In the world of Cybersecurity and IT, one thing is for certain: There is no lack of techno jargon. It seems like every day there are new terms coming out, and the latest jargon seems to be about a “Hybrid” model. Although the hybrid concept has been around for quite some time, it has gained much more attention since the Remote Workforce became a permanent reality in the American economy.
In this article, we take a look at two popular hybrid models: the Hybrid Cloud and Hybrid IT.
The Hybrid Cloud Model Combines Public and Private Clouds
Ever since COVID-19 hit, companies have been moving to a Cloud-based infrastructure, for the obvious benefits (which were covered in a previous article). But not many people realize that there is more than one “flavor” of the Cloud. There are different variations of it, and the two most recognizable are the Public Cloud and the Private Cloud. So, what is the difference between the two?
- The Public Cloud refers to the resources available from a Cloud provider, resources that are accessible to anyone, at any time. For example, when you open an account, you will have access to a control panel which will give you the look and feel of your own server. But the fact of the matter is that the resources you use in your account are actually shared with many others (known as “tenants”) on the same platform, in a safe and secure manner.
- With the Private Cloud, however, your Cloud account is hosted on a dedicated, virtual machine which is your own. Although you will still have the same benefits of the Public Cloud, the resources that you use are only available to you and other authorized employees in your company.
- So, a Hybrid Cloud is a combination of both the Public Cloud and the Private Cloud, and given the complex requirements of the Remote Workforce, many companies are now opting to take this approach. One advantage of is that you can share information and data across the two platforms.
What is the Hybrid IT model?
Some companies simply cannot make a full transition to a Cloud-based environment, whether it be the AWS or Microsoft Azure. This is primarily because these companies are still running legacy-based systems which need to be located On Premises (also known as “On Prem”). So, a Hybrid IT model is one where a company has part of its IT infrastructure on a Cloud platform, and the other part at the brick-and-mortar location of the business.
One of the primary reasons why a business would take this approach is that they still want to have control over their digital assets, and not simply hand everything over to the Cloud provider.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Hybrid Cloud Model
The advantages of the Hybrid Cloud model are as follows:
- You can move workloads between the Public Cloud and Private Cloud as needed to meet your business objectives and requirements.
- Processes that must be guaranteed 100% uptime can be moved quickly to the Private Cloud, while those that are less sensitive can remain in the Public Cloud. This will give you a great balance in terms of optimization and cost savings.
The disadvantages of the Hybrid Cloud model are:
- The costs of using a Hybrid Cloud model can be far greater than simply using services and software applications on demand in the Public Cloud.
- There could be some components of your On Prem infrastructure that are simply too outdated to be moved into the Cloud on the first attempt. Therefore, you will have to find a way to “modernize” them so that they can be transitioned over. This can sometimes incur greater expenses.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Hybrid IT Model
The advantages of the Hybrid IT model are as follows:
- For companies that are hesitant to completely trust the Cloud environment, they can leave a big part of their IT infrastructure On Prem. They can then migrate other, smaller portions of it to the Cloud to see how well it works for them.
- Once the company is ready to make a 100% commitment to the Cloud, they can move their entire IT infrastructure over to the Cloud using a phased-in approach.
The disadvantages of the Hybrid IT model are:
- You and your IT department are still responsible for the security and maintenance of all servers and other devices that are associated with them. This includes keeping up with a regular software patch and upgrade schedule, to ensure that all software licensing is current.
- It will take more resources to monitor the health of your On Prem infrastructure on a 24/7, year-round basis. This may necessitate hiring more employees to keep tabs on everything involved.
Banks and other financial institutions can use both approaches to fulfill their requirements. For example, if your workforce is almost 100% remote, then using a Hybrid Cloud approach would be best. That way, your employees can access whatever shared resources they need in a secure manner, from just about any device. However, if you are still running legacy systems, such as older versions of Windows OS, your best option would be to use the Hybrid IT model, as described.
Ravi Das is a Cybersecurity Consultant and Business Development Specialist. He also does Cybersecurity Consulting through his private practice, RaviDas Tech, Inc. He is also studying for his Certificate In Cybersecurity through the ISC2.