Enterprise businesses manage many complex functions and processes through their IT departments, with many independent verticals, brands and products that each require unique technical support.
One such way that enterprises manage these functions is through the use of a hybrid cloud solutions and hybrid cloud architecture, which utilises hybrid cloud architecture in a manner to best address the individual needs of the organisation.
What is hybrid cloud architecture and why use it?
Hybrid cloud is the combination of both private and public cloud platform services in a complex data centre resource orchestration where the hardware, database, and software applications required for business operations are shared between architecture from multiple service providers in production at scale.
It can assist with improved network routing, load balancing, data security, and encryption, to name a few. Hybrid cloud methodologies are also frequently adopted to optimise the software development lifecycle for web publishing and mobile applications.
Over 90% of enterprise organisations expect to use a multi cloud service, such as hybrid cloud architecture, in their IT departments by the year 2020, and are actively seeking better public cloud migration solutions
Legacy software application and database modernisation is one of the primary trends currently driving hybrid cloud adoption. Cutting-edge business organisations are increasingly using hybrid cloud networking solutions to build artificial intelligence and machine learning functionality into their industrial manufacturing, ecommerce, and web publishing operations. The hybrid cloud supports complex data centre orchestration across multiple public cloud service providers and SaaS/PaaS products under one unified IT security policy for corporations, making it a viable solution for many enterprises.
How can it help cut costs?
Adopting hybrid cloud architecture can save enterprise businesses a lot of money over traditional data centre management and software development costs. organisations expect to save 40% to 50% of their annual IT spend on in-house or on-premise data centre costs by adopting hybrid cloud solutions. Cost savings derive primarily from the reduced price of commodity hardware for servers in hyper-scale facilities offered by public cloud service providers vs the investments required to operate on-premise private cloud data centre facilities. By adopting hybrid cloud methods, enterprise businesses lower the total cost required for IT services and technical support over time, as well as lower costs through more efficient hardware provisioning and use of resources in a data centre.
The benefits of a hybrid cloud solution beyond cost saving
Adopting hybrid cloud architecture allows businesses to implement best practices in building a Software-Defined Data Centre (SDDC). Hybrid cloud improves the automation of data centre processes through DevOps practices that build upon recent advances in virtualisation, multi-core processors, Software-Defined Networking (SDN), Agile programming teams, “Big Data” analytics, and enterprise database management. Hybrid cloud architecture can also improve data centre support for microservices, and allows increasing automation of web servers through elastic provisioning and container orchestration.
Hybrid cloud allows for developers and administrators to access real-time network monitoring analytics, as well as detailed historical metrics of user activity for a website, mobile app, or network installation. Improved network monitoring, virtual routing, and reverse-proxy load balancing lead to better performance speeds in production on web servers.
An example hybrid cloud solution that is generally able to be implemented quickly without infrastructure or application changes include:
- Systems of Record (SoR) and Systems of Engagement(SoE) integration – the linking of new social and mobile systems with core business systems that can record and track activities
Infographic: When it comes to storing information, running software, or hosting a database, businesses have the option to choose either a private data centre or a public cloud service provider.
The needs of your organisation will dictate as to whether you are able to implement a hybrid cloud solution quickly, without infrastructure or application changes – for example, the integration of a mobile system with a core record-keeping business system – or if a more complex deployment, including infrastructure or application changes, is required.
Modernising your company’s infrastructure by harnessing digital integrative services is a smart way to keep your business on the leading edge of technology. With a hybrid cloud, businesses can simultaneously manage multiple public cloud hardware accounts like Google, Microsoft Azure, and AWS in support of different processes or departments. SaaS/PaaS products can be integrated in a unified firewall, VPN, and encryption policy for better security using a variety of network utility tools.
Private cloud resources allow businesses to keep the most sensitive database and software information in an on-premise data centre, or a secure private data centre controlled by the enterprise. A “Zero Trust” policy implements encryption across all channels of IT operations in the public cloud to allow developers to publish code in a vendor-agnostic manner with security that is equivalent to or better than most in-house data centre constructs. Corporations can adopt open source solutions using OpenStack, Docker, Kubernetes, and other solutions, or build hybrid cloud architecture using proprietary data centre management software from VMware, Microsoft, HP, etc,
Hybrid cloud architecture combines private cloud resources in an on-premise data centre with public cloud service products, allowing businesses to move database and software applications between both for greater flexibility and more deployment options. A hybrid cloud permits a business to make its data as accessible as needed in support of software services while making extensive use of virtualisation in operations. A hypervisor provides shared kernel and driver support at the OS level for VM partitions, which enables administrators to partition large servers with multi-core CPUs, large RAM installs, and SSD/HDD storage arrays to run thousands of VMs simultaneously on single hardware units.
