A hybrid cloud is an integrated cloud service utilizing both private and public clouds to perform distinct functions within the same organization. All cloud computing services should offer certain efficiencies to differing degrees but public cloud services are likely to be more cost efficient and scalable than private clouds. Therefore, an organization can maximize their efficiencies by employing public cloud services for all non-sensitive operations, only relying on a private cloud where they require it and ensuring that all of their platforms are seamlessly integrated.
Hybrid cloud models can be implemented in a number of ways:
- Separate cloud providers team up to provide both private and public services as an integrated service
- Individual cloud providers offer a complete hybrid package
- Organizations who manage their private clouds themselves sign up to a public cloud service which they then integrate into their infrastructure
In practice, an enterprise could implement hybrid cloud hosting to host their eCommerce website within a private cloud, where it is secure and scalable, but their brochure site in a public cloud, where it is more cost effective (and security is less of a concern). Alternatively, an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering, for example, could follow the hybrid cloud model and provide a financial business with storage for client data within a private cloud, but then allow collaboration on project planning documents in the public cloud – where they can be accessed by multiple users from any convenient location.