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“The Cloud” has become an economical way for small and medium-sized businesses to compile, process and store all their vital information securely and conveniently. However, many businesses are discovering a hybrid approach often is an even better approach.
A “hybrid cloud” features some resources that are managed in-house and others that are provided externally through “The Cloud.” So, for example, a company use a cloud service such as Hosted Microsoft Exchange (email services) but keep all day to day data files (spreadsheets, PDFs, Word Docs etc) and folders stored locally in-house.
When this approach was first proposed in 2008, many resisted because they felt the idea was ridiculous. However, people soon began to see a hybrid cloud could serve a purpose within small- and medium-sized businesses while also being economical. Such an approach offers five key advantages.
First, a hybrid cloud approach allows businesses of all sizes to take advantage of the strengths of both in-house and cloud applications and use them to complement each other. Combining in-house applications with those offered by companies such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft provides the greatest flexibility and resilience at the most affordable cost.
Second, a hybrid cloud approach makes day-to-day operations simpler while also making integration and migration a lot less intimidating. Virtual services and infrastructure in both the cloud and in-house allows using one set of tools that makes orchestration, management and migration less expensive.
A virtual solution provided in-house by a vendor can provide better functionality and more control than using a generic solution available in the cloud. Vendors can provide solutions that integrate management and orchestration tools found in the cloud with those used in-house. This integration of platforms makes for a simpler, seamless application.
Third, using services and tools in a hybrid cloud allows a more regular path to system security and service management, simplifying everyday tasks such as backup, patching and monitoring. Employees won’t have to keep track of several vendors products but also will have access to the latest solutions and technology available via the cloud.
Fourth, companies that provide cloud applications regularly are innovating. Small and medium-sized businesses can become more efficient by taking advantage of these innovations, integrating and replicating them along with their own in-house applications and solutions.
Fifth and finally, a hybrid cloud approach provides scalability and flexibility when a business’ platforms allow easy migration of projects between in-house applications and cloud applications. Easy migration makes for simpler business scenarios like disaster recovery and capacity on demand. It also provides the confidence that projects can be taken completely out of the cloud if business or regulatory conditions change.