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Hybrid Cloud Computing - The Complete Guide

Cloud adoption has shown explosive growth over the last 5-10 years. In fact, 94% of enterprises already use a cloud service and the public cloud service market is expected to reach $623B by 2023 worldwide. With increased efficiency, scalability, and cost savings, it’s no wonder more organizations are adopting cloud, hybrid cloud, or multicloud technology. In this guide, we’ll cover what hybrid cloud computing is, how it works, pros and cons, types of hybrid cloud services, and how to choose a provider.

Hybrid Cloud Explained

What is Hybrid Cloud?

Hybrid Cloud is a cloud environment that employs two or more separate cloud infrastructures (on-premises, private or public), sharing data, resources, or services to operate as one standardized technology, enabling data and application portability.

Hybrid cloud architecture is made up of a combination of any two of the environments listed below:

  • Public cloud: A web-based service model owned and administered by a third party that could comprise servers in one or multiple data centers. Public cloud architectures rent server space to multiple companies, hence the name of multi-tenant environments.
  • On-premises private cloud: A dedicated private cloud means that the entire data center is dedicated to just one company. Under the on-premise hosting model, the servers are hosted on a data center at your premises and are maintained and secured by your IT staff, not an external vendor.
  • On-premises (legacy): Traditional on-premises solutions don't use cloud technology at all. The on-premise model requires that an enterprise purchases a license or a copy of the software to use it.
  • Bare-metal cloud: A single-tenant environment that incorporates dedicated server hardware resources and the data center networking, storage, and facility that houses it.

How it Works

Hybrid cloud infrastructure can be used in several ways. Here are a few examples:

A public development platform can send data to a private cloud or a data center–based app. To leverage several SaaS apps and move data between private or data center resources. In the case of a business process that works as a service, to connect with environments as though they were a single environment. As such, hybrid cloud infrastructures work well for numerous industries.

  • Finance: Organizations have adopted hybrid cloud architectures that allow for trade orders to be placed on a private cloud, and trade analytics live on a public cloud.
  • Healthcare: The healthcare industry is frequently adopting hybrid cloud solutions. One of the main reasons for choosing hybrid clouds is the need to gain control over IT spending while maintaining security and speed. A hybrid cloud solution is responsible for ensuring HIPAA compliance when hospitals send patient data to insurance providers,
  • Legal: Hybrid cloud security allows encrypted data to live off-site in a public cloud while connected o a law firm's private cloud. This protects original documents from the threat of theft or loss by natural disasters.
  • Retail: Hybrid cloud computing helps companies process resource-intensive sales data and analytics.

Benefits of Hybrid Cloud Architecture

According to the Right Scale’s annual State of the Cloud Report for 2019, 69 percent of businesses have chosen a hybrid cloud solution. That shows that the gains of the hybrid cloud look promising to a wide range of organizations. Let’s go over the advantages of following a hybrid path:

Data privacy and control

One of the key benefits of a hybrid cloud solution is control. Only hybrid cloud solutions can provide a mix of advantages that come from public and private servers. Rather than entrusting all aspects of IT infrastructure to a third-party cloud provider, by implementing a hybrid cloud solution, you can easily separate your information between what you want others to see and what you need to keep to yourselves. Since a portion of the networked enabled application remains private, you can store your most sensitive data on managed hardware that will allow your internal IT staff to be in control of critical operations.

Cost savings

Hybrid cloud is a cost-effective solution due to its ability to quickly organize, use, and scale data and applications according to a company’s needs. This way, you need to only pay for the extra resources when you need them. You will also save on the maintenance costs by working with a service provider: this third party will handle the cost of hardware and software.

Vendor lock-in prevention

Hybrid solutions help you avoid vendor lock-in by removing the dependency on public cloud architectures. With hybrid cloud infrastructure, you always have a place to move your data to if you are unable to sustain the public cloud requirements.

Easily Scalable

Hybrid cloud infrastructure allows your business to scale the resources up and down based on the demand trend. Cloud solutions are continually responding to your business’s needs, so you can enjoy unlimited resources based on demand-driven usage

Business Continuity

The hybrid cloud system is a great business continuity solution. The hybrid cloud system will replicate your data, si it provides data insurance in case any kind of un unexpected disaster in the business setting.

Speed of deployment

Hybrid cloud solutions are meant to cater to your organization’s needs. They can be optimized to speed things up. Hence the system isn’t entirely public; your IT department can reduce latency so that data will be transferred faster and easier.

Easy to implement

Hybrid clouds can be added sequentially to your business processes for a smooth transfer.

Hybrid Cloud Use Cases

Untested Workloads

There are times during app development when you need to test it to get a better idea if it would succeed. A hybrid cloud solution allows you to test the app quickly and at a relatively low cost. This way, you do not have to embark on the capital expenditure associated with launching in a private cloud.


