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Silver Lining of Using Hybrid Cloud

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Why every discussion of cloud computing should begin (and possibly end) with a hybrid cloud model.

Why every discussion of cloud computing should begin (and possibly end) with a hybrid cloud model.

By Shawn Bolan, New Horizons Cloud Instructor

Hybrid Cloud Model

A hybrid cloud deployment is when a company deploys some of their Information Technology (IT) resources to a public cloud provider such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure. At the same time, they continue operating other IT resources from their on-premises data centers.

It is rare for any cloud deployment to go from no resources in the cloud to 100% of the resources in the cloud in a single step. The logistics and practical concerns around nearly every cloud migration necessitate that the migration happens over time in several stages — through a hybrid cloud model.

While there are significant benefits that can be achieved by migrating to the cloud, every company has an existing infrastructure that is critical to their success. With a hybrid approach, a company can strategically leverage existing on-premises infrastructure while simultaneously looking to the cloud to enhance and extend their business. The adage of “if it is not broken, don’t fix it” should not deter a company that may be considering a cloud deployment but are nervous about what their move to the cloud will mean for their current technology investments.

Hybrid Cloud Provides More Flexibility

A key element to a successful cloud migration is for the company to start with a thorough inventory and understanding of their current IT environment. Once inventory is complete, then the company can start the process of evaluating the possibilities and benefits of cloud computing for some of these resources.

By strategically identifying the most impactful parts of the IT infrastructure to move to the cloud, the company can also maximize the other parts of the infrastructure that are not moving to the cloud. The idea of using this type of a targeted migration approach provides an immense amount of flexibility for the company, such as cost control, improved performance, and compliance. Hybrid cloud models also allow businesses to scale storage up or down based on demand, working seamlessly to provide space, security, and protection.

Facilitating Multi-Cloud Architecture

The idea of choosing a single provider, or locking-in to a single solution, can be frightening. Many companies like the idea of multi-cloud architecture when considering a move to the cloud. With a multi-cloud architecture, a company strategically chooses to use multiple cloud providers versus using a single provider to enhance security, build additional resiliency, and possibly reduce system downtime. A multi-cloud architecture could also be used to align specific applications to cloud providers to take advantage of enhanced features that one provider may have over another.

Cloud Providers Have Fully Embraced the Hybrid Cloud Model

All the major public cloud providers have technologies that are specifically engineered to support a hybrid cloud model. Networking technologies such as a Virtual Private Network (VPN), Direct Connect (from AWS) or Express Route (from Microsoft Azure) are available to provide the networking connectivity required to make a hybrid cloud function.

Other key technologies such as the Domain Name System (DNS), storage technologies, database technologies along with data migration tools also have direct application and benefits for hybrid cloud deployment.

Each of the major public cloud providers understood very early that most companies would be existing in a hybrid model, and they have developed their toolsets and technologies specifically for that purpose.

Start With One Service

Just as every personal journey must begin with the first step, every cloud migration must begin with the first service to move to the cloud. It would be a very reasonable approach for a company to target a single service to move to the cloud as both a first step and a test. A company could look at the most pressing need facing their internal infrastructure and investigate how a move to the cloud could solve that specific problem.

A common example of this approach over the past decade has been the proliferation of the Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) platform. For thousands of customers, Microsoft 365 provided them with the opportunity to move their messaging infrastructure from on-premises to the cloud. At the same time, they extend the capabilities of their communications platform to include tools such as Microsoft Teams, SharePoint and many other products that are part of the Microsoft 365 platform. By choosing to move to the Microsoft 365 platform, a company is not only addressing a specific need, but they are also embarking on a hybrid cloud infrastructure. Over time, that same company can investigate other cloud-based options and continue to strategically migrate applications and data to the cloud while continuing to preserve and utilize their onpremises investments.


Companies could benefit from reframing the discussion of a complete move to cloud computing as a transition to a hybrid cloud model. Once a company gains an understanding of what hybrid cloud is and how it can benefit the company, the daunting idea of “moving everything to the cloud” can be replaced with the idea of “what can we move to the cloud to achieve the greatest benefits?” Embracing the idea that a company can look at cloud computing as a platform to provide greater flexibility and strategic benefits, as opposed to the all-or-nothing mentality, may be exactly the right approach.

Cloud Computing Training & Certifications in Public Cloud Applications

Training and certifications in cloud computing are essential for professionals looking to stay competitive in the tech industry. In fact, organizations are more apt to hire and offer generous pay increases to those with specific qualifications. This makes training and getting certified one of the best investments a professional can make. 

It is important to understand that there are a handful of cloud application services and platforms that dominate the industry. Because of their size, commonality, and capabilities, it is important for professionals to be knowledgeable in these platforms, and certifications can even be a standard job requirement. 

Popular cloud platforms

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

AWS enables organizations to access, configure and manage their data, applications, and other resources in a secure cloud environment. It provides powerful tools that allow users to build applications quickly and scale them easily. To get the most out of this platform, it's important to have a thorough understanding of its components, such as EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud), S3 (Simple  Storage Service) and VPC (Virtual Private Cloud). Additionally, knowledge of virtual networking concepts such as IP addresses, subnets and route tables is vital for configuring and managing an AWS-based architecture. With these skills, you can implement complex solutions using the variety of available services while taking  advantage of their scalability, performance and cost savings features. 

PopularAWS courses: 

Microsoft Azure

Azure is a continually expanding set of cloud services that help you meet current and future business challenges. Azure gives you the freedom to build, manage, and deploy applications on a massive global network using your favorite tools and frameworks.

Azure provides more than 100 services that enable you to do everything from running your existing applications on virtual machines to exploring new software paradigms, such as intelligent bots and mixed reality.

For example, Azure provides artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning (ML) services that can naturally communicate with your users through vision, hearing, and speech. It also provides storage solutions that dynamically grow to accommodate massive amounts of data. Azure services enable solutions that aren't feasible without the power of the cloud.

Popular Azure courses:

CompTIA Training and Certifications

When considering vendor-neutral IT training and certifications, consider CompTIA. CompTIA is an international nonprofit organization that has developed training and certifications in the IT field that show proficiency in core skills needed to perform certain tasks, such as setting up routers, troubleshooting networks and developing secure policies. These training and certifications can increase your skill set and demonstrate your knowledge to employers with the help of these industry-recognized credentials. 

Popular CompTIA certifications: 

Other popular cloud certifications:

About the Author

Shawn Bolan is an award-winning instructor who has been with New Horizons since 2007. He began his technical trainer career by earning the Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) certification in 1998. Through his career, Shawn has earned nearly 100 technical certifications such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), VMware, Microsoft, and CompTIA. He has worked as a system administrator for companies both large and small. Shawn specializes in the technical areas of Windows system administration and management, network administration, security, cloud computing, virtualization, and DevOps.

/ Author: Liam Phelan / Number of views: 177 / Comments: 0 /

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