StarWind is a hyperconverged (HCI) vendor with focus on Enterprise ROBO, SMB & Edge

What Is Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Architecture?

  • December 14, 2023
  • 15 min read
StarWind Solutions Architect. Vladyslav has a broad expertise in virtualization technologies, and a strong background in storage and system administration.
StarWind Solutions Architect. Vladyslav has a broad expertise in virtualization technologies, and a strong background in storage and system administration.

Enterprise hybrid cloud environments have become the industry standard for establishing an IT infrastructure. It is becoming increasingly popular because an enterprise hybrid cloud combines both public and private clouds, which ultimately simplifies the management of a company’s IT resources.

As companies continue to adopt the hybrid cloud infrastructure model, its market size grows exponentially. Experts say that by 2026, the global hybrid cloud market will be estimated at 145 billion US dollars. So, this article will bring you up to speed on what a hybrid cloud is and how it can help your business reduce costs and scale seamlessly.

What is a Hybrid Cloud?

A hybrid cloud is a type of IT infrastructure where companies combine or make use of private clouds and public clouds, including on-premises data centers or edge locations. This way, enterprises or even individuals can manage and transfer their workloads across different computing environments to lower costs, boost efficiency and security, and enhance their digital transformation efforts. So, in effect, it is somewhat like an extension of the on-premises infrastructure into the public cloud which increases the businesses’ ability to scale.

The Enterprise Hybrid cloud concept enforces the modern idea that IT services and resources are not ubiquitous or singular. Instead, it is a dynamic and complex mix of resources, apps, services, and hardware from different cloud environments that can be purchased from providers as a service and/or built individually.

How does a hybrid cloud environment work?

Private and public clouds have their advantages and disadvantages. So, the idea behind the hybrid cloud is to get the best of both worlds, while minimizing their cons. So, the enterprise can decide to deploy workloads or apps on their on-premises or public cloud depending on the business need at that instance. This leads to unrivalled flexibility which can’t be achieved by private or public clouds individually.

So, on the local or on-premises infrastructure, the company can keep mission-critical apps or workloads where they can have direct control and manage sensitive information as they see fit.  The public cloud plays a different role in the IT infrastructure of enterprises. It is an environment where companies can deploy their less critical or sensitive apps and workloads. It also helps to ensure that the business can scale seamlessly with lower costs.

Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Components

To harness the full potential of a hybrid cloud infrastructure, it is important to understand all the components that bring this environment to life. So, successfully establishing a hybrid cloud requires 4 main components.

  1. On-premises or private computing resources, such as a data center, which typically include servers, storage systems, and network infrastructure.
  2. At least a public cloud infrastructure, such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, or Google Cloud Platform.
  3. An adequate network connection to the hybrid cloud’s private and public cloud environments.
  4. A software platform used to manage the private and public cloud elements as a unified, highly automated, policy-driven environment.

Public Cloud vs. Private Cloud

In a public cloud infrastructure, the cloud resources including server and storage are both owned as well as operated by a third storage provider. The services are delivered over the internet and accessed through web browsers. This means that the hardware, storage, and networking capabilities of the public cloud are shared amongst all those using the services.

Private clouds, on the other hand, provision computing resources exclusively for one enterprise. It can be hosted on-site in the organization or by a third-party service provider. This makes it easy to manage the resources as needed. Private clouds are often used by organizations seeking sole control over their software and hardware.

Hybrid Cloud Benefits and Drawbacks

As with every other technology, hybrid cloud has its advantages and drawbacks. Let’s look at them in detail to understand what your business stands to gain.

Benefits of hybrid clouds

One of the major reasons why enterprises decide to go with hybrid clouds is for security reasons. All the apps and workloads that need tight security are kept on the private cloud on-premises.

Enhanced compliance is another advantage of hybrid clouds. When the organization owns its servers, it can make sure that all the data and apps that need to comply with strict requirements are kept on their private servers.

With hybrid clouds, we can provision and deploy new computing resources instantly, which accelerates the time to market with new products and services. Furthermore, it is easy to add more computing resources to meet increasing demands.

Hybrid clouds provide more uptime than traditional data centers and also make it easy to access high-performance computing resources if required.

