Hybrid clouds straddle the chasm between public and private clouds. The conceptualisation is highly recommended for small and medium organisations as–will be admitted—not all business data is mission-critical warranting the use of highly expensive private storage facilities that small organisations can ill afford. Most of these businesses may draw upon and use repeatedly, bits of information that may exist in the public domain or can comfortably exist in the public domain without compromising the security, integrity, and privacy of the enterprise customers. Storing such data in the public cloud is a reasonable and cost effective option.
When questioned, almost all small and medium enterprises agree that a hybrid cloud strategy is what they would like to look at. The hybrid cloud can be built up from either end—the public end or the private end. If the enterprise has been using a wholly private solution, change can be efficiently managed by gradually migrating non-mission critical information to the public cloud while continuing to operate the purely private bits as before. If end users have been working with the public cloud, more private, mission-critical information can be gradually privatised without creating unnecessary ripples in the production environment.
From the above discussion, it is clear that there is a need for a closer look at how the small and medium organisation works across cloud boundaries. The relationship across the public-private cloud boundaries will determine how they will proceed with the hybridisation of your cloud.
If most of the enterprise applications burst across private to public cloud boundaries, hybrid cloud solutions will have to begin at the SMB data centre and pan out to the remote cloud server. They will have to look at public cloud resources that will run these applications on similar configurations even when the operating system used is different.
If the enterprise applications are designed to permanently reside in a public cloud, but are expected to burst through the private cloud, it is imperative that the SMB start the cloud saga by focusing on the public cloud end and then integrating it across the boundary with the help of the cloud service provider.
Moving on to a discussion of the economics of hybridisation, it must be pointed out that the SMB budget has a deterministic role to play in decision making in context. Organisations with a large budget, can afford to splurge on a private cloud and move out to the public cloud in stages. Organisations that are budget constrained may prefer to reverse the option with an emphasis on consolidation and cost effective redeployment of existing resources. A validation exercise with budgetary focus is a must in strategy formulation. Detailed planning will reduce risks involved in migrating data across cloud boundaries, and making appropriate hosting choices for their applications.