As businesses continue to evolve with the rapid advances in technology, the role of the Cloud continues to play a pivotal role in the delivery of flexible, agile IT services. Hybrid IT, also known as the hybrid cloud, is essentially a combination of a private cloud foundation with the strategic use of public cloud services to fulfil the requirements of an organization's entire IT enviroment.
Just Another Datacenter
The concept of using a datacenter owned by another organization is not new. In the past we used terms like “outsourced”, “co-located” and “hosted” to describe hybrid IT operations and implementing it was time consuming and expensive. The main reason for adopting this model was to expand overloaded datacenters or to isolate risky workloads, like web applications. The speed of implementing these projects was no better than an on-site implementation and they often required long-term commitments.
This all changed with the introduction of cloud computing.
Cloud providers have capacity available that can be quickly allocated to their customers through public web portals. Applications can quickly scale up or down depending on demand. New applications can be deployed in a fraction of the time it would have taken using traditional on-premise IT.
With the latest advancement in hybrid IT, not only can you rapidly deploy resources, but you can also scale down just as easily. This was not possible with previous hybrid options.
Elasticity of the cloud resources is one of the biggest advantages for using Hybrid IT.
Connectivity and Security
In order to implement Hybrid IT you will need to two important factors into consideration: connectivity and security.
Ask yourself: How do I connect to the external resources? How do I secure the external resources?
The answer to these questions is related. Connectivity depends on what your bandwidth requirements are, but it is also influenced by what your security requirements are. Most cloud resources are accessible directly over the internet without any special networking needed. However, this approach is not very secure since the network traffic, although encrypted, is traveling across the open internet.
If your bandwidth requirements are moderate, the minimum connectivity you should consider is a site-to-site VPN. This establishes a secure connection between your on-premise IT resources and your cloud resources.
Another consideration for your connectivity is the reliability of the link to the cloud. VPNs can be quite stable, but they can still go down for a number of reasons. If you are placing critical workloads in the cloud, then you must ensure that the connection is reliable. Adding a redundant tunnel will improve the reliability but increases the complexity of the solution.
If you need a more reliable, consistent, and high-bandwidth connection, then consider implementing one of the dedicated link options such as Azure ExpressRoute, AWS Direct Connect, etc. This option is the most secure way to access the cloud since it gives you a private link into your cloud provider. The bandwidth is always consistent because it is not subject to the traffic load on your ISP.
Implementing a secure and reliable connection to your external resources will give you the confidence that your data is safe, secure, and accessible.
Feel free to reach out to Sentia with any additional questions or concerns you might have. Learn more about our Cloud Readiness Assessment - a comprehensive view of your current IT environment, helping to identify any gaps and guage your organization's level of preparedness for a secure and reliable hybrid cloud solution.
In the meantime, stay well and stay safe.