also have more control over their private data, which is something they may not have when only using the public server.

Hybrid clouds also offer a single-pane management platform. This is ideal for businesses with a large staff, specifically a remote staff. The cloud connects to a single network, so your whole team can access the necessary files and applications.

How Does the Hybrid Cloud Work?

The hybrid cloud works in the same way as public and private clouds. The cloud uses data storage (software-defined storage, containers, or server virtualization), a network, and an environment where the application can run.

But what makes a cloud hybrid? All of these aspects run together. Interconnectivity is the driving force behind the hybrid cloud’s success. Management, workloads, and processes are all unified.

What separates the hybrid cloud from other types of cloud computing? Many businesses prefer the hybrid because you get the best of both worlds. You can connect multiple sources to your cloud while having the high security of the private cloud.

Different Types of Hybrid Clouds

Like all types of cloud computing, the hybrid cloud is undergoing many advancements. That’s why there are two main types: traditional and modern hybrid cloud architecture.

Traditional Hybrid Cloud Architecture

Traditional hybrid clouds connect a private cloud server to a public one. Middleware connected these servers; in order to move workloads between these environments effectively, the middleware used had to be extremely powerful.

However, the traditional cloud proved to be ineffective. The middleware adds a layer of complexity, so something has to be done to make it more reliable.

Modern Hybrid Cloud Architecture

Today’s modern hybrid cloud solutions focus less on connecting the two types of cloud servers and focus on the apps that run in the environment, ensuring they have maximum portability.

The apps have independent and small coupled services. It runs on a micro service architecture that’s supported by containers. This not only increases security but supports more collaboration.

Since they run on the same IT operating system, they run on the same unified platform as the public cloud. Apps can be moved from one environment to another without you worrying about the system breaking.

Hybrid Cloud Benefits

The hybrid cloud offers many of the same benefits as other cloud servers, such as flexibility and reduced costs.

However, it offers one main benefit: supporting digital transformation. Since it advances constantly, it’s a great way for businesses to move their workspace to a digital platform.

The hybrid cloud won’t only save your business money, but you’ll make your ROI. It optimizes IT performance and agility. This makes it more convenient for businesses to make certain demands and gives them a competitive edge.

It also better supports teams, specifically remote teams. Since it is available over a shared network, staff members can access the files and data from anywhere. This increases collaboration and productivity.

Possible Issues With the Hybrid Cloud

The hybrid cloud offers many solutions for businesses. Unfortunately, it’s not perfect. While it offers many security benefits, there are a few security loopholes in the system.

The biggest is compliance. Businesses in specific industries need to not only comply with strict data privacy regulations but also check to ensure they’re meeting these regulations. There aren’t many ways to automate this system, which presents a challenge for these businesses.

While it is a great solution for data security, there may still be some weaknesses. If your sensitive data isn’t stored within a wall of encryption, you’re vulnerable to hackers. Your data also becomes more vulnerable during a data migration if you’re not encrypting your data in motion.

Are Hybrid Clouds More Secure Than the Private Cloud?

Before it’s adoption, many businesses used the private cloud for security purposes. This was important for businesses in niches such as finance, where there was a lot of compliance behind client security.

Unfortunately, the private cloud isn’t flexible since the owner runs their own private server, as opposed to using a server on the same operating system in a public environment. Since businesses were responsible for their own updates, this also increased costs.

The hybrid cloud was a great solution since it offered plenty of security, more flexibility, and reduced expenses.

But does that mean it is just as secure as a private server? It offers plenty of security, but as long as it’s properly integrated, designed, and managed. Since the hybrid runs on multiple environments, this can be an effective security defense.

However, it does face its fair share of risks, from losing data during data migration to a hacker compromising a large part of your system and data. This is why businesses need to be responsible with their sensitive data and always have a disaster recovery strategy.

The Other Cloud Types

We have been mentioning the public and private cloud. But what are they?

Public Cloud

Most individuals and small businesses use the public cloud. These services are often free and come with limited storage (though you can pay for more storage).

What makes a cloud server public is whether or not you own the server. In a public cloud environment, you’re essentially renting a part of the cloud’s server.

Public clouds are scalable and fully automate any updates. This not only makes the public cloud efficient and reliable but also affordable.

