Mixing It Up: Mastering Hybrid Cloud Strategies for Modern Businesses

by Scott Gerold - February 19, 2024

Migrating to the cloud has been fast and furious for many businesses looking for ways to accommodate the growing popularity of mobile computing and cloud-based applications as well as increasing agility and scalability.  Some companies, having embraced cloud technologies for years, are now finding reason to move back to on-premise environments due to costs, security concerns, or latency to name a few.

We are also seeing an increase in hybrid solutions by design.   The reduction of  latency between on-prem and remote locations can be a driving factor. Replicating on-prem services in the cloud increase the fault tolerance of the service and can also be an option for disaster recovery. There are many times a company can not move a workload to the cloud due to compliance or security reasons resulting in a hybrid solution.

The increasing trend of a hybrid solution is not  a resurgence of a full on-prem solution, but that of a continuation in more hybrid cloud and on-prem solutions.   This post looks at some best practices when looking to build a hybrid cloud solution.

Hybrid Networks

Hybrid Networking creates a seamless connection between multiple locations, including on-premise, cloud environments and edge locations.  The use of VPN or ExpressRoute can provide a dedicated , private connection between on-prem and cloud environments.

Azure Stack

You can extend Azure service and functionality to on-prem environments with Azure Stack.   This will give you a consisting way to deploy between cloud and on-prem with the potential to resolve latency, security, and compliance concerns.

On-premise Data

What do we do with on-prem data stores?  Data security, sovereignty, and privacy concerns again are reasons for keeping data on-prem.   Why would we ever consider moving our data to the cloud?   Cost, ability to easily to grow in data capacity and advantages with regard to disaster recovery are among some of the reasons to move your data to the cloud.

SQL Server

SQL Server gives us multiple options to utilize a hybrid solution.  An on-prem SQL Server can use Azure Storage and blobs as a backup and restore option giving you larger data capacity at your fingertips. 

SQL Server Stretch Database  enables you to keep less frequently accessed data in the cloud while retaining real-time access to frequently accessed data on-premises.  Implementing "Always On Groups" in SQL Server allows you to replicate data from on-prem servers to VM(s) in the cloud.

Adopting a hybrid cloud solution model will ultimately depend on your specific organization and your requirements, priorities and constraints.  You can determine what aligns with your business by considering all potential benefits and challenges.

Scott Gerold is the Practice Lead, Application Development & Integration Services for Star Seven Six, Ltd. A professional solutions architect with over 20 years experience. He has a strong background in software architecture, software development, Cloud platforms, and Agile methodologies including Scrum, SAFE, Kanban, and XP.