Editor’s note: Considering many factors, including flexibility, scalability and security, there is a growing trend for businesses to opt for hybrid cloud solutions. Why is that? What’s the benefit of going hybrid? This article from Business U.S. Cellular can answer those for you.
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The Benefits of Hybrid IT Solutions
If cloud computing was the big buzz term of the last several years, the new catchphrase is “hybrid cloud solutions.” But more than a buzzword, this is the latest development in data storage for your business.
A hybrid cloud system uses a mixture of on-premises, private cloud and public cloud services to store and manage your data. This allows workloads to move between private and public clouds as computing needs and costs change, giving you greater flexibility and more data deployment options.
Your company might, for example, use a public cloud service for your archives while keeping more current and operational data on site. Then you can benefit from the cost-effectiveness of a cloud-based service while avoiding some of the potential security risks that come with third-party data storage.
Some firms, such as those in procurement for the defense industry say, just can’t store their data off-site due to regulatory or other legal requirements. This makes a full transition to the cloud impractical. However, putting non-sensitive, non-regulated data into the cloud could free up local servers at a fraction of the price.
Trouble can arise when companies rely entirely on one solution to the exclusion of the other. For example, you might have a lot of old data stored on legacy devices that are no longer up to date. Or your company might have been so taken with the cloud storage craze that you moved everything you could off site and onto a cloud-based storage system. The trick now is integrating both worlds: getting what you can out of cloud-based storage while keeping what you need on site. You might still keep a majority of your data either on site or in the cloud. Hybrid IT is basically the science of figuring out what this balance should be, how to best execute it and how to seamlessly integrate both sides of the equation.
For older companies who currently face high costs for storage space for old, physical legacy data storage, a hybrid cloud system is a no-brainer. You need to store all that data somewhere, but buying more physical, on-site storage for data you seldom use isn’t efficient. At the same time you need to access some data regularly. With a hybrid cloud storage system you can keep that newer data local, while backing it up in the cloud — alongside all your migrated legacy data. Voila. You’ve just freed up tons of physical space while revolutionizing the way your company keeps data, boosting your productivity in the process.
It’s not cost effective to store all your data on-site. Even if your data is stored on the latest and greatest hardware, it’s still taking up both digital and physical space in your environment. On-site data costs simply can’t compete in terms of price and scalability with cloud computing. You could save potentially tens of thousands every year by moving what you can off site and into the cloud.
Anything you can back up should be backed up in the cloud. Data loss is a real threat, and not just due to hardware failure. For example, if you have two copies of sensitive customer information on site and your office floods—you now have zero copies. If you store information in the cloud your office can flood 100 times and you’ll still have all your information waiting off-site. But what if the servers your data is stored on get damaged as well? It is extremely rare, but server farms are not immune from disasters – natural or otherwise. Triple redundancy is obviously safer again than “only” storing your data locally and in one cloud option.
While cloud storage companies offer top-notch security, due to reporting and regulatory requirements — or even just your own in-house policies — it might make more sense to have some of that information stored on-site where you have greater control over it. A hybrid IT system allows you to choose which data you let another company protect for you off site.
There are few reasons not to use hybrid IT. Every company has data they need to keep on site for a variety of reasons. And every company has a lot of other data that is more securely managed, more cheaply, off site. Hybrid IT systems are the next evolution in local and cloud storage, and when implemented smartly, offer the advantages of both local and cloud storage with none of the drawbacks.
Nicholas Pell is a freelance small business and personal finance writer based in
Southern California. His work has appeared on MainStreet, Business Insider, WiseBread and Fox Business, amongst
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