What is Hybrid Cloud?

Learn about the benefits and characteristics of hybrid cloud environments.

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Hybrid clouds exist as one of four core cloud architectures that enterprises can leverage in order to optimize cloud storage, disaster recovery, backup, or data management needs.  

A hybrid cloud solution—in which an organization utilizes a combination of public cloud and on-premises data center or private cloud services—enables enterprises of all sizes to use remote application services and to coordinate multiple strategies for managing and processing large amounts of data. 

What Is Hybrid Cloud?

Hybrid clouds are composed of more than one cloud architecture, from more than one cloud vendor. Commonly confused or used interchangeably with multicloud, the two have a subtle difference.  

Multiclouds use more than one of the same cloud architecture—either two private clouds or two public clouds from different vendors.  

Both hybrid and multicloud approaches to data storage and management have increased in popularity. A hybrid cloud combines public and private cloud resources into a single service and manages them in a single dashboard. This approach provides greater flexibility throughout the upgrade and migration process, as well as room for adjustment as business needs and regulations change.  

Why Hybrid Cloud?

As the benefits of big data became apparent in the private sector, many enterprises invested millions into secure on-premises storage. They took full responsibility for infrastructure, maintenance costs, and upgrades.  

Public cloud services relieved some of that burden. When an enterprise contracts a cloud provider for cloud solutions, they pass the time and costs of maintenance on to a specialized provider.  

But because some data falls under certain privacy regulations, and enterprises prefer to continue to see a return on investment for their physical data centers, few companies today use public cloud services. Instead, they opt for a hybrid model.  

What Is Hybrid Cloud Storage and How Does It Differ from Multicloud?

Both use cases involve the integration and management of multiple clouds and combine their assets and management into a single platform for ease of use. However, a multicloud solution integrates cloud storage solutions of the same type.  


  • Private Cloud + Private Cloud = Multicloud 
  • Public Cloud + Public Cloud = Multicloud 


  • Private Cloud + Public Cloud = Hybrid Cloud 

Both are similar in their isolation of applications and data and the way they bottleneck data flow between each server to mitigate damage and disruptions in the event of a breach. They also share the same goal: the consolidation of data management from disparate storage locations into a single dashboard for ease of access.  

How Does Hybrid Cloud Work?

No matter the provider or system, all hybrid clouds should:  

  • Connect multiple computers through a unified network  
  • Consolidate IT resources  
  • Easily upscale and add new resources to promote expansion  
  • Move workloads between environments  
  • Use a single management tool  

A hybrid cloud structure does not change the way a standalone public or private cloud operates. Each cloud still connects with member computers through a local area network, a wide area network, a virtual private network, or an application programming interface.  

Abstract storage resources still collect data from these workstations and pool them to be organized into data lakes or organized into data warehouses, depending on the business needs at the time.  

Benefits of Hybrid Cloud for Enterprises

The use of a public cloud allows an enterprise to dedicate on-premises infrastructure for uses that require greater privacy or reduced latency. Another option is to downsize infrastructure to save on maintenance and upkeep costs.  

Private clouds dedicate space and computing power exclusively to company applications rather than sharing the space with other users of a public cloud.  

They also give IT managers direct control over data and systems—a valuable benefit for data security. Companies can configure every aspect of the computing environment to meet the specific needs of their enterprise. This customizability is impossible in a public cloud.  

Hybrid clouds provide the benefits of both. They limit the data put into public clouds to reduce security and compliance risks. At the same time, a hybrid cloud can offload computing power and application resource storage to a public cloud to lighten the load on internal infrastructure.  

As business needs and regulations change, this flexibility also allows enterprises to migrate data and applications back and forth between their public and private clouds rather than invest in dramatic infrastructure overhauls.  

The dashboard access of a true hybrid cloud lets enterprises manage the multiple clouds they use from a single space while they gain the benefits of both cloud structures.  

Scale and Modernize Applications at Your Own Pace

Hybrid clouds do not demand a complete overhaul of current systems and applications to facilitate a migration to the cloud.  

Instead, enterprises can keep legacy data and applications on the private cloud infrastructure until the time comes for it to be modernized.  

This step-by-step approach allows employees in all departments to become more accustomed to the new structure in a natural, gradual process instead of forcing them to face a sudden dramatic transition.  

IT can migrate applications when it’s reasonable to do so and when it can dedicate the necessary resources to audit each application and data set with the necessary care.  

Stay in Line with Data Compliance and Governance Laws

Many industries and verticals are bound by specific laws and regulations which govern what data can be gathered, where it can be stored, and in which computing environments the applications that can use it must operate.  

The fines for violations of these laws (which include HIPAA and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) can inflict severe budgetary damage on an unprepared enterprise.  

Hybrid clouds provide the necessary flexibility to gain the benefit of public cloud storage and remain compliant with these strict acts which govern the use of consumer data.  