Many organizations needed extra resources for applications running during peak utilization timeframes. These higher workload periods consist of shopping seasons, holidays, and other peak usage moments. Using a hybrid cloud environment, organizations can dynamically configure, provision, and migrate workloads to the public cloud without needing to purchase new hardware and then scale back quickly.

Disaster Recovery

Typically organizations keep a different physical location to transfer the workloads in case of disaster. Leveraging a public cloud gives you the possibility to narrow or completely exclude the demand for that physical footprint. In this case, an organization can keep its production setting in a private cloud and a recovery setting in a public cloud, ready to make the switch in case of a catastrophic event.

Regulatory Requirements

Your organization might be restricted by compliance, regulations to keep your application data in the country. However, this requirement may not impede ou to move parts of your app, like stateless web servers, run in a public cloud to increase performance.

Challenges of hybrid cloud management

A complex hybrid cloud necessitates continuous oversight and the management of its operations, including network performance, workload management, security, and cost control.

When planning for hybrid cloud deployment, you will also have to decide on its complexity based on your organization’s disaster recovery standards while securely maintaining it.

You will have to evaluate if the hybrid management solution can easily span a range of on- and off-premise platforms and resources – at a very granular level. For high operational efficiency, you will need a unique management point across the hybrid resource pool.

Architecture Explained

A few real-life examples of cloud computing include Netflix, Gmail, Facebook, Spotify, and Salesforce. All data is stored in the service provider’s cloud infrastructure, easily accessible from any device, at any time, from anywhere, through the internet.

Popular cloud use cases include backup and recovery (like in Apple iCloud and Dropbox), social media (like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram), video games (like Steam), and chat applications (like WhatsApp and Zoom).

Notice none of your profile data, photos, files, games, or media has to be downloaded or manually saved in order to save your preferences, continue where you left off, or access your information.

Regardless of the specific setup used, all hybrid cloud infrastructures have some traits in common:

  • Data integration: interconnectivity is first made possible through data virtualization. A company’s data needs to be synchronized across its public cloud and non-public cloud infrastructure. To accomplish synchronization, businesses have to implement additional technical solutions to keep data consistent.

  • Network connections: To get the most out of your hybrid cloud, private clouds, public clouds, and on-premises infrastructure have to be connected to each other, either via the public Internet or over a private network. This network connectivity can be done in a variety of ways, including:

VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) – this type of network connectivity is the most widely used. It enables secure, encrypted connections over the Internet. Machines connected to a VPN can communicate as securely as if they were connected to a private internal network. WANs (Wide Area Networks) – A wide area network connects computers over a distance. APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) – the application programming interface, allows an application to “call” a feature or functionality from another cloud service in order to incorporate that feature or functionality into the application’s service.API calls are sent as HTTP requests, and they can either be sent over the open Internet, a VPN, or a WAN. Dedicated cloud connectivity options are typically used If you require dedicated bandwidth and low latency

  • Unified management: Hybrid clouds need to securely connect all their resources, whether on-premises or in the cloud. An efficient management solution is through one overarching tool, that eliminates the need to manage each cloud separately. Handling each cloud separately can be difficult as each cloud features different APIs, different SLAs, and different capabilities.

Achieving Hybrid Cloud Architecture in 3 Steps

  1. Many computers or devices are connected by utilizing a LAN, WAN, or a VPN, together with an application programming interface.
  2. The allocation of resources is done via virtualization, software-defined storage abstracts as well as containers. Afterward, they will be pooled into data lakes.
  3. Thirdly, with the help of a cloud management software, resources will be allocated, into environments where applications run. Finally, they are provisioned on an on-demand basis, through an authentication service.

Connect Real-Time Data Across Any Cloud with Confluent

Businesses are searching for ways to tackle the vast amounts of crucial data available in their legacy systems to deploy new game-changing apps that have been built using cloud tools. To do this, they need a steady bridge to cloud for data to connect apps and cloud-native environments.

Apache Kafka and Confluent offer flexible deployment solutions for an uncomplicated, multi-cloud migration.

Confluent Cloud plays a vital role when trying to migrate to the cloud, accelerating a wide range of operational tasks. It gives you quick access to cloud resources for automated provisioning of development, test, and production platforms. Another benefit is that you will be spending less money and time troubleshooting configuration changes caused by manually deployed systems and apps

Confluent’s management tool is designed to facilitate your adoption of hybrid cloud infrastructure, regardless of whether you want to host on public cloud, private cloud, on-premise, or a combination of the three.

Adopting a Hybrid Cloud System?

Don’t let a cloud migration hinder your business. Confluent simplifies cloud deployments with a hybrid cloud data pipeline, real-time data integration, and stream processing.