Hybrid Cloud is becoming popular in businesses large and small. What is it? In simple terms it's where some IT functions are cloud based and some on local servers in the office e.g. the Document Management system is on a local server as well as documents, the email server is in the cloud.
Let’s take an example of a small company that uses a Hybrid Cloud approach. Their files and documents are hosted on a server in their office. Their accounts system is also running on another server in the office. Email, however, is on the Cloud using say Microsoft Office 365.
The choice of which function should be cloud based and which held on local servers is dependent on a number of factors – and history comes into it. For instance if you a running a legacy database or accounts system it may be that there is no cloud offering for it – therefore it relies on a local server. Another aspect is the speed and bandwidth of the internet connection. There may be other non-IT factors such as data protection and security, dictating that sensitive data be held in-house.
Email is a great example of where a Cloud technology takes a huge weight off the internal IT administration. By “spreading out” IT resources between the Cloud and local servers dependence on the file server in the office is reduced.
There are a number of factors connected to the type or flavour of Hybrid Cloud. For instance:
- Single sign on. Are accounts and passwords synchronised between the cloud and local systems. In a Medium sized organisation it becomes increasingly complex to maintain two parallel account systems.
- Dependence on Internet Access and speed of the line becomes critical
- Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Policy (DR and BC) decisions
Read the Hybrid Cloud definition article for some good insight.