A growing global emphasis on the benefits of cloud technology is stimulating the demand for investing in a hybrid cloud computing environment.

With huge volumes of data being generated by the onset of artificial intelligence, blockchain, and big data & analytics, companies are under pressure to adopt cloud computing solutions to manage their needs.

While public cloud systems are relatively cheap, the associated security concerns are high, while private cloud services are seen as offering a higher level of security but at a much higher cost. Therefore, most organisations are looking to opt for a hybrid cloud solution: a combination of private and public cloud implementation models.

Hybrid Cloud is a cloud computing platform that mixes private cloud and third-party public cloud offerings and allows workloads to move between the two platforms in line with changing computing needs and costs, providing more data deployment options and flexibility.

The promise of hybrid solutions is that it offers a high level of security for critical workloads and high-performance computing to run routine business processes.

It also offers the required scalability that helps businesses to manage unexpected surges in workload and by automating workflow, organisations are able to make resources available when required, giving much-needed agility to run their business efficiently.

The hybrid deployment model also helps businesses to offer their own products and services more quickly and efficiently. Hybrid is also seen as the best cloud implementation model in terms of disaster recovery.

While the private cloud offers excellent control over data, it is not immune from failure, which is why a hybrid solution, which allows for the transference of workload to public servers, can enable a speedy restoration and avoid a complete system breakdown.

Hybrid investment

While the hybrid cloud is naturally attracting investment from the information and communications technology industry, investment is also coming from hardware technology manufacturers and the retail, financial services and healthcare services.

Banking and financial service providers are taking up the hybrid cloud model as a way of reducing their downtime in the event systems go down, while the healthcare sector, on the other hand, favours hybrid cloud as a way of limiting the information that it preferred was not available on the public cloud, while shifting more critical workloads to the private cloud. Meanwhile, the retail sector has been adopting the hybrid cloud to cut costs by scaling up resources based on industry-specific demand surges.

In wake of Industry 4.0 and fuelled by the rapidly changing business dynamics, businesses are seeking to have what is termed stronger application mobility and improved interoperable platforms, which is driving hybrid cloud implementation.

Recent developments

Currently, Amazon, Microsoft, and VMWare are the top hybrid cloud providers and other major technology companies such as IBM, Apple, Google, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Oracle, Rackspace are growing at faster and stronger pace.

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Top companies are also partnering to offer better services. Cisco is partnering with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to offer hybrid Kubernetes environment – where cloud computing customers can keep their applications and sensitive data off remote servers. Under the partnership, Cisco will combine its software and hardware with AWS cloud-computing power.

On the other hand, Intel partnered with Alibaba to launch an edge computing platform, which is an open architecture for internet-enabled applications to process artificial intelligence. The edge computing platform comprises Intel processors, silicon acceleration technologies, and software with Alibaba cloud products like its operating system for internet applications. Cisco partnered with Google to offer security in modernisation and transformation of an enterprise. Cisco is combining its networking and security portfolio with Google cloud services. The services offer multi-cloud orchestration and enterprise-grade networking security.

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