Hybrid Cloud Environments: Definitions and Uses
As the world becomes increasingly digitized, government agencies are adopting cloud computing solutions to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance their services. The hybrid cloud model, which combines public and private cloud infrastructure, provides an excellent solution for agencies that require greater flexibility and control over their data while maintaining high levels of security and compliance.
In this FAQ page, we will address some of the common questions about hybrid cloud use by government agencies, such as its benefits, challenges, and different options for implementation.
What Is the Difference Between Cloud and Hybrid Cloud?
A hybrid cloud is a type of cloud environment that uses two or more cloud infrastructures in its operations. These cloud infrastructures could be private clouds, public clouds and on-premises IT infrastructure. The combination of these different models enables data to transfer between these environments in the hybrid cloud model. The important differentiating factor between multi-cloud and hybrid environments is that multi-cloud doesn’t use on-premises infrastructure, but hybrid cloud infrastructure does.
Benefits of switching to a hybrid cloud include:
- More deployment options
- Increased ability to scale a business (with computing resources)
- Operates in conjunction with existing on-premises infrastructure
What Are Hybrid Clouds in Cloud Computing?
In the context of cloud computing, hybrid environments are those that use a mixture of computing, storage and services to run applications for a business. This means a minimum of two environments, which can either be a private and a public cloud, two or more public clouds, or two or more private clouds.
What Are Examples of Hybrid Clouds?
There are many real-world examples of hybrid clouds that people use in daily life without realizing. Popular hybrid cloud platforms that link public and private resources over the internet include:
- AWS Storage Gateway
- Google Application Suite (Gmail, Google Drive and Google Apps)
- Office 365 (MS Office, OneDrive etc.)
- Azure Stack
These hybrid cloud services provide cloud and on-premise storage solutions to users.
How Can a Hybrid Cloud Be Used in Application Hosting?
Unlike legacy applications, a hybrid cloud adoption gives companies with on-premise storage the ability to move some IT infrastructure to the cloud. Applications can be hosted both on-premises and also replicated in the cloud as backup data. This is key for disaster recovery in case on-site application hosting fails.
Which Are the Most Common Uses of Hybrid Clouds for Government Agencies?
Government agencies use hybrid clouds for a wide range of applications, especially now that there is such a high post-pandemic demand for remote workflows. Because many federal agencies are allowing employees to adopt a hybrid work model where they spend part of the week in the office and part of the week at home, hybrid cloud usage lets workers in the public sector log in remotely and access sensitive data while maintaining a sufficient level of security.
Hybrid cloud management helps government agencies retain their private cloud, ensuring data security and expanding their services to the public cloud so employees can safely access workplace applications from home. Hybrid cloud specialists also suggest that this model improves scalability by reducing costs because resources only need to be paid for as required.
Some common hybrid cloud architectures in federal agencies include the following:
Government agencies can integrate technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML) with the Internet of Things (IoT) or mobile. With a hybrid cloud, they have the ability to do this quickly and without investing in physical hardware.
Updating Data Centers
Government agencies are using hybrid clouds to update how their data centers operate. Going virtual with information storage and processing offers better opportunities to scale as the organization or department grows.
Federal agencies also use hybrid clouds to better manage compliance when sending or receiving sensitive data across public, private and on-premises servers. The hybrid cloud centralizes security and makes data governance easier to oversee.
Flexible, Scalable and Secure
Hybrid cloud adoption is becoming increasingly popular among government agencies as it provides a flexible and scalable solution for their data management needs. With the ability to store sensitive data on-premises and non-sensitive data on the public cloud, hybrid cloud offers a balance between security and cost-effectiveness. Government agencies can also leverage the cloud’s agility and innovation to improve their service delivery and citizen engagement.
However, it is crucial for these agencies to carefully consider their data governance policies and ensure compliance with applicable regulations. When implemented properly, the hybrid cloud model can help government agencies work more efficiently while maintaining a secure IT infrastructure.
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