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A hybrid cloud is a type of cloud computing environment that utilizes a combination of private and public clouds, and can also include on-premises resources. A private cloud is a cloud service with a server that is dedicated specifically to one company or organization. Private clouds are usually more expensive than private clouds, and are frequently used for storing personally identifiable information (PII). Public cloud resources, on the other hand, utilize server space that can be accessed across multiple organizations in order to decrease costs, such as is found in Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) offering. On-premise services are stored on a local server, and can be connected to cloud software, such as Microsoft Azure. A hybrid cloud strategy allows an organization to optimize their spending by using the most cost-effective solution across different services in order to achieve their goals.
It is fairly common for companies to utilize a hybrid cloud model when utilizing infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). Iaas is a cloud service that allows businesses to utilize their physical hardware and infrastructure without the need to purchase and install their own. IaaS is often used as a way to run virtual machines to increase processing power, such as when testing new products and services. Hybrid cloud computing lets businesses use both their own physical hardware and that of a cloud provider to increase their capabilities. IaaS is also frequently used for data centers. Rather than having to build and secure physical data center infrastructure, businesses can instead use cloud data centers to store their data and applications.
Security risks are often one of the most common considerations for businesses that choose hybrid cloud infrastructure. Hybrid clouds allow organizations to choose the software and cloud provider that best fits each of their needs. In some cases, this might mean choosing a private cloud where data is secured on a private server for PII information, but data that is used for analysis is stored and processed through public clouds. Oftentimes, hybrid clouds will utilize application programming interfaces (API) to connect to different software, both closed and open source. APIs make it easier for selected data to be shared across software, without having to allow complete and open access to hybrid-cloud-managed data. This can be useful in further securing data, so that no data is accidentally accessed or shared inappropriately.
As part of a digital transformation, hybrid cloud architecture can help businesses by: