IT Innovators: Is The Hybrid Cloud Really Too Costly?

IT Innovators: Is The Hybrid Cloud Really Too Costly?

When it comes to any new concept or technology there are a lot of unknowns, and those unknowns can lead to some pretty interesting speculation. Often that speculation turns into myths that just won’t die. That’s certainly the case for the hybrid cloud. That’s why in the coming months I’m going to do my best to help sort fact from fiction on some of the more enduring hybrid cloud myths. This week I’d like to try and tackle the issue of cost.

Discussing the cost of a hybrid cloud is not easy. There are many factors involved that go beyond the basic cost of the solution itself. An interesting article on For Dummies, for example, details a whooping thirteen of these possible factors, and that doesn’t even include the cost of training staff to be able to work with the new technology, or in some cases, having to hire new staff altogether, as well as any other hidden cost.

All of these factors are probably key to the enduring myth that the hybrid cloud is just too expensive, but therein also lies the crux of the problem. Not every factor applies to every organization’s specific circumstances and that means the overall cost can change dramatically from one case to another.

As a basic example, consider just one factor that often affects cost—the transferring of data into the public cloud portion of the hybrid cloud solution. If you happen to be an organization with lots of data, that can be a costly proposition, much more so than if you had say, just a small amount of data to transfer.

So if we can’t really compare specifics of the hybrid cloud implementation from one case to another to determine whether it’s costly or cost effective, then what can we do? One thing we can do is take a closer look at the hybrid cloud itself and how some of its features/advantages help drive down cost.

Very simply put, the hybrid cloud solution brings together the best of both public and private clouds by storing some data and applications on the public cloud and others on a private cloud. By doing so, organizations gain the economies of scale that come with the public cloud and the cost savings that follow, while still being able to store particularly critical data on private storage. The flexibility the hybrid cloud enables in terms of backup and recovery and storage allows organizations to attain greater efficiency, which also helps reduce cost.

Another way the hybrid cloud results in cost savings is by making an organization’s IT processes more automated, such that they require fewer IT professionals to maintain. And, organizations become more agile, meaning that they can react faster and more nimbly to business changes. Organizations can also quickly scale up without have to worry about implementing or maintaining costly infrastructure.

While all of these cost savings are certainly generalized—the actual cost could be higher or lower depending on your organization and its particular needs—the reality is that the hybrid cloud does offer many cost-efficiencies. But, is it too costly? Again, that’s relative. Is it more costly than a private or public cloud solution? Compared to a private cloud, the answer is no. Compared to a public cloud; however, which is typically viewed as the cheapest of the solutions, the answer is probably yes. But then again, the hybrid cloud solution offers operational efficiencies that the public cloud solution doesn’t and that also drives cost savings.

If you want to get a sense of what a hybrid cloud solution would actually cost you, check out one of the many cloud price calculators available on the web. A prime example is found here. You may just find that the solution is much most cost effective than you ever imagined.

This blog is sponsored by Microsoft.

Cheryl J. Ajluni is a freelance writer and editor based in California. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Wireless Systems Design and served as the EDA/Advanced Technology editor for Electronic Design for over 10 years. She is also a published book author and patented engineer. Her work regularly appears in print and online publications. Contact her at [email protected] with your comments or story ideas.


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