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When Is the Right Time to Use a Hybrid Cloud System?

When Is the Right Time to Use a Hybrid Cloud System?

Using a hybrid cloud inevitably generates more work than using a simpler implementation of the cloud. For some businesses, however, this extra complexity is a fair trade-off for the benefits it can bring. With that in mind, here is a quick guide on how to decide if a hybrid cloud is the right option for your business.

What is a hybrid cloud?

A hybrid cloud is a cloud that combines at least one private cloud with at least one public cloud. Generally, a hybrid cloud will only have one private cloud. It may, however, use multiple public clouds.

Running a private cloud does not necessarily mean having on-premises infrastructure and/or a totally private data center. It can simply mean using a combination of colocation and public cloud services. Colocation is the strategy of renting space in a communal data center where you can run your own equipment in your own way.

With hybrid cloud architecture, applications and components may be restricted to one cloud or the other. Alternatively, they can operate seamlessly across the boundaries of the two clouds.

A hybrid cloud versus a multicloud

A hybrid cloud uses at least one private cloud and at least one public cloud. A multicloud uses multiple public clouds as though they were a single cloud. Multiclouds are more complex than single clouds. They are, however, less complex than hybrid clouds as they do not require the business to set up and run a private cloud.

Why choose a hybrid cloud?

If you need to decide whether or not a hybrid cloud is the right choice for you, here is a quick guide to how it compares to the main alternatives.

Capital expenditure

Setting up a hybrid cloud is almost always going to work out more expensive than setting up a single cloud or even a multicloud. How expensive it is, however, depends on just how you implement it.

Realistically, most businesses are likely to use colocation. This approach requires substantially less capital expenditure than implementing on-premises infrastructure and/or setting up a fully private data center.

Running costs

Assuming you’re using colocation, the running costs of a hybrid solution are probably only going to be slightly higher than the running costs of using a single cloud or a multicloud. The reason for this is that the infrastructure itself is likely to be much the same. The key difference is that it’s more complex to manage and hence takes more effort to manage.

Flexibility of billing

The fact that hybrid clouds have to have a private cloud means that they cannot offer the same flexibility of billing as public clouds (singly or in combination). With that said, they will probably offer enough flexibility in billing to suit most businesses.

Realistically, the vast majority of businesses will almost certainly use committed tariffs for their core needs. They will then top this up, if necessary, with ad hoc services. It will therefore probably not be too much of a stretch to commit to paying the ongoing costs of a hybrid cloud.

Level of commitment

Similar comments apply to the level of commitment. Again, the fact that a hybrid cloud requires a private cloud means that it cannot offer the same level of on-demand flexibility as full public cloud architecture.

On the other hand, most established businesses will probably have a reasonable idea of what level of resources they need all year round. They can commit to implementing these either via colocation or via committed cloud tariffs. Any other services they need can be implemented on an ad hoc basis.


The fact that hybrid clouds require private clouds means that there’s a limit on how far they can be scaled down. They can, however, be scaled up as easily as regular single clouds. This means they can deliver what most businesses want, i.e. a baseline level of service plus the ability to ramp up quickly at peak times.


The public cloud part of the hybrid cloud will be limited to the customization options supported by the vendor. The private part of it, however, can be customized to the business’ exact requirements.


In principle, one of the benefits of hybrid clouds is that the fact that they have a private element makes them inherently more secure than public clouds. Technically, this is true. It is, however, worth noting that public clouds do operate to very high levels of security. In fact, many of them can now comply with stringent data-security programs like GDPR.

In practice, private clouds require more active management than public clouds. Hybrid clouds require even more management than purely private clouds.


See Also:

What You Need To Know About Hybrid Cloud Benefits

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