Hybrid Cloud Computing: What Does it Mean?

Click to learn more about author Joe deBuzna.

My previous blog post, The Cloud is Now, covered motivations on why organizations adopt the Cloud, and why IT is now embracing Cloud Computing. However, a move to the Cloud can be a complex undertaking, especially for organizations running many applications or even multiple on-premises data centers. Business continuity (i.e. to minimize the impact of the migration to daily business operations) is one of the most important considerations for IT when planning a move to the Cloud.

The phrase Hybrid Cloud Computing is used to describe the coexistence of multiple environments, at least one of which is a Cloud environment.

To ensure business continuity, organizations will migrate applications one by one or in groups, based on interdependencies. Mission-critical applications, that may have to be available 24×7, will require even more planning to minimize disruption. During the migration to the Cloud, organizations will run on-premises and Cloud-based applications side–by–side for some time. As organizations adopt the Cloud they will initially deploy a Hybrid Cloud environment.

Multi-Cloud Computing: Also considered Hybrid Cloud Computing

Hybrid Cloud Computing is also applicable when Cloud applications run in different Clouds. For example, an organization may run some applications in Amazon’s AWS Cloud and others in Microsoft’s Azure Cloud. Or more likely some applications are consumed as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) e.g. Salesforce for CRM, ServiceNOW for customer support, SuccessFactors for HR, etc., in addition to running home-grown applications in a platform or infrastructure as a service environment like AWS, Azure or the Google Cloud.

Given the popularity of certain SaaS applications, and with new applications becoming available almost on a daily basis, Gartner predicts that for the foreseeable future organizations will continue to adopt Hybrid Cloud environments. As a result, organizations will need to consider data integration challenges introduced by such environments.

My next blog post will cover Data Integration requirements for Hybrid Cloud environments.

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