Is a hybrid cloud ideal for a small- and medium-sized business?

It is important for small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) to consider that the hybrid cloud is a growing trend. Look at your existing IT infrastructure first. Will you stay on-premise, or move everything to the cloud? If your organization only has a few IT personnel and a limited budget, you may not have a lot of options.

If your firm already invested in on-premises systems but wants to reap the benefits of cloud computing, then you can give the hybrid cloud model a try. The hybrid cloud combines elements of both private and public cloud models, and it has its share of pros and cons. Weighing these can help you decide if the hybrid cloud is right for your SMB.

What is a public cloud?

In this deployment model also known as “cloud computing,” infrastructure resources like storage and servers are operated and owned by a managed IT services provider that is based in a remote location. Think of this setup like tenants renting a unit in an apartment building, as your firm shares space with other companies that are using the same service.

Enterprises that utilize the public cloud can access their functions and business applications via the internet, although the platform, software, and hardware that support and secure them are run, maintained, and owned by a third-party IT service provider.

Using the public cloud has its drawbacks, though. As a client, you don’t have control over the platform and data that is stored in the provider’s location. Your enterprise needs the internet to access the cloud, and connectivity issues can delay or freeze your operations.

What is a private cloud?

As the name implies, this model is essentially a computing network hosted on the cloud used solely by one organization. The platform can be based in servers located onsite, or hosted by an offsite cloud provider.

This infrastructure differs from the public cloud in that all the services and platforms are managed in a private network, where every solution or application is dedicated to that firm only. Using the apartment example again, the private cloud has your business renting the entire building, so no other tenants are allowed.

Exclusivity has its price, as cloud service providers will require you to sign a long-term, lock-in contract with them (so if anything goes wrong, you can’t just go with another vendor). It will also be expensive to maintain a private cloud because of hardware upgrades and equipment maintenance costs. The amount will be based on the service provider’s computation.

What is a hybrid cloud?

This deployment model has grown in popularity because of the limitations presented by the private and public clouds mentioned above. The hybrid cloud model combines the use of the private and public clouds, with particular business functions assigned to either network.

A hybrid cloud setup essentially provides maximum flexibility for your company. For instance, apps like web-based email, which has lower security and high data requirements, can be put in a public cloud. Any critical or sensitive business data (usually kept for compliance requirements), including your client information database and financial reports, are best stored and secured in a private cloud.

The limitations/shortcomings of private cloud hosting can also be resolved by using a hybrid cloud, as in the case of date limitation, where some service providers offer an option called “cloud bursting” for hybrid cloud models. In this case, a solution or application will work in the private cloud via normal user configurations. If there is a sudden spike in demand, your firm can choose to use some computing resources from the public cloud to keep operations going efficiently and smoothly.

Has your business tried the hybrid cloud yet?

If you’re having second thoughts about investing in this technology and incorporating it into your company, think about the following:

    – Is it important for your users to be able to quickly access their data in a secure environment?
    – Will downtime after a local disaster be a major issue for your firm?
    – Do you have many employees who work remotely and share files with customers?

If the answer to all three questions is “Yes,” it is best for your business to invest in a hybrid cloud.

Zeta Sky offers cloud desktop solutions to companies in Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, and Riverside. We go above and beyond to make sure your IT infrastructures are optimized and working efficiently. Get in touch with us today for a complimentary consultation.

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