The introduction of cloud computing precipitated one of the most drastic operational shifts in IT history.
Cloud has revolutionized how companies operate and scale, giving instant access to increased or decreased capacity at precisely the level necessary – without putting pressure on equipment budgets to accommodate growth or bear the cost of overprovision in the case of shrinkage.
By no means have on-premises data centers been pushed out of the picture, but the either-or approach to cloud/on-prem services and application strategy is a thing of the past.
Increasingly, businesses are opting for a hybrid IT infrastructure strategy, which uses a mix of on-premises data centers, private clouds, and public clouds in different locations.
A hybrid infrastructure gives companies the flexibility of a hyperscale environment with the option to store mission-critical data on private cloud infrastructure for better security while relocating power-intensive processes to public cloud services to optimize energy consumption.
Let’s look at 5 reasons why hybrid infrastructure strategies are gaining such traction:
Scalability at a lower operational cost
A key driving force behind the adoption of hybrid cloud infrastructures has been the ability to meet strategic objectives with lower costs.
Businesses thrive on the ability to optimize costs of operations, and public clouds provide the flexibility to scale without CAPEX (capital expenditures) or the technical and human overheads that come with expanding on-site data centers.
Organizations need to plan for growth. Building sufficient on-site infrastructure for times of highest demand creates inefficiencies. This capacity goes unused during regular periods of demand, burning IT budget on underutilized resources.
With a hybrid infrastructure, businesses can prime services and applications that usually run on private cloud/on-premises datacenters to switch up to the public cloud during surges in demand to create additional capacity. This enables IT teams to optimize their usage and prepare for growth at a much lower total cost.
This flexibility has given companies a crucial edge to deal with the sudden and unpredictable spikes in demand for services and applications seen in the past eighteen months. During the overnight boom in working from home produced by the pandemic, hybrid infrastructures allowed businesses to accommodate extra devices and remote working.
Unlike increasing demand capacity solely through on-site data centers, hybrid infrastructures using a combination of on-prem equipment, private and public cloud services, allow businesses to scale up and down quickly when necessary.
This provides huge benefits for companies operating in industries that experience habitual fluctuations in demand. In the context of the pandemic, it has meant that businesses had greater elasticity to cope with rapid restructurings as they adapted to shifting conditions.
Companies that didn’t adopt hybrid infrastructure risked major organizational disruption in the short term, with knock-on effects for employees, and long-term financial and logistical burdens through overprovision in on-prem data centers.
Expanding access to emerging technologies
Hybrid cloud capabilities give organizations flexibility over the technologies they use to support application workload. Applications can be deployed to the environment that provides the best performance, lowest costs, and most reliable service. These constant optimizations amount to significant competitive advantages over companies with flat OPEX costs and operational performance.
With the ability to integrate multiple public cloud services, businesses avoid vendor lock-in and expand their access to emerging technologies to streamline capital and operational costs wherever possible.
Greater security and regulatory compliance
Hybrid cloud solutions give organizations greater flexibility when it comes to securing different strands of their data.
Crucial, or sensitive data can be stored on on-premises infrastructure, isolating them from any potential attacks, and allowing companies to apply their own security settings.
At the same time, public cloud storage can be used for processing and analyzing less business-critical or sensitive data, quickly and easily.
In addition, a hybrid structure enables organizations to comply with varying data security and privacy regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the European General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR), and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) without having to build new on-prem infrastructure.
Many data localization laws, such as the aforementioned, mandate that personal customer data must be stored in the country where it’s collected.
Hybrid cloud solutions allow organizations to store this data without having to build a data center in every country they collect data in. Public cloud regions enable them to comply with data localization requirements and keep their data secure.
Remote data accessibility
Remote access to data and applications is imperative for any business using remote working environments.
Access to on-prem stored data and applications can be overly complex and difficult or incur lag times that are untenable for an organization’s pace of operation.
By contrast, hybrid infrastructures enable any member of an organization with the appropriate authorization to access cloud-hosted data and applications instantly, regardless of geographical location.
Hybrid infrastructures provide a major advantage to businesses operating across international locations by reducing overheads for on-prem datacenters while outperforming them on service and application accessibility.
Setting and achieving sustainability targets
For many companies, sustainability is now an economic as well as an environmental imperative. Businesses and management teams are being asked to set targets for increasing sustainability, following guidelines like the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the ESG criteria.
One of the core ways a hybrid infrastructure strategy can help with sustainability targets is by reducing e-waste, preventing the use of more natural resources for the same business outcomes.
Contracting public or private cloud capacity means organizations don’t have to take on the financial and environmental cost that comes with buying and owning equipment, which may end up underutilized or replaced if its capacity is outstripped.
Operating with a hybrid infrastructure also reduces greenhouse gases emitted while transporting equipment and people needed for the installation of extra on-prem data center capacity.
How and how much energy a business consumes is also affected by the shift to a hybrid infrastructure. With the ability to scale up and down to accommodate demand, organizations only need to use the energy they require, without excessive surplus during demand downturns in on-prem data centers provisioned for high demand.
Further, companies can transfer energy-intensive functions to public cloud services, which are more reliant on energy from renewable sources.
A stronger push for businesses to adopt greener operations is coming from environmentally conscious customers too, who place considerable responsibility on businesses to lead the way in achieving sustainability outcomes.
Businesses choosing a hybrid infrastructure can be more transparent about the ways in which they are helping to reduce their environmental impact, giving them higher levels of brand credibility. This is becoming increasingly important in a climate where clients are willing to pay more to ensure they partner with organizations operating sustainably.
Ynvolve can help your business make the transition
The range of benefits brought by a transition to a hybrid IT infrastructure have contributed to its increasing popularity.
It’s important to highlight however that the key to maximizing the pay-off of transitioning to a hybrid infrastructure strategy lies in the details of your system’s configuration.
The cloud has enabled more and more employees to access data remotely, but a lack of understanding of data management is still putting companies at risk of overspend if devices are not configured and secured correctly to allow flexible data storage and transferal.
The green benefits offered by hybrid infrastructure systems are a compelling case that supports its continued growth for years to come.
By partnering with Ynvolve, your company stands to make further financial and sustainability gains through its expertise in IT infrastructure solutions.
The environmental benefits of incorporating cloud computing in a hybrid infrastructure system can be strengthened further by opting for a greener solution for your data center equipment.
Ynvolve offers a range of sustainable IT solutions, including the worldwide sale and installation of refurbished IT hardware, as well as a collection and recycling service for hardware at the end of its useful life.
Ynvolve’s IT rental and unique Buy Back as a Service (BBaaS®) programs offer your business a greener option to accommodate spikes in demand if you choose to opt for increased data center capacity.
Contact one of our experts at Ynvolve to discover more about how we can enhance your business’s IT performance.