The Hybrid Cloud Is Outshining All Other Clouds
Analyst firm TechNavio predicts that by 2017, half of large organizations globally will have migrated data into a hybrid cloud format. Informal polls show that small and medium-sized businesses also plan to incorporate the hybrid cloud. It makes sense — the hybrid cloud combines the best aspects of the public cloud and the private cloud into one format. Some of the options that are fueling the hybrid cloud’s growth are better scalability, more control over security and a lot more flexibility.
Recovery is key.
One area where the hybrid cloud shines over other cloud formats is in disaster recovery (DR). As Greg Ness wrote in a Cloud Velox (formerly Cloud Velocity) article, “For small and medium-sized enterprises that simply cannot afford enterprise-class disaster recovery or larger enterprises that want a more efficient or supplemental-level of protection, the hybrid cloud is the optimum operating model. Pay as you go for DR gives them both incentives to reduce downtime and the ability to invest in greater IT innovation.”
Data disasters come in a variety of ways. Thousands of businesses lost data during Hurricane Sandy, for instance, when data centers and in-house servers along the Eastern Seaboard were flooded, for example. An employee could accidentally download ransomware that takes network files hostage. A rogue insider intent on revenge wipes hard drives.
What makes DR in the hybrid cloud different from DR in public or private clouds is that the information is usually backed up both in-house (in the private cloud) and on an external server (public cloud). In fact, because hybrid cloud users will often work with multiple cloud providers (another benefit of hybrid), it guarantees the data won’t be backed up in the same location. Also, added Mark Shirman, president and CEO of RiverMeadow Software, DR in the hybrid cloud is an extension of the cloud that an organization may already be running in-house. Therefore, it’s not necessarily different in that it can be much cheaper and efficient to maintain and manage.
Disaster recovery as a service
The hybrid cloud as DR is especially effective when used as Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). “The key here is to make sure that it will in fact work in the event of a disaster. An organization needs to make sure that it fully tests its systems and processes regularly,” Shriman explained.
The most strategic way to manage a DR environment is to set RTO (Recovery Time Objective) and RPO (Recovery Point Objective) appropriately. “These should be set in conjunction with the business, not created in a stand-alone fashion by the IT organization or even the infrastructure group,” said Shirman. “That way the risks and recovery are balanced based upon industry, history and geography.
The built-in redundancy, the controlled security, the better flexibility — everything that makes the hybrid cloud attractive to businesses is also what makes it the best cloud computing option for DR.