The benefits of leveraging hybrid cloud automation

By Ritsuko Hidaka, Head of JDU, Fujitsu

As the cloud computing universe becomes more dynamic, organisations across the globe are embracing hybrid cloud as a pillar of efficiency, flexibility, security, scalability and cost-effectiveness in their IT infrastructure. Industry research by Mordor Intelligence projects hybrid cloud to emerge almost as a $130 billion market in 2024 while growing more than 22% during the next five years till 2029.

Understanding hybrid cloud
At the outset, one must define a hybrid cloud. This is primarily a combination of public and private cloud computing resources that includes edge locations and on-premises data centres. Through integration, coordination and orchestration, data and information across these resources can be shared and synchronised. Herein, LAN (Local Area Network), WAN (Wide Area Network), VPN (Virtual Private Network) and APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are the networking technologies a company uses to set up connectivity between its various cloud environments.

By combining public and private cloud solutions, organisations can create a unified computing network that permits them to retain control over sensitive on-premises data while leveraging the public cloud’s scalability. In this way, organisations can manage critical workloads and maintain sensitive data in a secure, private environment. Through this novel setup, organisations enjoy unprecedented flexibility, allowing them to quickly adapt to changing market demands.

Unlocking the power of hybrid cloud automation
Utilising the entire potential of the hybrid cloud requires seamless integration strategies. Navigating hybrid cloud integration complexities requires robust platforms to streamline workflows across diverse environments. A unified approach to data transformation, connectivity and orchestration is offered by iPaaS (integration platforms-as-a-service) solutions. By utilising iPaaS, firms can accelerate their integration efforts while enhancing agility and scalability in the hybrid landscape.

To optimise hybrid cloud architecture, most experts endorse automation, given its flexibility, simplicity and scalability. They believe automation is necessary to draw some of the benefits of the cloud back into the on-premises systems and the hybrid architecture. Automation can ensure a more seamless way for end-users to requisition an organisation’s services, regardless of its location. As more applications move into hybrid and multi-cloud environments, companies can explore several ways to automate manual processes taking place in the cloud. Crucial cloud automation aspects cover deployment, provisioning, compliance, configuration management, scaling, and more. Hybrid cloud automation examples include establishing a network in the cloud and configuring cloud servers.

Cloud automation can also be used for managing server capacity, spinning up new environments and resources, configuring software and systems, rolling out software configurations whenever required, taking systems online and offline as needed to balance the load, scaling across data centres, and moving into a public cloud environment when handling front-end web services or high workloads that are on- or off-premises.

Additional requirements for hybrid cloud

Coming back to hybrid cloud environments, it is imperative to prioritise data security due to diverse attack vectors and varied compliance norms. Therefore, companies must implement a multi-layered security strategy that covers encryption, identity, and access management alongside threat detection. Deploying cloud-native security tools while partnering with trusted service providers can reinforce defenses and effectively mitigate risks.

Opportunities apart, the abundance of IoT devices and edge computing tools raises new hurdles for hybrid cloud integration. To limit latency, boost scalability, and enhance the experiences of users, firms should distribute their workloads closer to the edge. By utilising edge computing together with cloud architectures, enterprises are empowered to extract the utmost value from data while concurrently advancing seamless integration across all distributed environments.

By promoting collaboration and alignment across different teams such as IT, operations, business units and security, organisations can drive hybrid cloud integration successfully. Through the creation of cross-functional teams that encourage a collaborative culture, companies can break down silos and streamline their decision-making process to drive innovation. As employees are empowered to share their knowledge and best practices, enterprises could accelerate the hybrid cloud journey, inculcating a culture of constant innovation and sustained improvement.

To maximise efficiencies and the performance of hybrid cloud use requires continuous monitoring and optimisation. For optimal outcomes, companies must use analytics and monitoring tools to track key performance indicators (KPIs) pinpoint bottlenecks, and optimise their infrastructure. Such an iterative methodology ascertains that the hybrid environment remains in sync with both business objectives and evolving needs.

Broad benefits
Here, some elaboration is needed to appreciate the benefits of hybrid cloud deployment. These include cost efficiency, flexibility, scalability, enhanced security, disaster recovery, and business continuity. The hybrid cloud model can optimise costs for companies by allocating resources efficiently according to their sensitivity and importance. Companies can capitalise on the cost-effectiveness of the public cloud for non-sensitive workloads but maintain their critical data and applications on secure cloud infrastructure.

A hybrid cloud strategy lets firms enjoy the benefits of public and private clouds simultaneously. As per specific needs, such as cost-effectiveness, regulatory compliance, or performance optimisation, it offers firms the flexibility of choosing where to host diverse workloads. Similarly, seamless scalability permits companies to scale their resources up or down as per demand. Such scalability is especially useful for firms witnessing fluctuating workloads because of seasonal demand spikes or rapid overall growth.

Likewise, its balanced security approach permits organisations to maintain sensitive data and critical applications on-premises or in a private cloud. Besides assuring firms of higher control and compliance with regulatory requirements, they gain from the reliable security systems offered by renowned public cloud providers.

Finally, hybrid cloud frameworks facilitate strong strategies to drive disaster recovery and business continuity. By replicating data and applications across various cloud environments, organisations can ensure redundancy and limit the threat of any data loss or downtime. Undoubtedly, the adoption of a hybrid cloud could mark a game-changing moment for firms across diverse domains by ensuring a clear competitive advantage over rivals, allowing them to unlock their full potential in the digital era.

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