Hybrid Cloud – The Pros and Cons

hybrid cloud solutions

With the advent of cloud-based computing, there have been many debates about which type of cloud environment is best.  Some maintain nothing beats a private cloud, others say a public cloud shares resources better, and there are more people who say a hybrid cloud solutions for small business environment is best.  In order to compare the benefits of the three or even just to list the pros and cons of a hybrid, we really need to understand all three types.

A private cloud is one created for and used by a single group or business enterprise.  Private clouds are usually hosted on-site.  It affords its users better control of stored data and their locations, resource allocation and flexibility.  These advantages though come at a price that some companies may not be able to afford.  Private clouds require a lot of expensive hardware and software to set-up, and its maintenance would require hiring the services of IT people with specialized skills.  People at the Cloud Security Alliance will have a better idea of the skills it takes.

A public cloud on, on the other hand, is set up by cloud services or cloud solution providers.  These companies spend lots of money building a cloud that offers data storage, applications and IT functions to the public.  Its main advantages for the user include not having to invest on expensive hardware and software, pay-per-use or pay-as-you-go modes of charging, relative flexibility, ease of use, and remote access.  Its main disadvantages include less control over resource allocation, fewer options for customization and a bit less security.

Hybrid clouds deploy data and computing functions in both local and private clouds.  As such, hybrid cloud solutions possess some of the advantages and disadvantages of both public and private clouds.  Capital expenditures would not be as much as the requirement for a private network, but it will be required.  Data on public clouds will not be as secure, and those on private networks will be only enjoy greater security at a greater cost.  So what makes hybrid cloud solutions better?  Their being hybrid.  It allows businesses to choose which processes and data warrant higher levels of security at greater cost, and which ones should prioritize cost savings.

That being said, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to this.  It’s hard to imagine a nation’s spy agency, for example, using a public cloud.  For most businesses, a hybrid cloud would offer the best chance of maximizing benefits for balancing security concerns with cost.