Software-Defined Networking (SDN) & High Availability (HA)
Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is based on virtualisation in a network environment where the servers, routers, and switches are coded into the platform as VM configuration standards rather than hardwired with physical equipment and firmware. SDN enables data centres to locate VMs across multiple international locations with different public cloud vendors or private cloud hardware using hybrid cloud integration features for High Availability (HA) requirements.
SDN permits large business organisations to make the most efficient use of new web server hardware with multi-core CPUs, large RAM installations, and SSD storage arrays. VMs allow IT administrators to partition network servers in support of multiple different user groups and hardware configurations simultaneously, with hardened isolation in multi-tenant environments using shared system resources at the OS kernel level through containers and hypervisor-level firewalls for greater data security.
Financial auditing, network monitoring and microservice support
With the benefits of both private and public clouds, you can use hybrid cloud architecture to optimise certain business processes, customer service, or improve legacy computing applications. Businesses use the private cloud for sensitive, business-critical operations like financial reporting, and the public cloud for high-volume, low-security needs such as email and website publishing.
Real-time network monitoring through the service mesh can be implemented for better load balancing on I/O traffic connections on data transfers in production when supporting microservices in VMs for faster speeds. Increased hardware allocation efficiency with virtualisation can be optimised by competitive bidding on cloud hardware spot resources over the life of a service contract to save costs in data centre management for enterprise corporations, government, education, and non-profit organisations.
Hybrid cloud architecture allows IT pros to build out complex support for software products as required for microservice support with programming languages, databases, and web server extensions.
Elasticity and automation
Many businesses have moved to public cloud hardware to take advantage of elastic web server platforms like AWS EC2, Azure Stack, and Kubernetes. Elastic web server platforms allow for better automation of data centre processes at scale, saving businesses money when compared to traditional methods of over-provisioning for peak resource usage. Ecommerce companies face traffic spikes and surges during holidays or sales promotions that need to be managed by greater levels of web server hardware provisioning. Platforms like Azure Stack, AWS EC2, VMware vCloud, OpenStack, and Kubernetes allow DevOps engineers to script data centre automation so that websites and mobile applications stay running across multiple hardware facilities in synchronisation, scaling up or scaling down VMs as required to meet the demands of user traffic in production. This automation is now a critical element of cloud data centre operations for the largest enterprise corporations worldwide.
Enterprise businesses that build and support their own software services for products or brands typically have large teams of programmers working together on solutions. The coders must collaborate on independent workstations using multiple programming tools, public cloud resources, and microservices. Hybrid cloud architecture is built on DevOps fundamentals to enable sandboxing, version control, automated testing, and Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) of new software applications in the Agile development process. This assists organisations in bringing new software features to market quicker, modernising applications, and maintaining security upgrades with rolling updates. Azure Stack, AWS EC2, Docker Swarm, and Kubernetes synchronise user data across multiple international data centre facilities for High-Availability (HA) requirements in order to meet standards of guaranteed uptime availability in SLAs for banking, finance, ecommerce, and other industry requirements.
Industries that suit a hybrid cloud model
The hybrid cloud offers multiple benefits for organisations with a myriad of potential SDDC options available to satisfy stakeholders. Financial services, insurance, banking, healthcare, industrial, and mass media companies all benefit from hybrid cloud architecture due to the ability to save money on data centre management at scale by outsourcing to remote operations. Statistics have shown that the hybrid cloud speeds IT delivery by more than 75% when compared to on-premise facilities and in-house network resource management. There are significant savings available in fibre, utility billing, human resource, facility, security, and hardware maintenance costs.
Some of the main commercial sectors in Australia that are adopting the hybrid cloud model are:
- Banking & Finance: Used to manage online software applications at scale with encryption for credit card processing, ecommerce, and accounting websites.
- Telco Cloud: Optimal for high-traffic LTE, 3G/4G/5G, and ISP requirements through virtualised data centre deployments using NFV templates and SaaS products.
- Healthcare Organisations: A hybrid cloud makes it easier to access client data and medical records with the security needed for IT audit requirements.
- Industrial Engineering: Manufacturing is choosing hybrid cloud solutions to increase flexibility when managing IoT, edge servers, and proprietary code.
- News Publishing: Journalists can publish videos and information from essential stakeholders more quickly through CMS websites hosted on the public cloud.
Every business has a completely unique set of IT requirements that need to be customised to facilitate the specialised workflow, manufacturing, archive, or publishing needs of the organisation. These requirements include support for both public-facing services and internal operations. Enterprise businesses choose hybrid cloud to improve:
- Control: A company can take advantage of hybrid cloud architecture to gain a competitive edge, streamline operations and modernise legacy applications.
