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Striking the Right Balance: Hybrid Infrastructure Optimises Cost, Performance, and Security

By Dr. Sayed Peerzade
|
Mar 21, 2023
|
5 min read

Cloud technology is a force to reckon with. It provides companies with the flexibility to scale their computing and storage capabilities as needed. Organisations in almost every industry are migrating applications and data to the cloud. However, not all of them can move entirely to the cloud, for reasons that include specific regulatory requirements, owning legacy systems, etc. With hybrid IT infrastructure, businesses can reap the benefit of cloud services, without migrating completely.

What Is Hybrid Infrastructure?

Hybrid infrastructure is a digital infrastructure platform that blends the company’s on-premises data center and one or more private and/or public clouds. Many companies utilise this infrastructure to store sensitive or critical data on their on-premises servers, colocation facility, and/or private cloud while hosting key applications on the public cloud.

Hybrid IT infrastructure can look like any of the following:

On-premises infrastructure with cloudAn enterprise will have its data center with servers, storage, and networking on-premises and use cloud solutions for email, file storage, customer relationship management, etc.
On-premises infrastructure with colocationAn enterprise will have a captive data center and use colocation facilities at a secondary site for disaster recovery and redundancy.
Multi-cloud with colocationAn enterprise will use different cloud providers for other services, and a colocation facility for its equipment.
Hybrid cloud with colocationAn enterprise will use public cloud, private cloud, and colocation facilities. The public cloud may be used for non-sensitive data, the private cloud for critical data, and colocation for its own equipment.
EdgeAn enterprise will use edge computing to process data closer to the source and a combination of cloud-based and on-premises infrastructure to collect, process, and analyse data in real-time.

Hybrid Infrastructure: Optimal Balance Of Cost, Performance, And Security

Reduce Cost With Hybrid Infrastructure

  • Pay-as-you-go pricing – Enterprises that have implemented a Hybrid IT infrastructure can take advantage of the pay-as-you-go model offered by cloud providers. They pay only for the computing power they use, thereby reducing the need for large capital expenditures. When a company experiences peak demand for computing resources, it can use cloud solutions to scale up its infrastructure, and then scale back down when demand subsides. Moving certain specific applications to the cloud can avoid the cost of maintaining a large and extensive internal on-premises infrastructure. The pay-as-you-go pricing model especially benefits enterprises with fluctuating IT resource needs.
  • Lower capital expense – On-premises systems often require significant capital expenditure for hardware and software. By setting up hybrid IT, enterprises can lower their capital expenditure by outsourcing some IT operations to cloud providers.
  • Cost-efficient resource allocation – Hybrid infrastructure benefits enterprises from cost-effective resource allocation. They can use on-premises infrastructure for workloads requiring high levels of security or peak workload and cloud resources for a more stable workload. This is more cost-effective than maintaining on-premises infrastructure for both types of workloads.

Enhance Performance With Hybrid Infrastructure

  • Load balancing – A key feature of hybrid IT, load balancing helps enhance performance by distributing workloads across cloud and on-premises resources, thereby preventing overburdening of a single server. By distributing traffic, the resilience of IT infrastructure is improved. This helps to prevent downtime and maintain service continuity.
  • Improved agility: Hybrid infrastructure enables enterprises to be more agile in responding to changing market demands. Cloud offers the benefit of flexibility and agility, while on-premises infrastructure provides better control and security. When the two are combined, enterprises are better positioned to respond swiftly to changes in the business environment.

Improve Security With Hybrid Infrastructure

  • More control over data: Enterprises can separate sensitive data and critical applications from less critical ones with hybrid IT. This makes it easier to apply appropriate security controls to different parts of the infrastructure.
  • Enhanced monitoring: With cloud-based services that are purpose-built for security, companies can monitor on a real-time basis, thus helping them detect and mitigate security incidents.

Implementing A Hybrid IT Infrastructure

Before building a hybrid IT environment, an enterprise must assess the costs of its on-premises data center in order to get an understanding of the return on investment. Next, the enterprise must consider what approach to take in determining which applications move to the cloud. For instance, it could move operations of specific business departments to the cloud or consider the age of the hardware and accordingly shift parts of the infrastructure to the cloud.

While devising the strategy to move to hybrid IT, the focus should be on reducing costs, increasing agility, improving scalability, and enhancing security. Colocation services allow enterprises to take advantage of scalability without taking on capital expenditures. This can be more reliable than a captive data center, which may be more susceptible to power outages, security breaches, and equipment failures. Combining colocation with cloud services makes for the perfect hybrid IT strategy since it is cost-effective and provides high-performance connectivity between servers and cloud resources, thereby reducing latency.

If the data and applications are highly sensitive or the organisation operates in a heavily regulated industry, then private cloud and/or colocation services may be suitable options. Public cloud, on the other hand, is more cost-effective, as enterprises only pay for the resources they use. A migration plan must be devised outlining how the workloads will be moved to the cloud. This should include a timeline, and risk management strategies. To avoid any disaster, it is vital to have data backup and recovery solutions in place to minimise downtime and risks in data migration.

Hybrid Infrastructure: A Winning Solution

There are many benefits to adopting a hybrid IT infrastructure when compared with 100% cloud or 100% on-premises infrastructure. Organizations can optimise their IT resources, enhance security, and ensure business continuity through this infrastructure. It creates a well-built IT environment where public cloud, private cloud colocation, edge, etc. can be used together in harmony, each for the use cases they are best suited for.

Dr. Sayed Peerzade
EVP & Chief Cloud Officer

Dr. Sayed Peerzade is an industry veteran with over 20 years of experience in global technology operations, product development and digital transformation. He is well recognised for his contribution to India’s CIO community and enterprises. He drives Yotta’s cloud business and a host of cloud services.

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