As 2016 draws to a close, IT departments are reminiscing about the strides they made this year but looking to what’s next. We’ve seen the popularity of the hybrid cloud rise over the past year. In fact, according to Gartner, hybrid cloud models will be the most common usage of the cloud by 2020.
Clearly, the concept of moving into a hybrid cloud environment isn’t new. Still, many companies (and IT leaders, for that matter) are still unfamiliar with what a hybrid cloud really is. This article covers the top four hybrid cloud myths that business leaders may have heard about and the reality of what it really entails:
Myth 1: The concept of a hybrid cloud now provides a third cloud system to choose from, along with public and private.
Reality: There are still just two types of clouds – public and private. Chances are, your company is already using it. In fact, Gartner’s report also says that four years from now, a so-called corporate ‘no cloud’ policy will be as rare as a ‘no Internet’ policy is today. That said, a hybrid cloud is not a “type” of cloud, but more of an infrastructure that employs both private and public cloud resources. The hybrid cloud concept combines two or more distinct cloud infrastructures that still operates as unique entities, but are bound together by a common set of apps, tools and services across a multi-cloud environment.
Myth 2: Extending your data center to the public cloud means giving up your existing infrastructure.
Reality: Because of the growth of cloud services, one might think that enterprises are doing away with their own data centers. That’s not the case, as enterprises are still able to co-exist with their on-premise data center. According to a study by 451 Research, 83% of companies surveyed still rely on their own data center or IT site, while only 17% rely solely on cloud service providers. Much of the benefits to moving the cloud include workload scaling and business continuity. This does not necessarily mean you must dispose your on-premise data center and move everything to the cloud (it would also be expensive to do so).
There is no linear approach on how to extend your data center to the public cloud, so it’s important to research the right potential vendors with offerings that will provide the right features to create the true hybrid environment that best fits your needs. This allows businesses to quickly and securely leverage the agility and flexibility that the cloud provides.
Myth 3: Disaster Recovery (DR) is one of the most important applications for the cloud. That said, all public cloud DR solutions are created equal.
Reality: No two DR solutions are the same. While most public cloud-based DR solutions address the need for complete failover, many run on proprietary architectures, which can make for a long and tedious recovery. Others require you to maintain a costly active secondary site just for DR. So it’s crucial to know exactly what you need in a DR solution and have the peace of mind to not only know that your data is secure, but that you know the necessary steps to restore that data. A recent IDG survey revealed that 68% of respondent feel that DR plans are too time-consuming to test, monitor and manage. But if you are able to compare what you need – not what you want – in a DR plan, it doesn’t have to be tedious. Remember, having the right plan is vital to making sure your environment can persevere disruption – be it manmade or through natural disaster.
Myth 4: Cloud solutions don’t provide the same level of security and control that on-premises data centers deliver.
Reality: This perception is quickly changing. According to a report from the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), released at the start of the year, nearly 65% of security officers and IT managers believe the cloud is at least as secure as their on-premises software. As the cloud market continues to grow and with more organizations are more willing than ever to use cloud-based services, this percentage should continue to increase as well. That said, some cloud platforms do require separate management tools and skills, and many don’t provide effective security policies to prevent attacks. When you implement a secure cloud architecture with the proper vendor, you get access control and security policies that are consistent with your on-premises data center. When you do that, you should easily be able to shift workloads to the public cloud with the peace of mind you deserve.