A hybrid cloud approach to managing data storage uses both cloud and on-premises resources, combining the capabilities of private and public clouds to form an integrated storage architecture. Hybrid cloud file storage offers important capabilities that can benefit businesses of all sizes including agility, scalability and cost-savings.
2020 Roadmap: 3 Steps to Modernize Infrastructure for the Cloud
1. Cost benefits: Reducing capital expenditure is a primary incentive for organizations to consider moving to a hybrid cloud infrastructure that includes storage. The incremental costs of adding and maintaining local storage—such as servers and new on-premises data centers—can be expensive. Hybrid cloud storage enables companies to reduce such expenses by tapping the expansive power of the hybrid cloud model and allowing companies to pay for public cloud service only when they need it.
2. Scalability: Hybrid cloud deployment models offer the best of both private and public worlds. Business-critical data and operations can remain in the private cloud, and companies can tap into the flexibility and power of public cloud storage to seamlessly increase their operational capacity when their computing demands spike.
3. Innovation: Hybrid cloud storage enables enterprises to accelerate innovation by allowing companies to more easily develop new applications and run powerful analytics programs that would otherwise be cost-prohibitive for smaller companies using on-site servers.
4. Security: Hybrid cloud computing gives businesses control over their data and improves security by reducing the potential exposure of critical data. Organizations decide where to house their data and workloads based on policy, compliance and security requirements.
5. Business continuity: Hybrid cloud storage is a critical part of a company’s business continuity strategy, allowing them to back up data by duplicating critical data to the cloud and ensuring that, in the event of a disaster or other computing failure, business operations will continue uninterrupted. Hybrid environments also allow the cloud to absorb workload surges, so as computing demands increase or suddenly spike, the business isn’t at risk of overburdening its private servers.
Since technology is integral to an organization’s performance and competitiveness, identifying smart investments in IT modernization becomes even more necessary. Prioritizing agility, while also reducing costs and mitigating risks, is where hybrid cloud storage is often seen as a solution.
Whether a company has multiple locations, a global footprint, or a workforce that frequently works remotely, a hybrid cloud file storage model can benefit such organizations. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic that has resulted in many employees suddenly having to work from home, hybrid cloud storage enables business continuity by allowing users to access data from anywhere.
Cloud storage vendors offer various models, with a private cloud being one option. Private cloud users have the cloud to themselves and data storage is usually managed on-premises, by the private cloud owner. By contrast, public cloud storage users share computing services among multiple businesses, even though each company’s data and applications in the cloud are encrypted and hidden from the other tenants.
Hybrid cloud combines these two cloud deployment models, allowing data to be transferred between private and public cloud environments, as business necessitates. Certain hybrid environments also include a multi-cloud solution, which utilizes services from multiple public cloud providers.
A hybrid cloud architecture is a type of data center infrastructure that combines private and public clouds, along with on-premises resources, and can share data across all environments. Hybrid cloud computing enables an enterprise to control both where data is stored and how to handle peaks in IT demand.
Cloud bursting is a configuration set up in hybrid clouds to allow an application in a private cloud to “burst” into a public cloud when computing demands spike. A key benefit of cloud bursting is that a business only pays for the additional public cloud resources when they are used. When using cloud bursting, companies need to consider platform compatibility, latency, load balancing, and compliance and security requirements.
Data syncing keeps the same file in different locations up to date through the cloud. Users set up a cloud-based file to which select data is copied. This folder makes the data accessible via a web interface for others to access. When any user makes changes to that file, the data is automatically updated in the corresponding folders on other users’ devices. This way, users spend less time searching for documents and more time doing their day-to-day business operations—saving the company money.
Cloud file syncing has risen in demand due to the number of employees working remotely, especially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. To sync data across hybrid cloud environments, a data-syncing application is required. Most hybrid cloud storage platforms offer what is commonly known as a “sync folder” in the file system.These sync folders automatically copy files in their most up-to-date versionsto all devices connected to thecorresponding cloud account.
Syncing multiple cloud storage services requires a well-planned strategy, which involves determining data governance, mapping out where all of your data is stored, and saving on costs by knowing which data to include, and not include, in a sync.
Object storage is employed for handling large volumes of unstructured data, which can’t be easily organized in a hierarchal database (with folders and directories to organize data by relationship). Instead, these objects are considered discrete units of data stored in a structurally flat data architecture.
Examples of unstructured data are found in Internet communications like emails, videos, web pages, audio files and images. This kind of content streams continuously from mobile and other smart devices, social media and search engines. Each object is a simple, self-contained repository that includes the data, metadata and a unique identifying ID number.
There are on-premises, cloud, and hybrid object storage options available. Hybrid cloud environments are ideal for handling object storage, as a company can aggregate object storage devices into larger storage pools and distribute these storage pools across locations and clouds. This allows for scalability and improved data resiliency over legacy storage platforms.