Understanding Hybrid Cloud

On 15 septembre 2020

If 2019 was the year of the crowning of Cloud computing, 2020 and the years to come  will undoubtedly be those of the hybrid cloud.

What are the differences between cloud computing and the hybrid cloud? Who are the key players in the hybrid cloud and how do they influence the market? The answers to your questions are in this article.

Cloud Computing: a reminder of what we know

What is cloud computing ?

Canadians poetically call it ” computing in a cloud”, it could be translated in French as “cloud computing”, Cloud Computing (more commonly known as the Cloud) is a set of IT resources and services accessible to individuals, companies or communities, anywhere in the world and at any time. These services and data, synchronised with other information, are accessible from a provider via the Internet. Indeed, the particularity of the Cloud is to be a paying service on demand which allows you  access to IT resources without having to deal with the construction and maintenance of IT infrastructures internally.

Cloud Computing offers many services:

  • storage
  • Web hosting
  • virtual machines
  • software

the list is long…

These services are classified into different types:

  • IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service: servers, virtual machines, networks etc.
  • PaaS: Platform as a Service: a complete platform on which the customer can rely for his needs. Example: Salesforce’s CRM solution.
  • SaaS: Software as a Service: full-fledged applications accessed remotely. Simple example: or are messaging clients in SaaS mode.
  • serverless: specific application features. Example: Azure SQL serverless Database  which provides on-demandcomputing power for SQL Servers.

Advantages and disadvantages of the cloud

This technology has many advantages such as:

  • Self-service offers consumers storage capacity and computing power to meet their needs, and pay-per-use allows them access according to their financial means.
  • The flexibility and immediacy of this system make it possible to satisfy and instantly modulate demand.
  • The pooling of resources promotes their adaptation to fluctuating demand and thus makes it possible to achieve significant savings.

However, a number of disadvantages are today pointed out:

  • Data security is often questioned when using public networks. The use of the Cloud poses risks of cyber attacks and impediments to confidentiality for both individuals and businesses.
  • The question of the long term is often raised: according to experts, continuous and prolonged access will inevitably lead to an increase in the cost of the service, with ever increasing use of bandwidth.
  • A significant ecological impact that can contribute to global warming due to ever increasing energy consumption. Remember that 4G consumes 20 times more energy than a wired connection and that without 4G, there is no Cloud, the two go hand in hand!

The private cloud

Also called the internal  corporate cloud, the private cloud is intended entirely for a single company, therefore for a limited number of authorised users. This model allows companies to benefit from the management, control and security facilities of the Cloud while prioritising self-service, speed and adaptability to demand and the need for resources. In addition, in the private cloud, the security and confidentiality of operations and data are subject to personalised management, specific to the needs of each company. On the other hand, the costs generated (management, maintenance, personnel) by the private cloud in a company are the same as those of a local infrastructure.

The public cloud

The public cloud provides computer, storage and application services, provided by a third party, available to the public via the Internet. These services are therefore accessible to anyone wishing to use or purchase them. Public Cloud services are accessible within a minute or hour of the request and payment being made. Some services are free and, when the service is chargeable, billing relates only to the CPU cycles, storage or bandwidth consumed. Used by many companies, the public cloud offers the advantage of greater operating speed as well as greater flexibility of use than the private cloud. It is also less expensive since management and maintenance are the responsibility of the cloud service provider and no longer the company’s IT department. The main public cloud providers are Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, IBM, and Google Compute Engine. However, the public cloud has its detractors, because its reliability in terms of security is often questioned despite the use of intrusion detection and prevention systems. The issue of data confidentiality is often a delicate subject: it means  that an American company which offers services in France cannot  be forced to transmit confidential information to the American authorities. Cloud service providers have been able to respond by setting up Data centres in several strategic locations around the world to ensure the segregation of the competent authorities.

Hybrid Cloud

The particularities of the hybrid cloud

It’s all in the statement: as its name suggests, hybrid cloud is a cross between private cloud, public cloud and an on-premise platform. This technology has the advantage of offering a personalised solution to companies by adapting to their specific needs while guaranteeing them a high level of security. Adopting a hybrid solution means mixing an On-Premise platform and a Cloud platform. Indeed, some large companies have had their own IT architecture for a long time and have decided to add Cloud services to meet their changing needs by benefiting from this famous elasticity inherent in the Cloud.

What is an On-Premise system?

On-Premise means “on site” in French. For a long time, many computer systems have operated on-premise, that is to say that the software used by the company has been purchased and installed on its own servers which constitute a complete infrastructure (database servers, hosting servers, software servers, storage servers, etc.). An on-premise infrastructure necessarily presents a controlled level of security and therefore in theory the maximum. However, this infrastructure requires regular maintenance: hardware upgrades, software updates, security patches. Companies can sometimes choose to continue using versions of software that have become obsolete or are forced to make new investments to carry out updates with interventions from publishers. Here again, we can doubt the economic side of the operation.

The advantages of hybrid cloud

The advantage of a hybrid system is that it can use several solutions at the same time. There are many reasons why a business can use a hybrid cloud infrastructure and find many benefits:

  • The On-Premise platform requires a lot of management time: migrating a part to a hybrid cloud makes it possible to alleviate this constraint.
  • Opting for a hybrid cloud allows you to continue to guarantee the security and confidentiality of your sensitive data while benefiting from the flexibility of the Cloud to meet new needs.
  • The software installed in Saas (Software as a Service) as well as its updates and new functionalities are maintained and managed by the service provider .
  •  The two synchronised types of platforms (On-Premise and Cloud) communicate securely with each other  for simultaneous and reliable operation.

Hybrid Cloud players in 2020

Here are the hybrid market leaders in 2020:

  • Microsoft Azure: pioneer in the field, reconciles its Azure Cloud with its historical model around Windows.
  • AWS: Amazon Web Services
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • SoftLayer by IBM
  • Alibaba Cloud
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Cisco Systems

The hybrid cloud market

The hybrid cloud market saw  phenomenal growth in 2020: it is estimated to represent the most important segment, with an increase of 16.5% compared to 2019, or an estimate of 116 billion dollars for the year 2020. Microsoft’s Azure Cloud is expected to continue its impressive rise with almost 20% market share. AWS (Amazon) remains the market leader with, however, a penetration rate that stabilizes below 40%.

Behind these two market giants, the other players are observing reasonable growth without however managing to gain ground, because the competition is fierce and it is not easy to earn one’s stripes as a leader. However, some could find a lifeline thanks to edge computing, a new form of architecture for loT (Internet Of Things) environments. Indeed, all the indicators predict the rise of connected objects in the years to come. It is therefore a niche to explore and especially not to be neglected. To counter the competition, some are positioning themselves differently. IBM is investing in supporting application modernisation projects while Google Cloud seems on the starting blocks to complete its European conquest: it is rumoured that the opening of a Cloud region in France is  imminent, after Germany, England, Belgium, Finland and the Netherlands.

To conclude, we can already say that, following the Covid-19 pandemic, the Cloud will certainly experience further development with the increase in remote work. The Cloud is fast becoming an essential tool for ensuring business continuity. It therefore does not seem foolish to say that the hybrid cloud market now has a bright future ahead of it.

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