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Making Sense of Hybrid Cloud Solutions for Small Business

In our blog, Public Cloud Use Cases for Small Business, we covered different scenarios where a Public Cloud solution makes sense for a small business and why Australian small businesses are choosing Public Clouds for their IT needs.

But what if the IT needs of your small business aren’t cookie cutter? Perhaps you store confidential customer information that requires additional security, or you’re in an industry that requires compliance with regulations that prevent you from using a Public Cloud. If you fall into one of these two scenarios, Hybrid Cloud solutions for your small business may be ideal.

Small businesses don’t always have the resources or budget that large enterprises have, so they seek a Hybrid Cloud that provides the benefits of both a Private and Public Cloud. In this blog, we will discuss when Hybrid Cloud solutions for small business make sense.

Public, Private and Hybrid – What’s the Difference?

In a Public Cloud scenario, you share your Cloud resources – servers, storage, and applications – with other tenants through a third-party Cloud service provider. A Private Cloud is a secure Cloud-based environment in which only you operate, and a Hybrid Cloud is a mixture of the two – a Cloud computing environment that uses a mix of on-premises Private Cloud and third-party Public Cloud services, and also provides the opportunity to transfer between the two platforms.

Are Australian Small Businesses Moving to a Hybrid Cloud?

As mentioned in our previous blog, 86% of Australian companies are already using Cloud in their production environment. A report conducted by Telsyte found a growing trend in Hybrid Cloud, concluding that 40 per cent of enterprises will be using this model by 2019.

More and more businesses are choosing Hybrid Cloud solutions.

Why Are Australians Choosing Hybrid Cloud Solutions for Small Business?

The growth in business use of Hybrid Cloud can be attributed to the fact that Hybrid Cloud brings together the benefits of a Public Cloud scenario – such as cost savings and scalability – with the benefits of a Private Cloud scenario – security and control – in a custom-made hybrid solution. Australians that select Hybrid Cloud solutions for small business enjoy the following benefits:

Additional Resources

A Hybrid Cloud from a managed Cloud provider becomes an extension of your IT department. This provides additional resources you can use to outsource the day-to-day management of your IT, freeing up your internal resources for more strategic initiatives.

Infrastructure Costs

This is especially important for start-ups; a Hybrid Cloud reduces the expenses associated with an on-premise solution, incurring no upfront equipment costs to the small business. Hybrid Cloud’s pay-per-use model permits businesses to pay for only what they need , which can be very appealing to a small business – start-up or not.

Agility

A Hybrid Cloud allows a business to transfer between Private and Public Cloud to meet variable demand. Especially important for those companies that are relatively young and don’t know what to expect in terms of site traffic – this allows them to move between Private and Public Cloud as their needs change, providing the business with more flexibility.

Flexibility

A business can use an on-premise Private Cloud to host sensitive information and use the Public Cloud to host less critical information; allowing it to meet regulatory compliance standards and keep sensitive information secure.

Common Concerns About a Hybrid Cloud

Despite the benefits offered by Hybrid Cloud solutions for small business, companies may still be apprehensive when deciding on a Cloud solution for any of the following reasons:

Loss of Control

Day-to-day administration is out of their hands and managed by a hosting provider, a concept many businesses may be uncomfortable with. While this is a valid concern, businesses that can accept handing off some control no longer need to worry about the day to day management of IT, as this is outsourced to the provider, which frees up IT resources.

Security Concerns

Some companies may be concerned with security of a Hybrid Cloud solution as some data is stored in a Public Cloud environment. The simple solution to this concern is to store any critical data on-premise or in the Private Cloud.

Interruption in Business Operations

When migrating to a Hybrid Cloud, companies – especially those with legacy systems – may fear integration problems that could interrupt business operations. The opposite is actually true, as a Hybrid Cloud helps fill the gaps between Cloud and legacy infrastructure.

Considering a Hybrid Cloud For Your Small Business?

Ask Yourself the Following Questions:

  • Is it vital for your users to have fast, reliable access to data?
  • Are you concerned about downtime?
  • Do you have remotely located users?

If you answered “yes” to any two of the three, you should consider a Hybrid Cloud.

If you have remotely located users who require fast, reliable access to data, then you should consider a Hybrid Cloud.

Which Australian Small Businesses Are Moving to a Hybrid Cloud?

A Hybrid Cloud may not be the ideal solution for all small businesses; however, many benefit from the flexibility that it provides. Here are five Hybrid Cloud use cases for small business:

  • Hybrid Cloud Use Case 1: Companies with Legacy Appilcations
    Rather than incurring the costs of updating legacy systems, some businesses are opting for a Hybrid Cloud to fill in the system gaps, allowing them to salvage legacy applications without full migration.
  • Hybrid Cloud Use Case 2: Start-Ups
    As mentioned above, a Hybrid Cloud is an attractive option for start-up companies that want to minimize their capital expenditures and avoid investing in expensive equipment.
  • Hybrid Cloud Use Case 3: Untested Workloads
    Companies that regularly launch and test applications can test new applications in the Public Cloud to work out the bugs before investing in launch in a Private Cloud.
  • Hybrid Cloud Use Case 4: Ecommerce Sites Facing Seasonal Traffic
    Hybrid Cloud solutions for small business offer an attractive option for companies with eCommerce sites that receive seasonal spikes in traffic, or companies who don’t know what to expect in the way of site traffic. Cloud bursting provides the ability to run an application in a Private Cloud and burst or migrate to a Public Cloud when demand for computing capacity spikes.
  • Hybrid Cloud Use Case 5: Regulatory Requirements
    A Hybrid Cloud works well for organisations within industries that have regulations dictating that data must reside within a specific country or in a Private Cloud. A Hybrid Cloud allows businesses to comply with industry regulations and keep critical data in a Private Cloud, but also provides the ability to utilize Public Cloud for cost-savings and efficiency.

If you are contemplating making a move to a Hybrid Cloud, these cases should help you determine whether this is the right solution for your business. Ensure you consider the following factors:

  • Budget: What is your IT budget?
  • Security: Do you have any industry regulations or compliance requirements that can benefit from a Hybrid Cloud solution?
  • Resources: What internal resources do you currently have, and can you benefit from the expertise of a Cloud provider?
  • Disaster Recovery: What is your current disaster recovery strategy and what are your needs for the future?

If you would like more information on migrating to the Cloud, we’re here to help. StudioCoast has been helping Australian small businesses with their hosting needs since 2002. Contact StudioCoast today.

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