Understanding hybrid IT and hybrid cloud infrastructure

April 18, 2024
Author: Steve Lankard
Blog | Infrastructure

What is hybrid IT?

Hybrid IT is an intricate mixture of public cloud services and on-premises data centers. Additionally, Hybrid IT includes edge computing and IoT devices. Building out hybrid infrastructure is crucial in many organizations’ digital transformation journeys and may consist of public, hybrid, private, and multi-clouds, as well as traditional premises-based IT. Hybrid IT is a good option for organizations that currently rely on legacy technology or that want to take advantage of the security, latency, and control benefits of a private cloud.

Key drivers of the adoption of hybrid IT include:

  • Public cloud security concerns.
  • The cost efficiency of cloud-delivered, “as-a-service” models such as storage, backup, networking, and other infrastructure.
  • The need for business agility and flexibility.

While adopting the hybrid IT framework offers these advantages, it also increases environment complexity and challenges visibility. In addition, IT teams may be overwhelmed by the demands of managing and maintaining multiple architectures.

This post delves deeper into hybrid IT and explores the benefits, challenges, and best practices involved with implementation.

Why is hybrid IT important?

As organizational environments become increasingly complex, efficiency, flexibility, and agility are essential. Insight, visibility, and security are also core concerns.

By adopting a hybrid IT approach, enterprises can effectively manage their resources by leveraging the advantages of public cloud solutions while retaining other resources within their private, on-prem infrastructure. This approach enables the smooth transfer of workloads between cloud platforms based on changing needs and requirements. A hybrid environment also provides vital backup and disaster recovery functions should an organization experience a data center disruption. As a result, modern organizations can attain the required adaptability and protection to cater to the changing needs of their workloads and workforces.

What is the difference between hybrid cloud infrastructure and hybrid IT?

“Hybrid IT” and “hybrid cloud” are sometimes used synonymously in the IT world. While there is some overlap, enterprises need to understand the differences between the two.

Hybrid IT bridges the gap between on-prem (often legacy) technology and the public cloud or multiple public clouds. It can include edge computing and IoT devices. Hybrid IT is more of an approach than any given technology.

Hybrid cloud, on the other hand, involves combining a private cloud with a public cloud or multiple public clouds. Hybrid clouds do not necessarily involve legacy infrastructure (but they can). In other words, the hybrid cloud refers more to the technology than the method of implementing IT. A key differentiator is that hybrid clouds often deliver multiple private and public clouds through a single pane of glass interface, increasing visibility, control, and efficiency.

Learn more: Bringing cloud flexibility and consumption to your data center

The primary benefits of hybrid IT infrastructure

Hybrid cloud architecture can offer substantial benefits to businesses of all sizes, including:

  • Superior control and customization – Customize and adjust the model to fit your needs while maintaining control over critical operations and data.
  • Increased security – Deploy workloads into the appropriate cloud—reducing the potential exposure of critical data.
  • Seamless scalability – Tap into the flexibility and power of the public cloud to seamlessly increase operational capacity when computing demands spike.
  • Improved innovation – Optimize your IT performance to accelerate your time to market and stay agile enough to meet the ever-changing demands of your business.
  • Cost savings – Optimize your IT spending while lowering operational expenses with a secure, scalable IT deployment based on workload suitability for the proper delivery model.
  • Business continuity assurance – Back up data by duplicating it to the Cloud so that business operations will not be interrupted in the event of a disaster or computing failure.

The drawbacks of hybrid IT infrastructures

While hybrid IT allows organizations to utilize the many benefits of the cloud without abandoning on-prem investments, there are disadvantages:

  • Complex management – Deploying multiple and varied technologies can be challenging to manage, requiring substantial investments of time and resources, as well as regular auditing to optimize processes.
  • Over-reliance on legacy systems – Retaining legacy technologies can lead to performance issues, network bottlenecks, and leave enterprises struggling to prioritize innovation.
  • Capital expenditures – Hardware costs can be substantial for maintaining the private resources of the hybrid IT infrastructure. To reduce this drawback, many premises-based IT manufacturers have introduced consumption-based pricing, where the enterprise pays for the IT they use on a monthly basis.
  • Visibility concerns – It is a challenge to clearly view all of the environments involved in a hybrid infrastructure at all times, which can lead to mismanagement of applications, platforms, processes, and systems. 
  • Security challenges – When combining on-premises solutions with private and public clouds, enterprises must clearly understand the shared security model between the organization and the cloud providers. IT departments should implement stringent guidelines, protocols, and robust security measures across all devices to prevent data breaches and leaks when transferring data between private and public clouds.

Who should consider hybrid IT or hybrid cloud?

Hybrid IT

Hybrid IT is a highly customizable solution that starts with your company’s underlying IT infrastructure and builds from there. In that way, it is like “bespoke” IT. Organizations well-suited to a hybrid IT approach include those with:

  • Modernization needs but with a heavy reliance on legacy infrastructure.
  • Heightened security concerns and sensitive data that may not make sense in a public cloud environment.
  • The need to streamline operations and generate cost efficiencies, like organizations undergoing corporate restructuring.
  • No disaster recovery system in place.
  • IoT devices and edge computing data that must be incorporated with an on-prem, private cloud environment.

By optimizing costs in this hybrid environment, it is possible to achieve long-term cost savings. IT professionals can shift their focus to optimizing infrastructure, providing end-user support, and innovating.

However, the implementation and management of this model are complex and may be too much for busy IT teams to take on without third-party support.

Hybrid cloud

A hybrid cloud combines private and public cloud services through a unified system and control interface. It enables companies to migrate parts of their IT infrastructure and workloads to the public cloud while retaining some cloud workloads on-premises.

A hybrid cloud is helpful for:

  • Digital transformation and modernization.
  • Disaster recovery.
  • Development and testing.
  • Big data processing.
  • Highly changeable workloads.

A hybrid cloud is an ideal choice for organizations looking to step away from legacy infrastructure or enterprises seeking to optimize their IT resources. It helps companies shed IT capital costs and burdens, focus on mission-critical tasks, and spend more time innovating for the business.

Learn more: Accelerate your hybrid transformation - HPE GreenLake

Creating efficient infrastructure with a trusted partner

For most enterprises, the future of IT is hybrid. CBTS provides comprehensive solutions to help businesses optimize hybrid IT or hybrid cloud environments. Manage your hybrid estate effortlessly with a single platform that offers complete visibility, workload optimization, infrastructure provisioning, and compliance control. CBTS services and our strategic OEM partners provide a unified portal, intuitive analytics, capacity planning, cloud service deployment, and continuous compliance control to mitigate risks.

Get in touch with us to learn more.

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