There is some fluidity in the interpretation of the term 'hybrid cloud' however the US National Institute for Standards and Technology have the following formalized definition:
Hybrid cloud. The cloud infrastructure is a composition of two or more distinct cloud infrastructures (private, community, or public) that remain unique entities, but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability.
A hybrid cloud could therefore be seen as a unified platform for running an enterprise's technology that combines public and private cloud rather than simply relying on one of these.
Why bother with a hybrid cloud?
The point of cloud computing was scalability, flexibility, putting the supply and support of the backbone technology in the hands of those whose specialism it is. So why would enterprises go to the trouble of having both their own private cloud and combining it technically with a public cloud system?
Hybrid Cloud allows the retention of a degree of control within the organization; by having your own private cloud system the enterprise's reliance on a sole external supplier is removed. In a world of risk mitigation the additional investment to ensure a company's core services remain intact if a supplier is to go bust is a worthy investment for many. The private cloud concept where businesses could feel confident about control, security, procedures and availability is great, but as soon as the cloud is private and in-house, it loses some of the wider cloud appeal. This wider appeal is putting the provisioning and management in the hands of others so you can focus on other things, and crucially the fluid scalability. A private cloud that is yours is only as big as you want to make it. A public cloud on the other hand is feasibly bigger than you could possibly need. How can you have scalability and platform outsourcing benefits while still having a higher level of control & confidence? This is the driver behind Hybrid Cloud.
How does Hybrid Cloud work?
The essential component required for hybrid cloud is the seamless nature of the private and public clouds working together. This is vital so that the system's overall capacity can burst to deal with spikes in resource requirements and applications work across the system. The different providers of private and public clouds are working hard on creating solutions that deliver the hybrid cloud as cleverly and efficiently as possible. From Microsoft to EMC there are a range of providers that are shouting about the particular benefits of their solutions.
SharePoint Solutions for Hybrid Cloud
Your SharePoint solution can be delivered across hybrid as well as private and public cloud solutions. BrightStarr have been working to provide solutions across differing technical foundations for many years so if you are looking at deploying any type of SharePoint system across a hybrid cloud solution you can be confident in talking to us about this. BrightStarr’s Unily Cloud Intranet solution is built on Office 365 / SharePoint Online and I am often asked about whether this can go across different foundation technologies. While Unily is designed to be a Cloud Intranet solution it can work just as well across a hybrid cloud as a public or private cloud system. It is a customized Software-as-a-Service solution so your own Unily installation is configured specifically for you. This also means that you could to move it from a public or private cloud to a hybrid cloud solution later if you wanted to.
Next Steps into the Hybrid Cloud
As with any enterprise technology simply dropping it into an organization does not guarantee success or ROI. It is therefore crucial to work through what your own objectives are for using a hybrid cloud solution. Why not get in contact with the BrightStarr team and we can help you work through these questions as well as discuss potential solutions for your specific needs that are going to deliver success.