Sensitive data can remain on-premises to limit access by unauthorized parties while less sensitive data remains on the public cloud along with the applications which interpret, analyze, and otherwise use that information.  

Run Apps On-Premises or at Remote Edge Locations

This approach allows enterprises to not only store data in the most appropriate location but to take advantage of on-cloud or on-premises computing power to do the same with business applications.  

When a business requires a specialized, custom-made solution—one that’s critical to its business operations and must run on its mainframe—it can continue to do so. At the same time, it can offload less critical needs to cloud-native software solutions.  

This resource management approach allows enterprises to migrate the most demanding applications to a public cloud and maintain operational efficiency. It also encourages the continued development of specialized tools to meet exact business needs rather than compromise with unsuitable external solutions.  

Hybrid Cloud Uses

A hybrid-cloud strategy facilitates the interaction of data and applications between a private cloud or on-premises data center and public clouds and enables management from a single dashboard. Hybrid-cloud design often combines a public platform, such as infrastructure as a service, with a private cloud and an on-premises data center. 

Hybrid-cloud use cases range from application testing and regulatory compliance to disaster recovery and analytics. Companies use hybrid cloud for cost savings, performance, security, and scalability. In some instances, data bases may remain in an on-premises data center and integrate with public cloud applications. Another hybrid approach entails using a virtualized data center in which workloads are replicated in the cloud when local server demand is high. 

Businesses in almost all industries leverage some form of hybrid cloud computing. Among the leading industries using a hybrid-cloud strategy are tech services, financial services, and software/hardware companies. Enterprises often mix and match cloud services using a combination of public clouds (a multicloud strategy) and their own data center or private cloud. Hybrid-cloud services are also an integral part of many business solutions that combine services in the cloud with on-premises networks. Examples of cloud delivery models leveraged in a hybrid-cloud strategy include: 


Storage as a Service (SaaS) 

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) 

Platform as a Service (PaaS) 

Functions as a Service (FaaS) 

What is it?  

Your enterprise buys/rents a cloud storage product from a separate storage vendor.  

A form of cloud computing that provides users access to virtualized computing resources that reside in the cloud. 

Enables companies using a hybrid strategy to develop and deploy everything from simple apps to sophisticated enterprise-scale applications. 

Gives users tools for developing and managing virtual applications. Physical infrastructure, such as servers and storage, is managed by a cloud service provider. 


Products like Seagate Lyve Cloud provide easy, scalable, and cost-effective cloud storage that can be integrated into your hybrid or multicloud strategy.  

Ranges from scalable data bases and virtual private networks to data analytics and machine learning. 

Can be deployed on an as-needed basis. Users purchase only the resources and storage needed to support their apps. 

A subset of serverless computing in which server configuration and management is handled by the cloud service provider and is transparent to the end user. 

How is it deployed? 

Lyve Cloud can be partnered with a secondary storage offering to enhance the existing product—whether it be enhanced backup, security, migration, or disaster recovery support.  

Enables enterprises deploying a hybrid model to quickly provision compute resources that can be scaled up as needed. 

Solutions include middleware, development tools, analytics, and data-base management tools. Companies use PaaS for building, testing, deploying, managing, and updating applications. 

As part of a hybrid strategy, application developers don't have to worry about provisioning on-premises servers and can focus on building functionality for their apps. 

Hybrid cloud gives enterprises a multitude of options for managing new data sources and highly complex unstructured data types in any variety of use cases. 

How to Build a Hybrid Cloud

The goal of any hybrid cloud is to connect the disparate elements of public and private cloud resources into a single dashboard and avenue of communication as much as possible.  

Some enterprises can build a hybrid cloud in a short time. A public cloud or group of public clouds managed by one or more providers and used to supplement infrastructure on premises is considered to be a hybrid cloud.  

Most migrations require more steps to consider and move each application and data set. Migrations can be conducted with one of three methods:  

  • Lift and shift  
  • Improve and move  
  • Rip and replace  

Lift and shift migrates applications and information with few if any changes. This solution allows quick and easy migration if the system in question can handle cloud operation without any delay in processing or other issues.  

Improve and move involves modernization and upgrades to the migrated application or data set. A common approach, it extends system migration time and further underscores the benefits of hybrid cloud. Enterprises can take the time to grant due diligence to each audit and upgrade before migration, then move on to the next to do the same.  

Rip and replace scraps legacy software and instead uses a new solution that fits the company's current needs and better interacts with the hybrid-cloud model. This important part of any modernization process requires enterprises to recognize when a once-useful legacy system has become a liability.  

Seagate Lyve Cloud provides a new way to store information and applications. Talk to an expert today to see how Lyve Cloud can help capture the unparalleled explosion of valuable big data and ensure security in a system that provides frictionless movement between cloud systems and applications.