While business workloads are increasingly being moved to the cloud, certain situations—such as regulatory hurdles, security concerns, reliance on legacy applications, or abnormal data sets or workflows—have been encumbrances to migrating entire organizations to public cloud providers. The solution is the hybrid cloud model, which leverages the advantages of public cloud providers (rapid resource provisioning and usage-based billing), while retaining the speed and reliability of private cloud solutions.

This guide is both an easily digestible introduction to hybrid cloud, as well as a "living" guide that will be updated periodically to keep IT leaders in the loop on new ways in which hybrid cloud can be leveraged.

Amazon Web Services: A cheat sheet

Executive summary

  1. What is hybrid cloud? Hybrid cloud is the combination of compute and storage products from public cloud providers and private, on-premises hardware.
  2. Why does hybrid cloud matter? Hybrid cloud systems do not have a single point of failure, and can be very effectively utilized for industries with variable workloads.
  3. Who does hybrid cloud affect? Any industry with at minimum a need to safeguard data against loss can utilize a hybrid cloud solution.
  4. When is hybrid cloud happening? Vendors are becoming more responsive to the complexities of managing hybrid cloud deployments and are offering more solutions and tools to assist in transition and deployment.

How do I get hybrid cloud? Building a hybrid cloud for your organization requires planning and forethought. Working with vendors to find solutions to your needs is advisable.

What is hybrid cloud?

Hybrid cloud is the combination of compute or storage products from public cloud services (such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, or Microsoft Azure) with a private cloud infrastructure—servers that are generally on-premises running a cloud software stack. The public and private environments operate effectively independently of each other, and communicate over an encrypted connection, either through the public internet or through a private dedicated link.

The way in which public cloud services and private cloud operations are utilized is essentially dependent on organizational needs and priorities. The extent to which public cloud services are utilized can be as minimal as an offsite backup, or as extensive as being the primary component of data storage and processing. The process of finding an appropriate balance between public and private should take into consideration your organization's IT budget, the strength of internet infrastructure in the areas in which your organization operates, needs for regulatory compliance, and allowances for legacy applications which cannot be easily migrated to the cloud, as well as cloud-based applications which are not possible to run on-premises.

There is a discrete difference between hybrid cloud and multicloud. Hybrid cloud requires utilization of both public and private cloud components, whereas multicloud is the practice of using cloud services from multiple heterogeneous public cloud services, optionally including private cloud and hybrid clouds with more than one public cloud component.

Amazon Web Services: A cheat sheet