However, the public cloud can be expensive if your data requirements become too big. You also have less control over the server and the security settings. This is why larger businesses and those in specific niches chose the private cloud.

Private Cloud

In a private cloud, you set up your own dedicated cloud infrastructure. While you can host your private cloud server yourself, most businesses hire a third-party to host their cloud. This gives you greater control over your server.

While this can result in added costs, businesses can save money since the private server will inevitably decrease operating costs. Since you own the firewall, you’ll secure your data. While the private cloud lacks advanced security features, you can easily migrate your data if necessary.

However, the private cloud does come with more responsibilities. Since you’re paying for maintenance or for a third-party to manage your server, this will increase costs. You also won’t be able to scale a private cloud as easily as a public cloud.

Who Uses the Hybrid Cloud?

The hybrid cloud offers many benefits for businesses. But who uses the hybrid cloud? Does the hybrid cloud benefit specific businesses?

Different businesses of all sizes and across all industries utilize the hybrid cloud. It prevents the strain of server management and reduces costs.

But they specifically benefits businesses in the health and finance niches. These industries have strict data compliance regulations, so a standard public server won’t give these businesses the type of security they need.

The hybrid cloud also offers more storage and improve computing power. Businesses in these niches have a platform that keeps up with customer demands while offering plenty of storage for all of their data.

They also prevents these businesses from running their servers on-site. Most organizations don’t have space and resources to run on-premise servers, so it offers an effective digital alternative.

On-premise servers may also lack security features compared to digital alternatives. Organizations have to manage, maintain, and update their own servers. This is done automatically on the public sector of a hybrid server, and businesses can maintain their own private server on this platform.

When You Should Use the Hybrid Cloud

Are you still debating if the hybrid cloud or another cloud platform is a better solution for you? Here are some scenarios to help you decide.

Separating Workloads and Data

Most businesses have general data they access daily, such as enterprise applications, as well as sensitive data such as customer information. It can let you utilize both public and private clouds, making it easy to separate your data and workloads.

Changing Workloads

The hybrid cloud is agile, which creates a dynamic workplace. If you frequently change your workload, it can keep up with these demands. In addition, you can change what’s necessary. In other words, you can leave sensitive data on a private server.

Use the Cloud at Your Own Pace

Since it is flexible, businesses can use it at their own pace and utilize any solutions they need. You can expand your cloud server as needed and use a mixture of public and private servers.

Big Data Processing

The hybrid cloud also benefits big data processing. You can keep your sensitive data behind a firewall while running other big data resources through your public cloud.


No business can predict the future. In case there’s an unpredictable event, you can scale your servers. You can match your needs to several of it’s functions, no matter how much your needs change.

Temporary Solutions

It also offers temporary solutions. For example, let’s say you’re working on a short-term project and need data storage. You can adjust your settings to run on a public cloud, reducing costs.

You Simply Want the Best of Both Worlds

Can’t decide if you need a public or private cloud? You can choose the hybrid cloud if you want the best of both worlds. 

How to Manage a Hybrid Cloud

Did you decide that the hybrid cloud is an effective solution for your business? Since part or most of it is ran on a public server, a lot of the maintenance is automatically done for you. But if you utilize more private servers, you’ll have to manage that part of the cloud.

Most have a single interface that manages all services within the cloud. If it doesn’t, managing the hybrid cloud would be extremely complex. Each cloud solution has its own storage protocols, API, and networking capabilities.

For best results, businesses shouldn’t try and DIY and their hybrid cloud maintenance. Seeking professional help will ensure your different servers will communicate effectively while handling all cloud solutions.

This way, you can ensure your cloud is always up and running.

Are You Looking for a Hybrid Cloud Solution?

The hybrid cloud model is attractive for businesses for many reasons. You can utilize both public and private servers for flexibility while increasing security. But without the right hybrid cloud solution, you may not experience all of the benefits.

Our hybrid cloud architecture is a one-stop-shop for all businesses. We can customize the model to your needs. Learn more about our hybrid cloud services.

About Chad Lauterbach

CEO at Be Structured Technology Group, Inc. a Los Angeles based provider of Managed IT Services for small business. I desire to help small businesses better utilize technology by assisting in high level planning to make sure that new systems will benefit them both operationally and financially. I am careful to implement and support systems using industry best practices.