Also, enterprise hybrid clouds make it possible for users to access cloud services from any internet-connected device, which provides greater mobility for the workforce.

Drawback of hybrid clouds

Implementing a hybrid cloud infrastructure is not all roses. Off the bat, it will be difficult to adopt a hybrid cloud environment due to its complex nature containing both public and private cloud elements. Also, you will need highly specialized employees to ensure that the infrastructure is well maintained.

Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Use Cases

A hybrid cloud has a plethora of use cases and enterprises may have varied reasons for implementing it. Let’s check out some of the most common use cases of an enterprise hybrid cloud:

Increase demand

Lots of organizations, especially e-commerce companies have a spike in demand for their services during a specific season. Operating on a private cloud during these times will not cut it. So, to handle all the additional traffic, it is preferable to leverage the services of a public cloud. This way, the company is able to meet seasonal demand without breaking the bank.

Geo redundancy

Setting up geo-redundancy with a private cloud infrastructure can get very expensive, as it requires almost double the capital expenditure and overhead cost. However, public clouds are well known for their ability to provide redundancy, data backup, and mirroring.

Regulatory compliance

Sensitive data always comes with different compliance regulations depending on the organization. Operating a hybrid cloud can help you adhere to these regulations and avoid fines. for example, some finance apps require that their data be stored only on-premises infrastructure.

Off-site backup

A hybrid cloud infrastructure can help enterprises have an off-site backup. This is because the public cloud can act as a backup site for on-premises data in case of equipment failure, which promotes business continuity.

How can StarWind help to build an Enterprise Hybrid Cloud?

Using StarWind VSAN for Hyper-V, enterprises can build hybrid cloud solutions to their on-premises virtualization workloads from a datacentre to Azure public cloud. With its implementation, it becomes possible to assemble the on-premises servers and Azure VMs in a well-known Hyper-V Failover Cluster. The Hybrid Cloud is orchestrated using StarWind Management Console, Hyper-V, and SCVMM, requiring no experience in the Azure platform.

StarWind Virtual SAN for Hyper-V distributes highly available shared storage replicating the data between locations. Delivering active-active storage, StarWind provides a fault-tolerant Disaster Recovery site in Azure public cloud to meet the required RTO and RPO.

Conclusion: Do I need to choose a hybrid cloud for enterprise?

As we have seen above, the enterprise hybrid cloud combines the features of a private and public cloud, providing organizations with the best of both worlds. So, it offers the scalability of the public cloud and the enhanced security of a private cloud.

However, even with all the benefits of a hybrid cloud infrastructure, it is never a good idea to blindly implement technologies that may affect the overall functioning of your business. So, before choosing a hybrid cloud infrastructure, you need to consider your business needs, both present and future.


Are hybrid clouds safe?

Yes, hybrid cloud environments are safe and secure, especially when implemented with a strong focus on security principles and practices. Since it also has the features of a private cloud, companies can keep their sensitive information there. However, like any IT environment, they are not inherently without risks. Safety in a hybrid cloud setup comes down to a combination of using the right technologies and following best practices in implementation and management.

What is the difference between multi-cloud, poly-cloud, and hybrid cloud?

No, they are not the same. Multi- and poly-cloud environments mean using many different public clouds from different vendors in one organization. However, a hybrid cloud means operating a private and public cloud as part of your IT infrastructure.

This material has been prepared in collaboration with Asah Syxtus Mbuo, Technical Writer at StarWind.


Found Vlad's insights on hybrid cloud useful? Looking to implement a cost-effective and easy-to-manage hybrid cloud infrastructure?
Alex Bykovskyi
Alex Bykovskyi StarWind Virtual HCI Appliance Product Manager

We can help you with that! StarWind HCI Appliance (HCA) offers hybrid cloud support for both AWS and Azure, bridging the strengths of both private and public cloud environments. Using unified, preconfigured hardware platforms on-premises and easily integratable public cloud instances allows you to achieve scalability and cost-efficiency for your business-critical infrastructure while ensuring security compliance. Interested in learning more? Book a short demo of StarWind HCA to see it in action!