Hybrid Cloud Storage
What is Hybrid Cloud Storage?
Hybrid cloud storage is when some enterprise data is stored on public clouds, while other data remains inside private clouds or on-premises databases. The two distinct infrastructures are bound together within an organization’s data landscape by technology that enables data portability.
Current storage trends
The vast majority of enterprises continue to acquire traditional technology with an upfront capital purchase where the purchaser “owns” the asset. In fact, only 29% use a hybrid model for their storage needs. This persists despite an urgent need for businesses to be agile and able to rapidly adapt to changing market, consumer, and regulatory conditions.
Why do organizations resist the cloud?
Some businesses shy away from using the cloud because they have already invested heavily in on-premises infrastructure, have regulatory or compliance concerns about cloud security, or lack in-house expertise in running cloud applications. However, businesses can get the same agility, scalability, and even pay-as-you-go structure with hybrid cloud solutions—even while using on-premises data centers as part of the landscape.
Security in hybrid cloud
In hybrid cloud environments, enterprise IT has control over where data resides and what security policies will govern each data pool. This way, IT gains the best of both public and private cloud—flexibility and control simultaneously.
However, that flexibility can lead to security inconsistencies because in some cloud architectures (like SaaS), fully duplicating security policies can be impossible. It also requires significantly more administrative skill to monitor and act on threats when vulnerable resources reside in different environments.
What kinds of hybrid cloud storage are there?
Users can select from a few storage options, including unstructured and structured capacities. Unstructured or “raw” storage capacity comes in the form of object stores, files, and block services.
Structured storage capacities allow the user to work with the database interfaces for more control. Providers may limit users to the proprietary query language or allow traditional query languages, such as SQL and NoSQL.
How is hybrid cloud storage used?
Organizations use hybrid cloud storage to enable agility and scalability and to modernize interfaces while keeping them partially on-premises. Typical use cases include:
- Business continuity and disaster recovery: Hybrid cloud storage can be used when organizations want to keep core data on-premises but allow the business to continue operating during a system failure. By replicating the data in the cloud, enterprises essentially switch workloads to the cloud while repairing or recovering production systems.
- Remote workplaces: During lockdown, organizations deployed hybrid cloud storage to allow remote access to data while maintaining workload productivity and efficiency.
- Website efficiency: Object stores in a hybrid cloud setup can be used for primary data that customer-facing websites access directly from the cloud. This saves on storage hardware and improves site performance.
- Faster data retrieval: Users often separate archives from frequently used data and place the dormant data in the cloud. This speeds retrieval times for accessing the primary data.
- Security and regulatory compliance: Organizations with regulatory compliance issues often use a private cloud to store sensitive data, while using on-premises hardware or public cloud to store VMs and applications.
- Analytics and machine learning: Hybrid cloud storage providers offer AI-driven predictive analytics to speed troubleshooting and enable uptime for business databases.
- Container optimization: Using hybrid cloud storage, companies can get more out of their containers that are used to move data more easily.
Advantages and disadvantages of hybrid cloud storage
- Speed up business outcomes: By using hybrid cloud storage, users don’t have to wait to requisition and procure additional on-premises capacity. Once data is replicated in the cloud, lines of businesses and developers can start running queries within minutes.
- Increase visibility: Most providers offer a central data management console that allows users to view usage and spend, as well as detailed insights into capacity trends.
- Cost savings: With hybrid cloud storage, users can pay as they go rather than shelling out upfront capital to purchase and provision additional on-premises storage infrastructure. This ability enables financial clarity with variable monthly payments based on actual usage.
- Scale on demand: Using hybrid cloud storage, users can access additional capacity in minutes, not months, which allows users to limit the risks of over-provisioning and under-provisioning.
- Free up IT resources: In a hybrid cloud storage model, routine tasks can be managed by the service provider, which allows IT to focus on strategic business initiatives instead.
- Increased complexity: With two or more storage locations, at least two sets of IT infrastructure must be managed with software designed to handle the multiple locations.
- Higher latency: With data moving to and from the cloud, communication speeds are slower than between infrastructure components in one location.
- Increased management: Hybrid cloud storage comes with the need to manage multiple supplier contracts and system management tools.
How does HPE help with hybrid cloud storage?
As a three-time recognized leader by the Gartner® Magic QuadrantTM for Primary Storage, HPE offers a complete vision of how to optimize hybrid cloud storage and an unsurpassed ability to execute. We provide edge-to-cloud expertise to help you run your hybrid IT with optimal performance, reliability, cost efficiency, and performance.
For example, HPE GreenLake Management Services for hybrid cloud enables you to offload management of your hybrid cloud environment so you can focus on your business. Subscribers gain a seamless connection that unifies IT Ops management across physical and virtual infrastructure in public and private clouds. With HPE GreenLake, you can deliver business outcomes faster and unlock the full potential of your data with cloud services for storage, optimized for all your workloads.
HPE Edge-to-Cloud Adoption Framework offers a set of field-tested best practices for organizations considering making a transition to private, hybrid, or multi-cloud systems. Using extensive experience in public cloud transformation and modernization to on-premises cloud and leadership in edge computing and networking, our experts will help guide you through your cloud transformation journey.