- Agility: Hybrid cloud provides companies with the ability to change direction and adapt quickly to new market trends or user requests for new software features.
- Flexibility: Companies can take advantage of public cloud resources to increase productivity through Microservices or SaaS/PaaS products with data security.
- Cost-Effectiveness: With “pay as you go” billing and competitive bidding on spot pricing, the hybrid cloud reduces IT costs by 25%-40% compared to in-house solutions.
- Security: A company can maintain a private infrastructure for sensitive data and assets while using the public cloud for low-security information with encryption.
- Ease of Use: It’s easy to transition to the cloud gradually, phasing in workloads over time and when needed, as well as to manage multiple programming teams.
- Microservices: Hybrid cloud allows businesses to ensure they have the right environment for the workload to support required Microservices in production.
Enterprise corporations and other organisations can choose between the characteristics of a private and/or public cloud to run different workloads and software applications as required for their IT operations. Companies benefit from the hybrid cloud in several ways, most notably because it gives businesses control, flexibility, cost-effectiveness, security, and ease. The use of Managed Service Partners (MSPs) is now common in enterprise corporations for hybrid cloud orchestration as another means to save money on data centre costs and human resources, through access to expert talent with guaranteed proficiency and experience in the platforms adopted.
Introducing Microsoft Azure Cloud Solutions
Harbour IT partners with Microsoft Azure Cloud to offer organisations the best in hybrid cloud solutions with a focus on data security and private cloud construction. Many business owners prefer Microsoft solutions for their data centres and are not willing to host their most sensitive information on public cloud hardware. By implementing Azure Stack in a fully-managed private cloud that integrates with Azure Cloud resources on elastic fundamentals, Harbour IT builds hybrid cloud architecture for clients that implements the latest in Software Defined Data Centre (SDDC) technological innovation. We support programming languages and database formats on web servers for cloud software hosting as well as internal business operations for manufacturing, banking, finance, and insurance companies as our core focus areas.
Choosing the best cloud platform service combination
Your specific data applications, workload, and storage needs will determine which type of cloud is best suited to your business. To help you to choose the best cloud solution, the following list breaks down the three main cloud models and their advantages:
The public cloud is one of the most commonly used methods of deploying cloud computing. The public cloud, including its storage and servers, is managed by a third-party cloud service provider. The public cloud delivers a high-volume shared computing resource, accessible through a portal, control panel or Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Many businesses choose public cloud solutions for quick software deployment and the ability to deliver websites or mobile apps with Agile teams. Public cloud hardware is recommended for High-Availability (HA) requirements and elastic, auto-scaling capabilities. The public cloud also extends a company’s IT services and capabilities to cloud bursting, deploying applications that normally run on a private cloud into the public cloud to handle peak demands. Public cloud deployments are frequently used to provide web-based email, online/offline applications, storage, and testing for development. The public cloud is effective in disaster recovery by restoring important data if there has been an outage.
The private cloud model works exclusively for a business, providing enterprise-grade hardware, networking, and storage located on-premises, a co-location data centre, or fully-managed private cloud service. Businesses are receptive to the private cloud because it allows them to solve any number of direct business challenges. Private clouds are designed for flexibility. They allow for the changing needs of fast-paced businesses to be scaled to match with the cloud. The private cloud has the added feature of increased security and is ideal for businesses with compliance responsibilities, data sovereignty, or clients who are hosting highly sensitive data. The ability to have direct control and oversight of IT assets is also a favourable feature of the private cloud, making it ideal for businesses with small IT departments or branch offices.
The hybrid cloud is a perfect mix of both public and private models, combining private infrastructure with public clouds to allow data and applications to move freely between the two. A hybrid cloud model gives businesses the ability to store secure information privately while maintaining the ease and flexibility of the public cloud structure. This flexibility allows access to important data when needed and removes the complexity of transitioning to the cloud by migrating gradually over time. The hybrid cloud also offers disaster recovery, software development lifecycle management, code testing, and cloud bursting that is distributed across multiple data centres and providers for High Availability (HA).
Moving toward a hybrid cloud approach
Harbour IT recommends Microsoft Azure solutions for enterprise business organisations that need Software-Defined Data Centre (SDDC) management and High-Availability (HA) of online resources. We support enterprise private cloud orchestration requirements and hybrid cloud architecture through major public cloud service providers including Azure, AWS, Google Managing your business database and software applications in hybrid cloud architecture ensures a seamless, secure, and successful solution for the support of IT operations.
If you’re starting your cloud journey and need an expert to guide you on hybrid cloud architecture, speak to the team at Harbour IT and let us assist you in delivering innovative new data centre solutions for multi-cloud management with container virtualisation to your business organisation.