Cloud computing is one of the most popular subjects discussed in the mobile industry today. While working in the cloud is very beneficial to companies, it is not without its risks. Smaller companies, especially, can incur losses if they do not completely understand the downside of this technology. Companies today are seriously considering the use of hybrid clouds in order to achieve the maximum benefit from this infrastructure. Hybrid clouds are so designed to minimize errors and maximize the efficiency of the infrastructure.
Are hybrid clouds actually the best solution for companies? What are their advantages and disadvantages? In this post, we discuss the future of hybrid clouds in mobile computing.
What are Hybrid Clouds?
When people talk in terms of cloud computing, they are generally referring to public clouds, such as Rackspace, which is shared by several thousands of customers from all over the world. These cloud providers usually sell storage space, bandwidth and computing power to companies at much cheaper rates than those of actual, physical servers. While this saves the company a huge chunk of investment, it could also cause concerns over accessibility, availability and security.
Most companies would think twice before porting sensitive data onto a public cloud. They would prefer to store such information on their own private servers. This type of thinking got some businesses working on setting up their own cloud-like computing processes, which in turn, created what is known as the private cloud. While these clouds work in the same way as public clouds, they are meant exclusively for the company in question and can be firewalled away from the rest of the Internet. This gives the private cloud more security and better performance as well.
Many businesses today use a judicious mix of these clouds, in order to gain the maximum advantage from the good aspects of each of these clouds. While they use public clouds for less sensitive tasks, they prefer to use private clouds for their most vital processing tasks. The hybrid cloud, thus works out the most preferred infrastructure for companies who are not willing to enter the cloud in a big way. Microsoft is now offering the hybrid cloud infrastructure to many of its clients.
Advantages of Hybrid Clouds
Hybrid clouds are designed in a manner as to quickly scale the company’s needs. Since several standardized processes run together to achieve harmony between various types of clouds, it makes it the ideal solution to load heavy projects, which cannot be easily handled by a company’s in-house servers. Using the hybrid cloud would also save the company the extra cost of purchasing exclusive server hardware which would otherwise be necessary.
Hybrid clouds can be operated at any time at all, from any part of the world. This gives them a global reach for businesses that want to spread their reach beyond geographic boundaries. Also, this infrastructure provides fairly reliable connectivity, even in case of outages.
It could prove to be very expensive for a company to invest in managed hosting providers or outsourcing the same. This technology, on the other hand, is available for very reasonable rates and hence, works out much cheaper for the establishment. Services such as Skytap.com offer their services for about $500 per month for hosting a complete virtual network.
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Security Issues of the Cloud
The fear of insecurity of the cloud is one major aspect that discourages companies from adopting this infrastructure. However, experts on the subject aver that data in the cloud is just about as secure as of that located in a physical server. In fact, many of them are of the view that the data stored in the cloud could actually prove to be more secure than that on a server.
Companies that are so concerned about the safety of data could probably store the most sensitive information on local servers, while exporting all the other data onto the cloud. They could also opt to carry out critical operations in their own data centers, while using the cloud to carry out heavy processing tasks. This way, they could enjoy the advantages of both the types of data storage.
The niggling worries of cloud security notwithstanding, it is most certainly emerging as the future of computing. Offering the best features of both public and private clouds, the hybrid cloud infrastructure is no doubt a veritable boon for companies aiming to foray ahead in the market.