Hybrid cloud storage, explained

Companies today handle more data and IT workloads than ever. In the battle to take control of all of that information, hybrid cloud storage offers a solution that’s both practical and strategic.

Practical, because hybrid cloud solutions allow businesses to efficiently manage the cost of data storage. Strategic, because companies that use the hybrid cloud enjoy the IT flexibility they need to earn competitive advantages, including better quality of service to their customers.

In fact, new research from IDC has found that hybrid cloud is a popular IT strategy among “Digital Leaders” – those companies moving the fastest toward digital transformation. According to the findings, 44 percent of Digital Leaders plan to use the hybrid cloud in the future, compared to 36 percent for their competitors. On top of that, 28 percent already use the hybrid cloud, compared to just 11 percent of the rest.

The results indicate a growing move toward hybrid cloud, especially among companies who want to be considered leaders in their industry. But what exactly is hybrid cloud, and why should you consider it for your IT environment?

Advantages of hybrid cloud

Put simply, hybrid cloud storage combines the use of privately owned cloud storage and public cloud services. Some data and workloads are stored in your data centre, the rest in a third-party provider’s facility. It’s a strategy that offers several benefits:

  • Security – Hybrid cloud allows you to determine the best security mix for your data. You could choose to continue hosting the most sensitive information from your private cloud, while taking advantage of the performance and agility of the public cloud.
  • Agility – Hybrid cloud also gives you agility. You can take advantage of each platform’s strengths to meet changing customer requirements. For example, it may be much faster and easier to deploy customer applications from the public cloud, while internal workloads may be better managed in-house.
  • Performance – With hybrid cloud, you don’t need to sacrifice performance for security, or vice versa. Instead, you have the flexibility to harness the compute power of the public cloud along with the safety of the private cloud.
  • Flexibility – Maintaining a private facility is expensive. You have to pay for that space, equipment, staff and infrastructure. Hybrid cloud offers budget flexibility, because you can choose where to store different types of data based on what makes the most financial sense.

What next for hybrid cloud?

The bottom line is that hybrid cloud is a more dynamic solution for corporate IT management. It gives your business total control to decide where to store and deploy data, applications and workloads. That leads to cost efficiency and IT flexibility, two cornerstones to a growing, scalable business.

It’s no surprise, then, that companies say hybrid cloud will be an important part of their long-term IT strategy going forward. In our survey, 44 percent of respondents said they plan to use hybrid cloud as a transition to a fully-cloud IT strategy. On the other hand, 28 percent said they plan to make hybrid cloud their main IT strategy for the foreseeable future. Whatever your approach, you’ll gain flexibility, agility, performance and security. That’s why hybrid cloud is here to stay.