You’ve probably heard the term hybrid cloud, but what is it, and what can it do for you?

It’s a particularly hot topic now because public cloud storage is growing in popularity. As it should be. Public cloud is inexpensive and solves real storage problems.

But public cloud is not for everyone and not for all data types. That’s where the hybrid cloud comes in. By combining public and on-prem storage into a single management pool, hybrid has the potential to deliver the best attributes of both worlds.

This blog series will give you industry perspective, tips, and tech background, so you can decide if hybrid cloud is right for you. We’ll give you the facts with no fluff. Let’s get started.

Here are five quick facts to put hybrid cloud in perspective.

  1. Hybrid cloud storage hype is real: 

Sometimes buzz is just noise, but with hybrid cloud the growing interest reflects real activity. A recent survey found that 68% of organizations said it’s in their deployment plans for the next two years. Typical motivations included:

    • Data Governance / Security: For data governance reasons, about half of organizations reported a need to keep some data on prem.
    • Cost: If data is frequently accessed, costs can quickly add up.
    • Performance: On prem applications may perform poorly when accessing data in the public cloud.
  1. Not all data will live in the public cloud
    Hybrid gives you the ability to keep sensitive data on-premises, rather than putting everything in the public cloud. In the survey, 59% of respondents agreed, stating that an average of 51% of their data needs to remain on prem. Typical use cases for hybrid cloud include:

    • Backup: Cut RTO by hours vs. either cloud or tape; save cost vs. conventional disk
    • Home directory: Keep frequently accessed files local, automatically tier cold files to the cloud
    • Compliance: Store sensitive file types on premise, automatically migrate others to the cloud
  1. Hybrid cloud offers better scalability than public cloud alone

Since a hybrid cloud connects public and private clouds, it provides a unified infrastructure lets you choose the most efficient infrastructure for specific data and workloads. For example, you can take advantage of the cost efficiency of Amazon’s S3 Infrequent Access tier or Amazon Glacier for backup or archive data, use Amazon S3 Standard to provide data access in different regions, while keeping the bulk of active data in a private cloud on-premises.

      1. A unified infrastructure also gives you a few benefits that public or private cloud alone don’t. Hybrid cloud eliminates silos of data, lets you keep data and applications on premises if you need to (usually for compliance or performance reasons), and is easier to manage than separate environments.
  1. Hybrid cloud saves cost

It’s usually true that cloud storage is less expensive than traditional SAN or NAS systems. Public cloud storage today costs as little as 0.4 cents per GB per month. But for frequently used data, access costs can add up. Hybrid cloud lets your store frequently accessed data locally, avoiding cloud data transfer charges. That data can be automatically tiered to the public cloud when it becomes cold. This lets you easily capitalize on the super-low cost of public cloud, while meeting your security, performance, and data governance objectives.

  1. Hybrid cloud will help you survive the data tsunami

The explosive growth of unstructured data is only going to accelerate. With more connected devices and the emerging internet of things (IoT), we’ll go from less than 2 billion devices in 2010 to more than 25 billion by 2020, according to analyst estimates.

That in turn is fueling massive data growth — from 4.4 zettabytes (ZB) in 2013 to 44 ZB in 2020 — much of it generated at the edge, not in the cloud. How will we manage, analyze and store all of that data? Implementing hybrid cloud now provides an architecture that can scale as we face a data tsunami over the next three years.

Next up, we’ll look at steps to get started with hybrid cloud.

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