Hybrid Cloud Architecture

Hybrid Cloud Architecture: Understanding hybrid cloud computing models

Bernard Sciberras

Hybrid cloud architecture is a cloud computing environment that combines a well planned architecture built on on-premises, private cloud and third-party public cloud services.

By moving loads between private and public cloud as required by resources and costs optimum performance vs cost is achieved. This model gives your business greater flexibility and more data management opportunities.

Hybrid cloud architecture

Establishing a hybrid cloud requires the availability of:

  1. A public infrastructure Microsoft Azure;
  2. The set-up of a private cloud through a hosted private cloud provider and/or an on-premise server solution.
  3. Fast and secure connectivity between 1 and 2 above.

Often the set-up is easy to decide upon. The cloud is used for computer instances and email services etc whilst the on-premise solution is used for large chunks of data storage.

The public cloud cannot be customised so it’s important to set yourself up with an architecture that promises compatibility. This means that every hardware purchase and software installation or purchase of SAAS product needs to be taken into careful consideration. Successful implementation relies on the availability of suitable hardware including servers, storage, a local area network and load balancers.

You must also deploy a virtualisation layer to create and support virtual machines and, in some cases, containers. You must also install a private cloud software layer, such as OpenStack, on top of the hypervisor to deliver cloud capabilities, such as self-service, automation and orchestration, reliability and resilience. A private cloud architect will typically create a menu of local services from which users can choose. The structure needs to reflect the priorities and day to day needs of your business. The most important part of the process is to ensure smooth communication channels with your cloud architect. They need to know your business and its goals intimately and understand not only the next step but also what you want to achieve in the long run. You should keep no secrets from your IT specialists.

The key to create a successful hybrid environment is compatibility. Your cloud architect will select the right hypervisor and cloud software layers that are compatible with the desired public cloud, ensuring proper interoperability with that public cloud’s application programming interfaces (APIs) and services. When choosing Microsoft, the compatibility issues dissolve and every business choice can be implemented with proven highly efficient solutions from Microsoft. This also paves the way for any custom advanced applications your business may require.

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