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Are Hybrid Environments a Compromise or the Best of All Worlds?

Hybrid. As a word, it can mean different things to different people. In the dictionary, one of the definitions is something made up of mixed parts.

But for many people today, when they hear “hybrid,” they think of something that is built from a couple of different things that achieves a desired goal, but also includes some compromises.

For example, the modern hybrid automobile is a great way to improve gas efficiency by combining a gas engine with some electric vehicle capabilities. The end result isn’t as fuel efficient as a pure electric car, and typically not as fast as a high-performance sports car, but the vehicle does achieve its goal of fuel efficiency.

However, this view of hybrid is not necessarily true of all things that use the term. In fact, there are some things that are “hybrid” that have the best capabilities of all the different parts, so you end up with something that is better than its individual pieces.

In this case the real question becomes, which one of these definitions does hybrid cloud fit under? Are hybrid environments a compromise that lack the best capabilities of the public cloud, private cloud and on-premises server elements that they’re comprised of? Let’s see how far this myth can travel.

From a public cloud perspective, the benefits seem pretty clear. With public cloud, businesses have lower implementation costs, high flexibility and scalability and strong disaster recovery capabilities.

But there are also tradeoffs. They have less ability to manage, analyze and optimize these external environments from a performance perspective. And they lack the direct control and instant access that comes from on-premises systems.

With private cloud, servers and on other on-premises environments, organizations get that direct control, plus more security options, and improved management, but this comes at the cost of less flexibility, higher startup costs, and increased need for backup and disaster recovery when compared to public cloud.

These tradeoffs are one of the reason hybrid environments are so attractive. But is hybrid just a compromise somewhere between the pros and cons of public and on-premises systems?

Aberdeen research shows that the answer is a definite no.

With hybrid environments, businesses clearly get the best of all worlds. Implemented correctly, they have the fast, direct and secure management capabilities of on-premises, integrated with the flexibility, scalability and agility of public cloud.

Even more important, once the hybrid environment is effectively deployed, businesses see a number of competitive advantages over organizations not utilizing hybrid. Aberdeen research into cloud computing shows that businesses with a hybrid environment are 40% more likely to reduce IT expenses, and 30% more likely to consider their IT infrastructure agile and innovative.

And when they tie these hybrid environments to DNS steering and other technologies designed to improve performance and reduce downtime caused by issues on the Internet, these organizations are 50% more likely to report improved performance for their applications and services.

I’m not sure about you, but to me, this sounds like businesses aren’t compromising when it comes to their hybrid environments. Actually, with the use of Internet-based performance solutions to ensure high uptime and availability, it really does seem that hybrid is giving them the best of all worlds.

When it comes to busting the myth of hybrid being a compromise between public and on-premises, there’s no compromising.

Look for the next article in this series, where we’ll look into the future that cloud and the hybrid edge is bringing to IT infrastructures.


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Whois: Jim Rapoza

For more than 20 years, Jim Rapoza, Senior Research Analyst and Editorial Director at the Aberdeen Group, has been using, testing, and writing about the newest technologies in software, enterprise hardware, and the internet. He previously served as the director of an award-winning technology testing lab based in Massachusetts and California. Rapoza is also the winner of five awards of excellence in technology journalism, and co-chaired a summit on technology industry security practices. He is a frequent speaker at technology conferences and expositions, and has been regularly interviewed as a technology expert by national and local media outlets including CNN, ABC, NPR, and the Associated Press.