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Many changes have occurred in the last few years that have forced businesses to examine their agility and resilience. The way organisations operate and function has required agility that has been a major driver in the increased adoption of hybrid IT infrastructure.
Leveraging cloud computing agility while retaining control over resources that aren’t suited to the cloud environment is a big component of the hybrid IT model. Hybrid IT infrastructure unquestionably has led to lower costs and improved efficiency by combining the best of both on- and off-premises IT. It also supports regulatory compliance and enterprise security, while providing flexibility to scale up or down as business needs change.
Hybrid infrastructure – what is it?
A hybrid IT environment combines on-premise resources and cloud resources, allowing enterprises to use physical infrastructure for certain workloads and virtual infrastructure for other workloads, to produce a higher-performance set of resources.
For example, manufacturing firms that need to ensure production lines are always online for continuous operations may choose to keep certain infrastructure on-premises to avoid downtime if internet access is lost and cloud-dependent applications are unable to operate. Rather than rely on cloud infrastructure for operations, they may choose to backup or archive data to the cloud instead. Businesses using an enterprise resource planning software platform (ERP) can choose public cloud hosting to maximise elastic capacity, so as the workload changes, the software can expand/contract as needed.
Hybrid infrastructure can allow organisations to meet a variety of infrastructure demands while also reducing the upfront expenditure for a single-solution infrastructure. Hybrid IT allows your organisation to maintain or downsize what is not required from traditional on-site IT infrastructure while taking advantage of cloud-based services that are effortlessly migrated. Business-critical data workloads and applications are important to business agility and furthering digital transformation efforts. Choosing infrastructure resources to power them is critical.
Hybrid cloud versus hybrid IT
Hybrid cloud and hybrid IT are often used in place of one another, but they’re not the same thing:
A hybrid cloud environment combines public and private cloud services, so data and applications can be shared between them. Hybrid cloud is an element of hybrid IT.
Hybrid IT environments combine in-house data centres with public, private, and hybrid services to deliver data, apps, and services.
Hybrid IT infrastructure options
How to configure hybrid IT infrastructure can vary, depending on where it is being hosted, either by the organisation or a cloud provider. The big benefit of opting for hybrid IT infrastructure is it allows slow cloud migration, so your more critical and sensitive systems remain on-premise and use hosted cloud for less vital applications.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS is the most popular form of cloud computing used by businesses. It allows companies to access their crucial business software through a web browser or dedicated mobile app rather than installing the software on their computers. A good example of SaaS is Microsoft 365, a productivity suite encompassing Office apps and communication and collaboration tools, all accessed via the cloud.
Businesses do not have to purchase and maintain infrastructure, upgrade systems, or worry about keeping software up-to-date with SaaS applications. It is an excellent choice for companies that manage a distributed workforce, including remote workers and employees who work all or part of their time in a central office. SaaS solutions can be used to access on-premise data storage, providing users with greater privacy and control.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Infrastructure as a service, or IaaS, allows organisations to run IT processes, store data, host applications, and automate business processes on self-service and outsourced infrastructure services.
With virtual machines, servers, networking, storage, and data layers provided remotely by IaaS vendors, those elements may be accessed locally via a wide area network connection. It may include monitoring capabilities, audit trails, security protocols, node clustering, backup and recovery, and elasticity and availability functions. IaaS enables businesses to scale IT resources up and down as needed. It avoids the expense of physical servers and infrastructure management. Microsoft Azure manages infrastructure, while businesses purchase, install and configure operating systems, applications, and software required.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
PaaS refers to the provision of both tools and infrastructure through a Platform as a service (PaaS) framework. PaaS options are usually required by companies that wish to build and maintain their applications without needing to set up servers and operating systems. Web services, app services, database services, etc. are all examples of other platforms. PaaS is particularly popular with companies who want to build and maintain their applications with the greatest cost-effectiveness.
Hybrid IT infrastructure options for your business
The right hybrid infrastructure configuration can be influenced by a variety of factors, including industry, client base, and size. A strategic decision about hybrid IT infrastructure can benefit your organisation in all the ways that a strong and strategic cloud can, giving you increased flexibility and security. The IT infrastructure specialists at INTELLIWORX can help you create the best hybrid infrastructure for your organisation. Talk to them today.